Darynda Jones is an author I kept meaning to read and I’d had this book for quite a while, waiting to be picked up. Having just finished it I’m kicking myself now. I loved it, loved the main character of Charlotte (Charley) Davidson and her snarky, sarcastic personality, madcap ways and unique gifts. Her best friend and receptionist Cookie is adorable and I loved the way they bounced off each other.
I thought it a nice touch that while being the Grim Reaper is who she is, she is also a PI and often the two go hand in hand. Of course when the client can tell you where the body/treasure/will is, it makes it a damn sight easier. Add in the consultant work for the police and she is a definite asset to her Uncle on the local police force (and her father before that). I thought the misery her gifts had brought her throughout her life were extremely touching and wow do I want to give her step-mother a good smack!
Jones didn’t lay everything out for us at the start, she gave us a few key facts and then we made discoveries along with Charley. Her gifts were fascinating and it felt a little like several concepts were brought together in her but managed to avoid being cliched or full of tropes. I think it was extremely clever writing. The cast of characters are all lively in their own way (even the dead ones) and brought colour and excitement to the story.
The pace of the book was well judged, at times a bit chaotic, but it also meant I was gripped and didn’t want to put it down.
The parts I must touch on because they were very, very good – The mystery of Reyes, the hot dream/ghostly lover is… hot 😉 I wouldn’t mind having a few dreams like that to be honest!
The case of the three dead lawyers (not a joke!) Charley gets involved in is interesting and I loved how the ghosts themselves get involved. It was inventive and funny and the story is quite light hearted in tone which makes the dark parts seem much darker.
While the story does contain some hot scenes, I would consider this to be more Urban Fantasy based than Paranormal Romance but fans of both genres should enjoy First Grave on the Right.
A brilliant first book in this series and I can’t wait to read Second Grave on the Left which I have right here!