I'm not a fan of slapstick comedy, and the Hal Spacejock books are mostly that, but the books are well written & the characters well rounded, and it seems to work. I might not laugh out loud very often, but they are smile-your-way-through books for sure. This is just as good a read as the other books in the series, not sure if it would be good as a stand-alone read because I already know the background of Hal & Clunk's lives. Even though it is slapstick, the plots are well-thought out - in fact the plots hold together better than many 'serious' SF books.
No Free Lunch introduces a new character that I hope stays with the team, she fits in well & we have a bit of love-interest for Hal. This story gives a bit of adventure, some thriller-murder-mystery-investigation and, of course, Hal being the hero & saving the day. Good stuff for a more relaxing evening read.