This is the fourth in a series and I have read them all, more or less in order. I read #3 first and then went back to catch up. The stories build off of each other, the characters develop, and key events from prior novels are mentioned so it is best to read them in order to avoid spoilers and get the full enjoyment.
I am a huge fan of this series and I recommend it highly to people who enjoy light mysteries with a good bit of humor mixed in. I also really enjoy these characters and the archaeological focus to the mysteries.
This was my least favorite of the series because it got away from my favorite aspects. Rather than archaeology this book deals with anthropology and history and even these elements, which I would have found to be very interesting, are not really driving the story. While there is a "room full of bones," the real mystery deals with drug trafficking, with the trademark elements of this series serving as window dressing. It also did not help that the characters Ruth (and Kate), Cathbad, and Nelson played very minor roles in this installment and didn't assist in solving any of the crimes/mysteries involved.
I still love the way Ms. Griffiths writes and am a staunch fan of the series, but this one disappointed me.