Book Review: Darynda Jones’ First Grave on the Right

August 27, 2013 4 out of 5, review 0 ★★★★

Book Review: Darynda Jones’ First Grave on the RightTitle: First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Rating: four-stars
My Copy: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: 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.

I feel that I owe you a reason as to why I decided to read Darynda Jones’ First Grave on the Right. I attended a local book festival and she was on a panel. She was so much fun and I felt bad I hadn’t read her books and afterwards when I went to have a few books signed for a blog giveaway we talked. I had her sign First Grave and promised I’d read it and did. Initially I wasn’t going to write a review because the book has been out for a while, but Octavia from Read Sleep Repeat wanted a review and here goes.

Charley Davidson has a secret and one that’s helped solve some of Albuquerque’s most difficult cases. She’s a grim reaper and as one can see and talk to the dead. No one knows her secret except those closest to her and when she’s called to assist her uncle in a solving the murder of three lawyers from the same law firm, Charley steps up the challenge. Unfortunately nothing is easy as it seems and while Charley puts things into motion to help these three cross to other side, she’s being followed by an entity. What is it? And most importantly, what do the erotic dreams she’s been having signify? To complicate matters, a person Charley knew from her past reappears and time is of the essence to save his life.

Okay let me take a moment and fangirl over Reyes! I can see the appeal of him after reading First Grave. I remember at the question & answer panel with Jones a lot of the questions were about Reyes and I can now see why. He’s super sexy and argh lucky Charley! What I wasn’t expecting was the big reveal as to who he is. Wow! I know it can be bit clichéd as to who he really is and why he’s separated from his father, but I have faith Jones will set up a unique storyline regarding his past.

The writing is engaging and even though it’s told via first person narrative, that being Charley’s, I don’t feel the story lacked anything. I actually liked that it was written this way because we get to experience exactly what Charley does on a day to day basis. It’s not easy being a grim reaper and we learn what Charley has had to endure. People assume she’s eccentric and some even look down on her. Others quickly change their tune when they need something and despite wanting to turn her back on them, she doesn’t. I also liked that Charley was strong and stood up for herself.

The only complaint I have is regarding the location it’s set: Albuquerque. It’s difficult to distance yourself from reading a book that takes place in the same city you currently live. Every time Jones mentioned a street or a location I was mentally mapping it! That being said, it was also fun because I didn’t have to really imagine a place because I already know what it looks like! From now on as I drive around town or a go to a place I’ll imagine Charley and hope I run into Reyes. 😉

Memorable quotes:

“Still, this whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual. Or a diagram of some kind. A flowchart would have been nice.”

“You rented the apartment with a dead guy in the corner?” I shrugged. “I wanted the apartment, and I figured I could cover him up with a bookcase or something.”

Overall, I had loads of fun reading First Grave on the Right. Even if you’re not a fan of paranormal romances, I highly recommended Darynda Jones’ First Grave on the Right. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series and of course getting to know more about sexy Reyes.

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