Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: Darynda Jones – First Grave on the Right

Charley Davidson Series:
Book 1:
First Grave on the Right: Charley Davidson and Crew

From Goodreads.com
Private investigator Charlotte Davidson was born with three things: looks; a healthy respect for the male anatomy; and the rather odd job title of grim reaper. Since the age of five, she has been helping the departed solve the mysteries of their deaths so they can cross over. Thus, when three lawyers from the same law firm are murdered, they come to her to find their killer.
In the meantime, Charley's dealing with a being more powerful - and definitely sexier - than any specter she's ever come across before. With the help of a pain-in-the-ass skip tracer, a dead pubescent gangbanger named Angel, and a lifetime supply of sarcasm, Charley sets out to solve the highest profile case of the year and discovers that dodging bullets isn't nearly as dangerous as falling in love.
This series has been on my TBR for who knows how long, it was recommended to me by one of my book soul mates Shelly. I knew I should have picked it up sooner, if Shelly recommended it, I am almost guaranteed to love it. And she was right, I did love it!  Charley is such a F’n smart ass and I love it! Darynda Jones writes with sarcasm and wit, it’s almost none stop laughs from the beginning to the end. 
Charley is a small time PI who also helps her uncle who is a cop with some of his cases. It’s so much easier to solve a homicide when you can just ask the ghost who killed them. Sometimes Charley gets lucky and the newly departed can tell her who killed them and sometimes it’s a bit harder and they don’t know so the investigation begins, which is the case with this murder mystery. In this book, Charley is investigating a triple homicide with the dearly departed assisting in their own murders.  As the investigation heats up, it becomes more and more dangerous, and that usually means that Charley almost dies, a lot. LOL But our Charlie is a tough cookie, not much can outright kill her especially when she has a shadow that always protects her from sure death.   Charley is tough as nails, but has a soft caring side which is evident when she deals with her friends.
Charley has always been a trouble magnet, from a very young age she has been attracting near death experiences, but always a specter would appear and protect her.   All her life she was intrigued yet terrified of this specter, even though it always protected her, there is an air of menace surrounding it.  Another intriguing man in Charlie’s life is Reyes. Reyes was a young man when she first met him at about 18. His father was beating the shit out of him when Charlie intervened; she only about 15 at the time, the experience left a lasting impact on her. No man since has left her feeling the same as the near violant experience with the young Reyes.  Now approximately 15 years later she has found Reyes again, only nothing is what it seems with him.  Reyes is so damn sexy and mysterious! Reyes is definitely an alpha male to the core with a strange vulnerability that should not be there, not when you consider who he is. He has a strong protective instinct, yet carries death in his eyes; always an intriguing combination.  He has a less than stellar childhood, only made tolerable through glimpses of Charlie. Now he is an inmate at the state prison, where he has been since he was about 19, and recent events have left him in a coma. Now that Charley has found him again, she knows that she can’t let him die but she only has a week.  Between the triple homicide and Reyes Charlie is a busy girl, but she is never too busy for her friends, some of which are ghosts. 
Through the whole book the laughs never end nor does the excitements from the dangers Charlie navigates. Her life is constantly in peril but she preservers and hopefully gets her guy in the end, both of them. D. Jones navigates a fine line between just enough humor and too much sarcasm. I think she did an excellent job in keeping it in line. I don’t feel like that fine line was crossed to where the humor became too much and you lose some of the story because of it. I felt like it only enhanced the story. Charley as a character is fun and very easy to love. I don’t think there are too many that wouldn’t enjoy these books. Even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of paranormal, but you like to laugh I really think you would still enjoy this book and even the series. There is an element of mystery on top of the paranormal and humor, so this book has a little bit of something for everyone. So run out now and buy the first book! You won’t be disappointed. I devoured this series (At least what is already out) in a matter of a couple of days!
Amanda P ratings 5 moons
Amanda P signature 2


  1. I've had this book sitting on my TBR shelf forever! Maybe eventually I'll get to it. Great review :)

  2. Oooo this is one I keep meaning to pick up! The characters sound fantastic and I love the ones where they've been separated for years and finally run into each other again. Thanks for the review and reminder :)