Title: The Charming Quirks of Others
An Isabel Dalhouise Novel

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Copyright Year: 2010

Read this on April 2017

Isabel was in her niece’s cafe, when Jillian approached her. Jillian asked for her help because her husband Alex, recieved an anonymous letter. The letter mentioned the three candidates for the new school principal (which no one else knows about aside from the board members). It says that one of them could threaten the school’s reputation. She discovered a few things about the candidates. Jhon Frauser was a climber who was guilty about something. Later on she discovered that he helped someone he climbed with in Mt. Everest, but cut the rope off someone he climbed with (Cameron) years ago so he could save himself. The other candidate, Gordon, turns out to be her niece’s (Cat) boyfriend. Isabel suspected him of writing the letter because he knows who the candidates are. She did’t get much information about Tom. When she talked to Alex about what she discovered, she realized that everything she found out was somehow irrelevant. Gordon was out of the list because they heard that he was just applying for the job to get a promotion in the school he’s currently teaching at. Jhon withdrew his application because he was depressed. Alex said that he was depressed and guilty because someone (which was Cameron) sacrificed himself to save him. Which means what Isabel thought of about him was wrong. Tom was out of the candidates because the only chance he had was a vote from two board members, and nothing else. Since the candidates are out and the current principal will be staying, there is no longer a need to investigate. However, Alex still wants to know who wrote the letter.

Isabel suspected Miss Carty, the secretary, whom one kid saw kissing Mr. Slade, the current principal. Then it led to the conclusion that it was Jillian, Alex’s wife, who wrote the letter. During a dinner she saw Jillian mouth Mr. Slade something. She disregarded that. Her evidence for knowing Jillian wrote the letter was when she mentioned that it was written in green ink. Alex never showed Jillian the letter, he only told her about it. Since he was color blind, it means that he couldn’t have told her. Also, she suspected that Jillian and Mr. Slade are having an affair and she wrote the letter to stop him from leaving. Jillian also asked her help so she’d tell Alex that it was Miss Carty who wrote the letter. Still, she didn’t tell Alex about that, she kept what she discovered to herself.

Other scenes:
*Isabel found out the her fiance, Jaime (who was a little younger than her and also her niece’s/cat’s ex boyfriend) was having an affair. Later on she discovered that Jaime was just being kind to a woman who’s pretending that she’s dying.