Publication Day Book Review – The Geometry of Holding Hands by Alexander McCall Smith

Reading books about Isabel Dalhousie is like having a tea with the good friend whom I have not seen for quite some time…


One of the author’s most beloved characters is back–and once again she will have to call upon her powers of deduction and her unflappable moral code to unravel a new philosophical mystery.

In Edinburgh, rumors and gossip abound. But Isabel well knows that such things can’t be taken at face value. Still, the latest whispers hint at mysterious goings-on, and who but Isabel can be trusted to get to the bottom of them? At the same time, she must deal with the demands of her two small children, her husband, and her rather tempestuous niece, Cat, whose latest romantic entanglement comes–to no one’s surprise–with complications. Still, even with so much going on, Isabel, through the application of good sense, logic, and ethics, will, as ever, triumph.


In my humble opinion there is nothing I can say about Isabel Dalhousie and the book that has not been said already. All I can do is to share my personal experience of this journey with Isabel and her surrounds.

I’ve met Isabel at The Sunday Philosophy Club and fell in love: with her, her Edinburgh, her constant long-winded and deep musings on every subject under the sun. And I was hooked.

I have to admit, I missed a few installments. Thus, I missed the development or rather decline in the relationship between Isabel and her niece Cat. Oh, that girl… She made me so mad in this book.

However, I am so very happy for Isabel that she found and managed to keep her dream man Jamie. He is so right for her even though she thought he was so wrong for her at the onset of the relationship.

My or my, now Isabel has two boys. How does she manage?

Anyhow The Geometry of Holding Hands is colourful philosophising about what we do for each other and to each other. It is about why we choose or do not choose to help people close to us and complete strangers. It is about reasoning and justifying ones’ own actions or actions of someone else, making sure they fall within conventions we can accept and live with.

Alexander McCall Smith ought to be congratulated. This book made me smile, laugh, cringe, swear and get a pen and paper out to record so many quotes… as usual.

I really wanted to see Isabel get angry and get even. But I guess, it would not be Isabel if she did. All is well in Isabel’s world. All wrapped up nicely and all necessary shutters are drawn. Till the next book…

Definitely 5 stars.

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