"I like to think about things," [Isabel] said airly. "I like to let my mind wander. Our minds can come up with the most entertaining possibilities, if we let them. But most of the time, we keep them under far too close a check."
from The Careful Use of Compliments, by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon Books, 2007)
Less edgy than Barbara Pym's novels and a bit more sophisticated than Jan Karon's Mitford books, McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie series is a delight. After my mother lent me The Sunday Philosophy Club (thanks, Mom!), I've gone on to read three more, and have the next waiting on the book shelf. Set in Edinburgh, the short novels, which make the most of their Scottish setting, feature a fortysomething philosopher, who really does think about lots of things and occasionally meddles in situations, if not exactly mysteries, where she shouldn't.