"Cat's life, then, was not an example of the examined life of which philosophers have long written; Isabel's life, by contrast, was a life lived under a moral microscope." The Quiet Side of Passion is the twelfth book in the Isabel Dalhousie series by popular British author, Alexander McCall Smith. Isabel Dalhousie, philosopher, wife to Jamie, mother to Charlie and Magnus, helpful aunt to the ever-demanding (and often selfish) Cat, and editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, is feeling the pressure. The demands on her time are many, and with each additional one, she is feeling the strain on her inner resources. At the University in response to a rather arrogant summons from her long-time nemesis, Professor Lettuce, an accidental meeting presents a possible solution to one aspect of her busy life. Jamie has two suggestions for further improvements, and before long, Isabel is feeling the benefits of her lightened load. But these initially-hard-working young women (Antonia the au pair, Claire the assistant) soon prove to complicate matters even more, actually causing more problems than they solve. On top of all this, some gossip that Jamie shares with her, together with a chance sighting in a restaurant, see Isabel mounting an unwise pursuit in a dangerous area. As usual, Jamie knows he cannot deter her, knowing her so well: "'Obstinate, interventionist, nosy, yet…yet one who does the right thing – where lesser mortals…' and here he pointed at himself, 'where lesser mortals fear to tread'"; but Isabel is troubled by how the matter is eventually resolved. Daily events set off Isabel's musings, presenting ever more potential topics for future issues of the Review: robots and mercy, loyalty and betrayal, (raw milk) cheese and freedom, the morals of music. Topics of discussion include snobbishness, gossip, Atilla the Hun, tattoos, and hunting. And Professor Lettuce's capacity for effrontery never ceases to astonish. As always, a delightful read.