Dear Fellow Reader,
Do you read any of the series by Alexander McCall Smith? He has a very popular mystery series, The #1 Ladies Detective Agency. I have never been a fan of those for some reason. I have enjoyed the Isabel Dalhousie books and for a while, I liked the 44 Scotland Street books. And those series barely scratch the surface of the books he has published. Phew!
I happened to notice recently that he had a book come out in January. I went on to my library site and reserved a copy right away. While I have found his books a bit uneven, I still always have hope that I will love the next one I pick up. When I read the introduction, I had great hope for this new book.
Pianos and Flowers is the name of the new book. It seems that Alexander McCall Smith was asked by The Sunday Times to write some short stories for the paper. To accomplish this, he requested that the newspaper send him some old photographs. He then took the photographs and made-up stories to go with the photos. The book is comprised of 14 stories based on the photos. (Yes, the photos are included.)
I was excited when I read about the book. I thought it sounded like it would be fun. I really like the idea. It sounds challenging and entertaining. The book is fairly short;the fourteen stories are covered in 179 pages. The first few stories are the longest. And I enjoyed those first few.
But overall, I was disappointed. I do wonder if part of the problem is cultural. That maybe his British stories just didn’t have the appeal here. I truly wanted to like it but found myself just racing to finish and not in a good way.
This is a book that you might feel differently about than I did. I think it holds such creative promise. I also like that so many of Alexander McCall Smith’s books are serialized in the paper before they become books. I think it makes me think of Charles Dickens and I wish that we had that in our newspapers here. As much as I want to tell you to hurry out and get this book, I think you can read the rest of your TBR (to be read) pile first.
Thanks for reading.