Bertie Plays the Blues by Alexander McCall Smith

In this book poor wee Bertie makes a break for freedom by putting himself up for adoption on eBay and when that doesn’t work he tries to get to Glasgow to find an adoption agency. Bertie has always wanted to live in Glasgow, unknown to him his father, Stuart has the very same ambition. Poor Bertie has another psychologist and Irene, Bertie’s horrendous mother, is busy psychoanalysing the analyst. Of course it’s Irene who is most in need of being analysed.

Matthew and Elspeth have become shell-shocked parents of triplets, entirely naturally and they aren’t coping too well with it all. This actually isn’t too far fetched because I do know a couple who had one wee boy and when he was about a year old they decided to have another baby which turned out to be triplets, the upshot being that they had four boys under the age of two. Nightmare! I must admit that I’m beginning to get a wee bit fed up with this gormless pair of millionaires though.

Stuart has joined the Freemasons, much against Irene’s wishes and McCall Smith sings the praises of that secret organisation which apparently is mainly for raising money for charity!!

It so happens that I side completely with Irene on the subject of Freemasons (whodathunkit) which is just corruption dressed up as is every secret society. In fact I can get quite a bee in my bonnet about the whole thing because a big part of the reason why the world is in the state that it is is because people get jobs by their ‘connections’ rather than on merit. It leads to people being in top positions who are completely clueless about what they’re meant to be doing. Like all those so-called bankers who messed up everything and didn’t have any banking qualifications at all. Honestly where is the point in people going to university to get qualifications if some idiot can come along with a dodgy handshake and shoot to the top? It’s corruption – plain and simple.

Right – I got that off my chest. Otherwise I enjoyed the book and I’m glad that I’ve caught up with the series. I have hopes for Bertie getting a life of his own – when he’s about 40.

9 thoughts on “Bertie Plays the Blues by Alexander McCall Smith

  1. Oh, poor Bertie! I read the first in this series and all the characters made me crazy – I just couldn’t read another one.
    Interesting note about the Freemasons. I agree about the connections over merit argument. This even happens at the library I work for. There have been several administrators hired because of who they knew and not because of their skills. It’s made people very resentful.

    • Anbolyn,

      Oh! I think the characters are all very Edinburgh – I wonder what you would think of the place!
      How horrible for you all, obviously it makes people resentful. I often wonder how people can take a job which they know they wouldn’t have if they didn’t know the right people, but then I suppose they don’t care – as long as things are fine and dandy for them. It happened once in the library I worked in and the person was completely unsuitable with no qualifications at all. What she did have was terrible BO and in the heat of the library it was absolutely hellish for the rest of us!!

      • Ewww! At least the unmerited people in my library smell okay! And I think I would find Edinburgh fascinating – I find the Edinburgh of Ian Rankin’s books to be brooding and dark – is it that way at all?

        • Anbolyn,
          I really only know the old bits of Edinburgh, a bit like a tourist I suppose as I come from Glasgow originally. The old town is quite spooky I think with all those narrow, steep stone stairways which I wouldn’t use on my own, even during the day, and very high old buildings. I would definitely call it brooding, I don’t think you would be disappointed! I think Rankin portrays Edinburgh really well.

  2. Oh boy, I;m looking forward to this one! Poor Bertie! I’ve just read another Isobel Dalhousie book – The Charming Quirks of Others. I don’t think Isobel will be nearly as bad with Charlie as Irene is with Bertie, but I don’t think he’ll have his troubles to seek!
    Just to raise money for charity? LMAO!

    • Evee,
      I’m going to have to start the Dalhousie ones from the beginning, I think the one I read was from the middle of the series – never a good idea.

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