Donna Andrews' Meg Langslow series features a stong woman main character (Meg) with a hunkie and competant boyfriend (Michael) and an impressively zany family.
The books all take place in various parts of fairly rural Virginia.
One of the coolest things about the series is each book focuses on a particular topic, and the murder takes place in that context. Dick Francis is the author who has always done this best, but Andrews is running a close second.
Murder with Peacocks addresses the topics of wedding planning and dressmaking, with a bit of poisonous landscaping thrown in.
Murder with Puffins looks into artists, birdwatching and living in a small tourist town.
Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos looks at planning an conducting historic recreations and being a vendor at various craft and event fairs.
Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon (our title) looks at dot com startups, therapists, and computer and fantasy role playing games.
We'll Always Have Parrots investigates media (like Star Trek) conventions, the reality of acting in a popular low-budget television show, and goes a bit into intellectualy property rights and law.
Owl's Well That Ends Well looks at purchasing and renovating a money pit, and hosting a large garage/yard sale.
No Nest for the Wicket brings out Extreme Cricket (and by corollary other Extreme Sports) and Morris Dancing.
The Penguin Who Knew Too Much looks at small zoos and animal welfare, and dabbles into the difficulties of eloping, and DNA tests.
Cockatiels at Seven discusses animal breeding for sale, dog dancing, and smuggling.
Six Geese a-Slaying looks into parade planning.
All of the books are funny and entertaining. The mysteries are excellent. They're super "cozy mysteries" that are more serious than some of the coziest, but never actually get to "tense" in attitude.
I laughed a lot reading all these books, but read avidly to the last page to get the answers. They're a great way to relax and enjoy with no stress at all!