First Grave On The Right by Darynda Jones

October 18, 2017 Book Review 0 ★★★½

First Grave On The Right by Darynda Jonesthree-half-stars
First Grave On The Right Series: Charley Davidson #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on February 1, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 320
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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?

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.


By SpiceI’m sitting here not quite sure what to say about First Grave On The Right. Did I like it? Why yes, yes I did. It was funny and witty, and interesting. But…sometimes, well most of the time actually,  it was just too freaking much.

Charlie is one of those characters I absolutely, positively should have loved. And I did like her a lot. She was fearless when it came to doing what needed to be done. She didn’t think things through at times, but her heart was usually in the right place. Unfortunately, she had the attention span of a gnat and was constantly cracking one-liners either verbally or in her head. At first, it was funny, then it was annoying which quickly turned into overkill.

What didn’t make sense to me the most about Charlie (and I say “the most” because that girl was a mess) was her job as the Grim Reaper. She was the gateway to the other side. Most people pass through quickly, but some stick around for reasons of their own and she has to help them finish their business and head on out to the hereafter. Sounds cool huh? And it is. But there is only one of her in the entire world. Do you know how many people die each day and this chick is the only gateway to the other side? She wouldn’t have time to eat her Wheaties to keep her strength up much less come up with all her one-liners. And that’s even before you consider how many of us have unfinished business. It was like the black hole of plot holes for me.

Reyes was the main love interest. I’m not going to say hero, because well, he only said one word throughout most of the book and he wasn’t quite…solid. He just glowered, grunted, and acted all mysterious and badass. Oh, and he made Charlie horny as all get-out every time he popped into a room. We got clues here and there and eventually an info dump as to who and what he was, well kind of. Actually, now that I think about it, he was just as much a mess as she was.

Aside from Reyes and his issues, there was what was supposed to be the main mystery: who killed three lawyers and why (except it was constantly put on the back burner for the whole Reyes things because ghostly orgasms are more important than solving who killed some lawyers). The book kept jumping back, forth and all around which issue Charlie was working on, making it hard to keep up what was going on. I was up for the task, but it annoyed the crap out of me.

The characters were interesting and I actually liked most of them. I did think Charlie was too forgiving of her stepmother’s behavior and I thought her Dad was a POS for allowing the evil witch to act like she did toward his daughter. Her Uncle Bob was my favorite, and I liked Cookie too.

I know it sounds as if I didn’t enjoy the book, but I did. Even though the jokes and snark were way overdone and came off as trying too hard, a lot of them were funny and had me cracking a smile. Huge plot holes aside, I loved the idea of this story. I did my best to put my blinders on and just settle in for the ride and ended up having fun with it. I’ve heard the books get better and better as they go along, so I do plan on snagging the next one at some point and seeing where this goes.

Rating: 3.5 Holy Snark Overload, Batman! Stars


About Spice

Sugar and Spice and everything nice, but make her mad and she'll pull out her bad...

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