Second Grave on the Left

 Charley Davidson, Private Investigator and the only Grim Reaper this side of Mars.

When I started this book, it was with every intention of writing the review before moving on to the next one. The problem is (if it’s actually a problem) is that I adore these books, they are such fun, and I love every last thing about them. Which of course means I couldn’t help myself and tore straight into the next book!  But anyway, here we are now.  This is the second book in the series so if you haven’t yet read First Grave on the Right then do so quickly!

Charley herself is a wonderful character, flaws and all.  Her habit of naming things makes me laugh every damn time.  Danger and Will Robinson (Left and right breasts) are two of her major assets and quite often come up in conversation.  Her inner monologue is hilarious and while this series isn’t intended to be comedy based, Darynda Jones has a natural flair for making Charley extremely funny.  It’s not all laughs, there is a serious side to her as well.  The penchant for people trying to kill her as well as the often poignant duties of her unchosen career as the Grim Reaper.  Most people cross when they die, but those that stay because of unfinished business can see her as a bright beacon from wherever they are and sometimes that can be quite sad.

The side characters are just as good – Cookie, Garret, Uncle Bob – all have a special place in my heart and their involvement is what make the books such a complete read.  Then there is Reyes Farrow.  Hottie extraordinaire and a supernatural being like Charley.  Along with the main case there is usually a side plot running and it’s usually to do with Reyes.  He has a plan that will keep Charley safe, only it means he will die.  She is not on board with that idea at all.  Their interactions leave me breathless… half snarky conversation, half red hot passion.

I loved the plot in this one – A friend of Cookie’s has gone missing and she is frantic to find her.  As the investigation continues it unearths a secret from high school decades ago, that will affect some very powerful people.

I can’t help but make a comparison to Stephanie Plum but Charley Davidson, with her paranormal issues, wins hands down for me!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Darynda Jones
  • Series: Charley Davidson (2)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

First Grave on the Right

 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!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Darynda Jones
  • Series: Charley Davidson (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)