Friends, Lovers, Chocolate


In Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, his cozy new wisp of a novel, Alexander McCall Smith chronicles the ongoing adventures — if you can call them that — of Isabel Dalhousie, the Scottish moral philosopher he introduced in last year’s The Sunday Philosophy Club. Isabel, an intelligent, independently wealthy busybody, attends a séance with her housekeeper, contemplates taking an Italian lover, and sips many hot beverages while pondering weighty questions like the morality of filching extra rolls from a free buffet. As always, McCall Smith offers a curiously seductive portrait of characters actively crafting ”well-ordered” lives, but his recent plots have been laughably, even dangerously, trite.