I'm not sure how to rate this book. It falls somewhere between two and three stars, but I went ahead and rounded up.
This is the first book by Charlaine Harris I've read, so I can't comment on how it compares to her earlier books. Honestly, had it not had the name recognition of a "famous" author, I probably would've DNFed it. The prologue was very strange and written in some weird form of present tense, which is not my preferred tense. Luckily, the rest of the book reverts to past tense.
I guess this is supposed to be a mystery. I don't have a lot of experience reading in the genre, but the ending/mystery resolution seemed really, really contrived. Like, ridiculously. It practically ruined the rest of the book.
The town characters seem interesting enough, which is good, because the whole book is about them. I have no idea what any future books will be about, though.