The Forgotten Affairs of Youth

>The prolific Scottish medical lawyer and author, Alexander McCall-Smith, keeps me regularly supplied with reading .  I can hardly keep up with his four different series along with all the other new novels calling to me as a librarian.  He has written over 60 books including academic titles and children’s books.
The Forgotten Affairs of Youth is the latest in his Isabel Dalhousie series. Edinburgh is the setting for this contemplative philosopher.  This time Isabel is asked to help find parents of a woman who was adopted as a child.  The complications involved in the discovery of the possible father make us evaluate when secrets are alright to keep.  Should the man who wants to claim paternity be told that he probably isn’t the father, and should the one who would not be happy to find out about his child be forced to face his unknown history?
There are other story vignettes that keep us thinking about subtle moral dilemmas such as Isabel’s mushroom poisoning which involves the delicatessen Isabel’s niece, Cat owns, a paper submitted to Isabel’s philosophical publication that was written under an assumed name and the love story’s continuation between Isabel and her Jamie.

Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains

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Dandy solves a murder once again!
Dandelion Dahlia Leston Gilver, or Dandy, is being schooledin how to serve undercover as a lady’s maid when normally she has her ownservants waiting on her.  Thisaristocratic sleuth has already helped solve several murders and once againshe is being called upon to aid someone who fears for her life.  Lollie Balfour’s husband is having his wifefollowed, steaming open her mail and has told her he is going to murder her. “He’sa monster, Mrs. Gilver.  A nasty,brutish, bullying , philandering, dishonest, beasty…pig.”
 This frightened Edinburgh woman becomes awidow within one day of Dandy’s appearance as her maid.  Who has murdered this horrible man?  Everyone in the premises has a reason to hatehim.  With intricately plotted twists andturns and many red herrings we experience what is regarded as proper for the1920’s post World War Two Scottish gentry. This witty novel that exposes the differences in class reminds me of thewonderful Masterpiece Theatre classics Upstairs,Downstairs and Downton Abbey.  Try Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Blood Stains and then enjoy a classic movie for a complete experience.