Wow, lots of questions. I had to re-order this particular book so, needless to say, it is one of my favorites. Charlotte MacLeod is in a class by herself. If you have never read her books, pick any book from Peter Shandy, Sarah Kelling or the Grub and Stakers. I would suggest, however, that you start with the first book in the Sarah Kelling series simply because there are a lot of relatives and it can get confusing. I believe "Family Vault" is the first. As to this particular book, a recycling center is set up to help less fortunates earn a small wage by collecting empties and turning them into the center which also supplies food and a place to come in out of the cold. I had to indicate that there is some violence because since this is a murder mystery someone had to die. These are cozy mysteries and do not contain graphic anything. Charlotte's books due contain a lot of giggles and enjoyment.
The kelling-bittersohn series is probably the most popular of the four written by MacLeod....deservedly so. She is a fine writer and these tales, mostly centering on the Kelling branch, give her many opportunities to combine her skill at gentle satire with a good deal of human interest and an interesting "feature" story. For regular readers, need only to offer reassurance that this is one you will want to read. To the new reader, I would only say, that if you are open to mysteries without juvenile sex-play (of people in all age groups) or grisly violence, this (and others) by MacLeod might well start you on the road to being an admirer and consumer of her many books.
I read this story many years ago and loved it! I'm so glad to see it available on Kindle. The series is amusing and has interesting plot devices. The heroine is a young widow with a large and interesting extended family. While there is money in the family, her branch has none of it. Many of the books include sub-plots of her courting by a antiques detective who rents a room in her boarding house and they help each other in their sleuthing. This doesn't do justice to the book, you should really read it yourself.
I very much enjoy Charlotte MacLeod books--I revisited the first in this series, "The Family Vault" and just had to reread others, and in some cases, read for the first time. Nothing heavy here, just lightweight, funny characters and great summer reads.