Review: First Grave on the Right – Darynda Jones

Review: First Grave on the Right – Darynda JonesFirst Grave on the Right
by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Genres: Romance
Pages: 310
Source: NetGalley

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne Star

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.

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3 stars icon romance icon

OK, first off, where can I buy those shoes???

Charley Davidson is the grim reaper, which means she sees dead people and helps them “go into the light.”  But since that doesn’t pay anything, she’s also a PI who uses her dead-people skills to help her cop uncle with his cases and also bartends at her ex-cop dad’s bar.  When three lawyers from the same law firm are murdered, Charley’s Uncle Bob calls her in.  Can Charley help solve the case before more people end up dead?  And does it have any connection to the mysterious dream lover who’s been haunting her for the past month?
I liked Charley’s attitude.  She’s hilarious and acts like she doesn’t take anything seriously.  Sometimes her quirks got a bit annoying, but her reactions are explained by her (slowly revealed) back story.  I especially liked the gradual reveal of her history.  As you’re reading, you get hints about why her relationships with her family and most people are antagonistic, but it’s not until near the end of the book that you get the full story and start understanding how strong and resilient Charley is.
Now, for the negatives.  There was definitely a hint of the “I’m so hot, everyone wants me!” trope, which I personally can’t stand, but it was not egregious enough to stop me from reading.  I also have reservations about the main love interest, since it felt like a lot was revealed about his identity towards the end of the book and not really dealt with, but I’m hoping that is explored further in the next book.  Also, the plot is… well, it’s a bit of a mess.  It flips back and forth between investigating the murder of the three lawyers and figuring out the identity of her dream lover with a speed that gave me whiplash.
Overall, I had a good time reading this book, mostly thanks to Charley’s humor.  It’s a light, fun read, basically book candy.  I’d recommend this to anyone looking for an urban fantasy/paranormal romance mash-up with lots of sarcasm and humor.
Three man-I-want-a-cup-of-coffee-now stars.
First Grave on the Right is the first in the Charley Davidson series, and is out now!  Additionally, there are 11 other books in the series, with another coming in 2018, so if you like it, you can add a ton of books to your TBR pile!

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