Very likable characters with good back-stories. My only problem, now that I have read 4 or 5 from the series, is that the culpret sometimes seems pulled from the magician's hat. Even if I can't solve the mystery before the last page, I like to be able to look back and trace the clues I missed. This author pulls out murderers who have never even been alluded to previously. Still I continue to read the series because I do like the characters.