First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flowchart would have been nice.
Charley Davison 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 Sentence: I’d been having the same dream for the past month – the one where a dark stranger materialized out of smoke and shadows to play doctor with me.
The first time I ever tried out one of Darynda Jones’ book was her young adult novel, Death and the Girl Next Door. I absolutely hated it for several reasons. However, I heard that Darynda Jones’ adult series, Charley Davidson, was so much better than Death and the Girl Next Door, and trusting my bookish instincts, I decided to give the first book in the series, First Grave on the Right, a try and I’m so glad I did.
I absolutely, 110% love Charley Davidson. I seriously love that girl. I was reading in class (yes, yes, I know, that’s bad) and she literally had me bursting out laughing in the middle of the lesson. Yes, the teacher turned around to glare at me in disgust and all heads swirled around towards my direction to see what was so funny, but seriously, Charley Davidson is the master of sarcasm and comebacks. I was laughing at least ten times during the book, and it’s no easy feat to make me laugh when I read. Charley lighted the whole book up.
I don’t know how I feel about Reyes exactly. When Charley first meets him, he was downright harassing her, for a good reason, but still. However, many things then started changing which just leaves me there, not able to decide whether I actually like him or don’t like him. I’ll like to argue that the only good thing about Reyes is that he’s beyond hot, but there is also another appeal – Reyes is violent – but only when he needs to protect Charley’s life. Maybe I’ll learn more about him in the next book and then I’ll make a decision of whether I like him or not.
The one character I absolutely hated was Denise, Charley’s step-mother. I understood her position – imagine gaining a step-daughter who claimed that she can see the dead – but the way she treated Charley was absolutely wrong on so many levels. Who slaps a four-year-old in public? Is that even legal? And when Charley was proven that she was indeed right, what did Denise do? That’s right, she took away Charley’s reward. Denise is like one of those people who can never admit that they are wrong. I hope that woman learns a lesson sometime soon, preferably in the next book. She has it coming for her.
Looking back at First Grave on the Right now, I wonder how Darynda Jones managed to drag out the mystery part of the book for so long, without making the entire book draggy and slow. Maybe it was the hot scenes with Reyes. Maybe it was Charley’s terrific humor. Or maybe Darynda Jones just has some major talent.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the second, third, and fourth book in the Charley Davidson series. I want to see more of Charley’s humor, find out if she and Reyes could ever work their weird relationship out, and see if anything could come out of Charley and Garrett.