I adore his Isabel Dalhousie protagonist who is a "moral philosopher" living in modern-day Scotland. Isabel inspired me to travel to Scotland and run the Edinburgh Marathon (June 2006). I wore my Edinburgh marathon t-shirt hoping that might encourage further conversation with the author after the signing, but this may have back-fired as he appears to know other marathon runners and their focus....
"Ben had become an enthusiastic jogger and spent most of his spare time running. He had finished fifty-second place in the Edinburgh Marathon and was now talking about competing in the next New York Marathon.
He has met Ben for a meal at Henderson's Salad Table, and the conversation had largely been about calories, energy levels and the benefit of Arnica cream for soft-tissue injuries.
"I've got a really interesting story to tell you..I was running about two weeks ago - or was it three? Hang on, it was three because it was the week before I was due to do the Peebles Half-Marathon with Ted and the others. Anyways, I was doing a circular route up Colinton Road, past Redford Barracks, and then down into Colinton Village...."
Matthew had looked at his pasta and at the ceiling, and tried to remember what it was he saw in Ben all those years ago. He had liked him. They had been friends, and now this thing - this running -had come between them."
(Love Over Scotland - A 44 Scotland Street Novel)