Going into X, I had already A through P in the Kinsey Millhone series before I burned out. The premise of X and the knowledge this series would soon end brought me back for a trial period, and I worried at first I might be lost. After a few pages, I returned easily to Santa Teresa as though I'd never left. Maybe I need a refresher on some names referenced, but otherwise I had no trouble.
That said, the book's summary calls X Grafton's darkest and most chilling novel yet in the series. I'm not sure about it. There's no lack of suspense, but it comes slowly and gradually and is interrupted by other things Kinsey has going on at the moment. In this adventure she has no real paying clients and has taken on various tasks:
The suspicious next-door neighbors running a long con on dear Henry Pitts.
The deception of a spurned ex-wife who uses Kinsey for her own gain.
Taking on unfinished business from a dead detective acquaintance.
These threads braid into the story and as I read through to the end I figured out much of the conclusion. No surprises for me, but that doesn't necessarily make X a bad story. I get the impression we might revisit some of this in Y and/or Z, but X reads like things are winding down for the series. If you've enjoyed the series, you might like this one.
ARC from Netgalley