If we see it for what it really is--a courtship ritual--then we can identify the deep structures of the ritual, and that enables us to detect what is really going on. Without these reactive attitudes, we ran the risk of diminishing our sense of right and wrong, because we could end up thinking it just doesn't matter.
I had previously read Smith's Chance Developments, a similar collection of themed stories, and enjoyed it very much.
I highly recommend Heavenly Date, as long as your expectations are properly set.
In 2007 he was made a CBE for his services to literature in the Queen’s New Year’s Honor List.
He holds honorary doctorates from 12 universities, most recently from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
For many years he was Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh, and has been a visiting professor at a number of other universities elsewhere, including ones in Italy and the United States.
He is now a Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh.
Akimbo and the Baboons, the fifth book in the Akimbo series, will be published in November 2008.
Pantheon has published Alexander Mc Call Smith's collection of African folktales, The Girl Who Married a Lion.
I just finished Heavenly Date and Other Flirtations by Alexander Mc Call Smith (#1 Ladies Detective Agency, 44 Scotland Street, Sunday Philosopher's Club, etc.) It is a collection of short stories (maybe one novella-length) all on the general topic of dating/courtship.
If you go into this thinking of Smith as an author with a light-hearted approach to storytelling, you'll be rather shocked as most of these stories have darker elements.
The first episode of a film adaptation, directed by Anthony Minghella, and produced by the Weinstein Company, premiered on HBO in March 2009.