Genres: Favorite, Paranormal, Rom-Com
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Charley sees dead people. That's right, she sees dead people. 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 (i.e., 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.
First Grave on the Right is the first book in one of my absolutely favorite series by Darynda Jones. The Charley Davidson series follows the indomitable PI, Charley, through her adventures as the Grim Reaper and plethora of issues that come with learning how to be the Grim Reaper when you really have no idea what the hell you’re doing. Charley is a character with sass, spunk, and spirit (say that three times fast) with attitude to spare. And God help you if you get in her way of coffee. There will be hell to pay. Literally.
“This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual. Or a diagram of some kind. A flowchart would have been nice.”
In Charley’s first adventure, three lawyers have been murdered and it’s up to her, along with her Uncle Bob who works for the Albuquerque Police Department, and Garret Swopes, a skip tracer, to figure out whodunnit. Along with Angel, her 13 year old departed gangbanger as her informant and Cookie, her best friend/neighbor/receptionist at her PI agency, she sets out to help the departed to avenge their deaths. But she’s got other problems when a sexy and mysterious stranger is haunting her dreams who may be connected to her past in more ways than she can ever imagine. The dark and dangerous Reyes Alexander Farrow will keep you guessing til the very end and hoping that you can find someone as yummy in real life, *shiver*.
“My fore-parts, as you so ineloquently put it, have names.”
I pointed to my right breast. “This is Danger.” Then my left. “And this is Will Robinson. I would appreciate it if you addressed them accordingly.”
After a long pause in which he took the time to blink several times, he asked, “You named your breasts?”
I turned my back to him with a shrug. “I named my ovaries, too, but they don’t get out as much.”
What she discovers in this book and throughout the series will set her on a path that puts the fate of the world in her hands and the characters she meets along the way will have integral parts in her story. With equal parts paranormal, comedy, and romance, the series has become one that I can easily reread when I need a pick me up and the audio books are a favorite of mine as well. Narrated by the amazingly talented Lorelei King, the characters come to life in a new way and I’ve find myself listening to the series quite a few times, and laughing out loud over Charley’s antics all over again.
“A sheriff arrested me. I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure my men-in-uniform fetish began that day. The sheriff was hot. And he handcuffed me. I’ve never been the same.”
I have to say, Darynda Jones is a phenomenal storyteller and my world would not be the same without these characters in it. Her chapter openings of funny sayings and memes give that perfect touch of comedy that plays throughout the book. Charley is a character that is hard to forget and every time I open up a book, it is like greeting an old friend. Darynda is not afraid to put her characters through hell (sometimes literally) and I love her descriptions. From the food she eats (I’ve never had huevos rancheros but I really want to try it), to describing Charley’s apartment as being the size of a Cheez-It, to letting a ghost girl brush Charley’s hair with a toilet brush (unknowingly), Darynda has a writing style all her own. I always look forward to reading about what Charley has gotten herself into and while I am dying for the final book, it will be very bittersweet.
“I have three words for you,” EMT Guy said. “Possible internal bleeding.”
I turned back to him. “Don’t you think if I was bleeding internally, I’d know somewhere deep inside? Like, internally?”