This is a good series for taking breaks between other series. Reading it is restful and the characters become like old friends you know. It really is like listening to some good gossip. I don't know if one book alone would be that satisfying but starting from the beginning and working your way through soothes and entertains.
I don't find these books to have a huge narrative momentum--they are not exactly edge-of-the-seaters. The characters seem just a bit wooden, and the dialog isn't compelling or even super realistic.
BUT. There is something so sweet, peaceful, and relaxing about reading this series. You get familiar with the characters, and there are questions left open from one book to the next that keep you interested in what might happen next time. I find I keep reading them from one book to the next, and even look forward to them, and enjoy being in the middle of one. So I guess I'll stick with the series, and recommend it to the group.
Reading the #1 Detective Agency books is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, as I'm not sure if I ought to be reading about a Botswanian woman detective written by a male Scotsman. However, 44 Scotland Street has a lot of the same charm and feels guilt free.
It's fascinating to me that, although this book was written decades ago, the observations and perceptions appear to be very current. The description of the pathologies seem eerily accurate even from the standpoint of today's knowledge.
I've just discovered Lisa Scottoline and she is GOOD. I feel as if she should be more famous. Her plots have some nice surprises, her initial premises are above average interesting, her characters are original, whimsical, realistic, funny. I intend to read all her books!
I love Joanna Trollope! It's so nice to read a book that deals with relationships and situations most people don't write about, or if they do they do it in ways that are broad and stereotypical. Joanna Trollope is always nuanced, always interesting. Daughters-in-law does not disappoint.