I had only read the first book in this series before picking this one up as it was our book club pick. I recognized many of the town's characters from Still Life but I think this (#12 in the series) could easily be read as a stand-alone. Louise Penny has a reputation for writing well-thought out award-winning mysteries, and this one is another example of clever plot, quirky characters, sinister villains with several potential murderers, innocence vs. evil, friendships and families. At the beginning I wasn't sure I really liked this novel, but found myself frequently picking it up to read "just one more chapter." What more encouragement do you need? This was a satisfying and ultimately emotionally powerful novel.