Heavenly Date and Other Flirtations – Alexander McCall Smith

This little book of short stories by Alexander McCall Smith called to me at the library last month, and so it came home in my May book batch.

I am a fan of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Series, the Sunday Philosophy Club novels and the 44 Scotland Street novels.

I wasn’t quite sure what sort of tone the short stories would take, but I thought them likely to be worth the effort. Unfortunately I was wrong.

Let me cut to the chase, I found it to be a disappointment.

The subject matter is relationships, as the title would indicate. It covers all sorts of relationships many of which could not be described as salubrious. The writing covers three continents and wanders through different eras. Many of the resulting musings on these relationships is dark in nature, occasionally a bit obtuse (either that or I was away with the fairies when I was reading), and generally unsatisfying.

I found myself asking “What was the point of that?” after reading a number of them. Perhaps there wasn’t actually a point. Perhaps I missed the point. Perhaps I’m out of practice reading short stories and am doing him an injustice.

If you have read these stories and enjoyed them, let me know what you think I was missing.

In the end, I enjoyed maybe one or two of the offerings, the rest I would have been happy not to have read. They added nothing to my view of life or of bad, sad and dodgy relationships.

I regret to have to give it a 1 out of 5, but I really didn’t enjoy the read. Sorry Mr Smith.

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