This isn’t a recent book, and it’s already very well-known, but I’m recommending it anyway because I LOVE IT SO MUCH. And sometimes a well known, classic standby is what you need for a spring storm kind of night.
Precious Ramotswe is one of the most engaging, charming, and lovely characters I’ve ever read. She’s a “traditionally-sized” Botswanan woman who decides to open up her own detective agency, and each of her sleuthy cases is told with such grace, care, and beauty that you’ll walk away feeling sublimely happy and enriched. You’ll learn something about the culture and landscape of Botswana, as well as be swept up in a story that really can only be summed up as “perfectly charming.”
There’s a whole series of these books, and they’re all five-star for me. Mma Ramotswe (and by extension, McCall Smith) is plain-spoken and straightforward, and approaches life with a level head and a keen eye for human nature. They’re such feel-good books! They even made a television show if you want to compare the two mediums.