I really wanted to like the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (BBC1, Sunday) , it being, as it turned out, Anthony Minghella's final throw of the dice. But I failed miserably, as I once did with the book.
Those words were actually from the TV Review in today's Guardian, but they could have been mine. The reviewer was harsh, he called it twee, quaint, shallow, possibly patronising.
It's Heartbeat, basically, relocated to Botswana, a beautiful African country where smiley happy people, cardboard cut-out characters, go about their business with good humour, hard work, morality and diligence.
I've never seen this Heartbeat thing, but I used to live in southern Africa, and I think the basic sentiment of the review was that the show did not really reflect the harsh reality of life there. I actually have no issue with that. My issue was the lack of "detection". The "cases" were all pathetically easy. It was more style than substance.
The author, Alexander McCall Smith, is an expert in both law and medicine, he could have included so much more. He is now resident in Edinburgh, home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes would be turning in his grave.