Series: Charley Davidson #1
Author: Darynda Jones
Pages: 310 (Hardcover)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Purchase: Amazon•TBD (affiliate link)
This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flow chart would have been nice.
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?
First Grave on the Right was a lot of fun! Charley Davidson is a PI, bartender, and the grim reaper. Yep, she’s a busy woman. When the book starts she’s in the middle of mind-blowing dream sex when a ghost pops in for a visit and her uncle calls her about a case. Needless to say, she’s not happy about any of this. But Charley has a job to do. Three lawyers were just murdered while their innocent client is sitting in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. On top of that, Charley needs to figure out who she’s having dream sex with and why.
Let’s start with the mystery portion of First Grave on the Right. It was interesting and engaging, but it did kind of fizzle toward the end. There’s no AH HA moment and the big show down was not so big. But I was invested from beginning to end. I tend to be fascinated by innocent people being convicted for crimes they didn’t commit. Clearly our justice system is quite broken. I had to know what really happened! The crime does wind up being a bit over-the-top and not quite fitting into the tone of the book, but it all worked out in the end.
As for the characters, I quite enjoyed everybody! Charley is snarky as heck, and you don’t want to mess with her while she’s uncaffeinated! She’s just so sick of having to prove her ability to see and speak with the dead, and having them show up at the most inopportune moments. But she’s always there to help. She acts mean, but she’s a softy! Her BBF Cookie is amazing! Her unbelieving coworker, Swopes, also stole my heart a little bit. He obviously has a thing for her and doesn’t quite know how to handle it. Even the ghosts had a lot of personality! Even silent Mr. Wong…
Then there’s Reyes, Charley’s dream partner. I love this idea of this super beautiful man visiting her in her dreams and rocking her world. There’s more to it than that, as Charley discovers as she’s working her case. She’s met him once before, but why is he popping back into her life now? I can’t say too much about him, because spoilers. But I am certainly eager to learn more about him and see how this relationship can possibly develop.
Obviously, I liked First Grave on the Right a lot. It’s not the most original set up or plot, but the characters really made it feel fresh and fun.