The 76th book I read for the challenge was Alexander McCall Smith’s Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, an Isabel Dalhousie mystery. Isabel, the editor of The Journal of Applied Ethics, is a philosopher who is always thinking of moral issues. She is great friends with Jamie, who was the boyfriend of her niece Cat, but they have broken up. But Isabel still sees Jamie and he remains her confidante. She sees him at a concert with another young woman and is quite upset, and then receives a message from Jamie that he needs to see her. He tells her he has a girlfriend, and no, it is not the girl from the concert. It is a married woman! Isabel tells him what she thinks about that from an ethical point of view and Jamie soon breaks up with her.
While Cat is away in Italy for a wedding, Isabel helps out at Cat’s delicatessen. There she meets Ian, a man who has had a heart transplant. They become friends, and Ian confides in Isabel that since his transplant he has had a pain and a vision of a man with a high forehead, hooded eyes, and a scarred head. It scares him. He thinks it may be related to cellular memory. Ian knows nothing about the donor of his heart; the family wanted to remain anonymous. However, Ian feels this vision relates to the donor. Isabel begins to look into the origin of Ian’s heart. She finds that a young man was killed in an accident the night Ian received his heart, and the young man’s mother’s partner resembles the figure in Ian’s vision. But the mother says her son’s organs were not donated.
Cat has found an older admirer from Italy who comes to see her, Tomasso, but she brushes him off as being too old for her. Tomasso then turns the charm on Isabel and they make plans to go away on a trip around Scotland, but then suddenly, Tomasso has to leave.
Meanwhile, Jamie has an audition in London for the London Symphony Orchestra and is accepted. But he turns it down because he doesn’t want to leave Edinburgh and Cat. He still loves Cat.
Will Isabel solve Ian’s mysterious vision? Will Jamie get back together with Cat? Seventy-six down, 24 to go.