REVIEW by Jena: First Grave On The Right by Darynda Jones (@Darynda)

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

 

 

Just finished First Grave on the Right and I all I can say is I am hooked!  Ok, that’s not ALL I can say…

 

Charley Davidson is one of the funnier characters I have read recently.  She’s sarcastic and has a tendency to end sentences with either something snarky and inappropriate or a funny-in-the-obvious-way quip.  This is the first urban fantasy/paranormal romance since the Kate Daniels series that successfully kept me laughing all the way through while also pulling me through the full spectrum of emotions. 

 

The picture I had in my mind of what this book was going to be was actually much different than what it turned out to be.  From the synopsis and the bazillion reviews I have read of this book, I knew Charley was a Grim Reaper.  However, I found that she isn’t exactly what you would picture for the traditional Grim Reaper.  No hood and scythe.  She’s not roaming around the underworld chasing down lost souls.  It’s nothing like that.  Although the book does have some heavy content, the humor keeps the whole thing light.  For the most part, anyway.

 

There are a few darker moments in this book.  There are some memories that will bring you up short and make you all teary eyed.  Charley’s “talents” haven’t always brought on a welcome reception and there are a couple of memories she recounts that really are a little heartbreaking to witness.  It really makes you understand how she became who she is and why she makes the choices she does in life. 

 

First Grave on the Right also has some great supporting cast.  Cookie, the woman that works with Charley at her office, is HILARIOUS.  Charley’s Uncle is gruff but also a super sweet man who absolutely ADORES Charley.  Swopes…..I don’t know how I feel about Swopes yet.  I’ll have to get back to you on that one after I read the 2nd book.

 

And then there’s Reyes.  Oh my…..  I will try to explain this better than I explained it to a friend of mine.  Everyone knows how much I love the character of Jericho Barrons.  As far as literary leading men go, he is so the top dog in my eyes.  I put Curran Lennart from the Kate Daniels Series and Bones from the Night Huntress series battling it out at #2.  Reyes is following super-close behind in 3rd place.  Yes.  Yes, he really is THAT awesome.  But I can’t tell you WHY because that would be giving away a plot twist that I sooooooooooooooooooooo did not see coming.  And once that little bomb drops on you, Charley’s life story becomes MUCH deeper and has MUCH more meaning behind it.  It’s a good one.  You’ll love it. 

 

Being urban fantasy/paranormal romance, there is some sex.  As good as the sex scenes were, this book has one of the hottest non-sex scenes I have ever read.  Seriously.  For people that never even come CLOSE to boning, that scene was filled with an insane amount of tension!!!  Amazingly written.  Never thought that two people NOT having sex could be so hot.

 

Overall, I am giving First Grave on the Right 4.5 stars!  A highly entertaining read with a good mix of mystery and romance. 

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go start Second Grave on the Left.  Wink wink

FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT
Charley Davidson #1

Click to read Heather’s review!
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SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT
Charley Davidson #2

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THIRD GRAVE DEAD AHEAD
Charley Davidson #3

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FOURTH GRAVE BENEATH MY FEET
Charley Davidson #4

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