Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Joneson August 24th, 2012
Title: First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Pub Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Charley Davidson #1
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Private investigator Charlotte Davidson was born with three things: looks; a healthy respect for the male anatomy; and the rather odd job title of grim reaper. Since the age of five, she has been helping the departed solve the mysteries of their deaths so they can cross over. Thus, when three lawyers from the same law firm are murdered, they come to her to find their killer.
In the meantime, Charley’s dealing with a being more powerful – and definitely sexier – than any spectre she’s ever come across before. With the help of a pain-in-the-ass skip tracer, a dead pubescent gangbanger named Angel, and a lifetime supply of sarcasm, Charley sets out to solve the highest profile case of the year and discovers that dodging bullets isn’t nearly as dangerous as falling in love.
I heard so much about how great this series was and knew I needed to read it. So when I had a chance to read First Grave on the Right for a read-along, I jumped on it. Now I’m totally hooked on the series! Great characters, interesting storyline, and lots of laughs – can’t go wrong with that.
There are a lot of notable characters in this book. Of course I have to mention Charley Davidson, a sarcastic, tough, and caring private investigator. Oh yeah, and she’s a grim reaper. The dearly departed flock to her, sometimes at the most inconvenient moments, but she always helps them. I love her attitude – hard on the outside, soft on the inside. Then there is Cookie, Charley’s neighbor/assistant/best friend. The two of them together are quite a pair – think Lucy and Ethel after drinking a lot of coffee. Charley has a pretty good support system – living and dead – even if they don’t know the extent of what she actually does. And just have to say that I love Mr. Wong!
There is one character that I haven’t mentioned yet. Reyes. I heard a lot about this man from a lot of people who were staking claim on him, so I was dying to find out what all the hoopla was about. I’m not going to giving any details away regarding what he is, but it’s very apparent from the beginning of the book that he and Charley have some kind of connection. A hot and steamy connection. I’m just going to say it… I wasn’t that swooned by Reyes. Sure, he’s smokin’ hot, mysterious, and can make Charley’s toes curl, but I need more than that. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get Charley’s attraction to him, but I really didn’t get much from him. I’m sure more of his personality and what exactly he wants will come out in the next book, though.
Something I really liked about First Grave were the ghosts that Charley helped throughout the book, that had nothing to do with the investigation she was working on. I think the author did a great job at showing how much the ghosts are part of Charley’s life, and that she has to deal with them in all sorts of circumstances. Some were funny, some were sad, and some were not what they seemed.
Overall, I loved First Grave on the Right. I’m really looking forward to reading the second book as soon as I can. I definitely recommend this book if you like to laugh. Who doesn’t like to laugh?!