With the exception of one book, this has always been a strong series; it started off a bit slapstick, as the MC, Mattie, had one Stephanie Plum-like disaster after another, but this was quickly tamped down and the humor became much more subtle.
I started off impatient with Dead Calm because there was an obscene amount of info dumping going on at the start, far more than usual. I was just about getting fed up when I remembered that the last book left off in the midst of a larger murder mystery (not a cliff hanger though) and this was the author's way of picking that story up and continuing with it, while also introducing new murders to be solved in parallel.
Once I got past all that, it was great; the murder mystery confined to this book was excellent and boy, I did not see that end coming. The larger story arc was wrapped up beautifully too; nobody trying to be heroes and unrealistically saving the day, but justice prevails nonetheless; I like that Mattie and Hurley recognised that the case was bigger than their capabilities, and I thought their solution clever and realistic. A smaller sub-plot, concerning an alien skeleton found on property Mattie and Hurley are trying to build on, started off silly but the solution was heartbreaking and touching.
This is just a good book (aside from the info dumping; it was necessary, but annoying). I enjoy reading a mystery that involves true investigation, collecting the evidence and putting things together to build toward a solution. I hope Ryan can keep it going.