I can't help but love the No. 1 Ladies' Detective series by Alexander McCall-Smith. Years ago a friend recommended the books and I was only slightly interested, but I picked one up at the library anyway. I fell instantly in love, just as she predicted. There is just something about Precious Ramotswe, chief detective. She is comforting, sensible, witty, smart, and profound.
The stories themselves all center at a primary level on Mma Ramotswe as she seeks to solve small cases at her detective agency, but the real focus of each novel is the larger theme of life in Botswana, the loss of traditions, and human relationships.
All the regular characters are back in this ninth novel in the series. As always, McCall-Smith takes his time telling the story, in no rush to push his characters through their lives. If you haven't yet read this series and need something gentle but not fluffy, I highly recommend starting with Book 1 and reading your way through.