Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #2
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: August 16th 2011
When Charley and Cookie (her best friend/receptionist) have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Cookie's friend Mimi disappeared five days earlier. Mimi then sends Cookie a cryptic message telling Cookie to meet her at an nearby coffee shop. The coffee is brewing, but Mimi's still missing. There is, however, a clue Mimi left on the bathroom wall: a woman's name. Mimi's husband explains to them that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old high school friend had been murdered. The same woman whose name Mimi had scribbled on the bathroom wall.
Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He's left his body because he's being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can't let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they'll have a portal to heaven...well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty.
I read First Grave on the Right over a year ago during a read-along and was immediately hooked. Unfortunately it took me way too long to finally read Second Grave on the Left. I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner, because it is even better than the first book.
I’m the type who can get bored fairly easy, but this book kept me focused and entertained from beginning to end. A big reason for that is because there is more than one storyline happening throughout the book. There is the big overall storyline that involves Charley and Reyes, which spans over several books. Then there is the main private investigator case that Charley works on, which is contained in each specific book. And while all of that is going on, she deals with her grim reaper duties. It sounds like a lot, but Darynda does an excellent job of balancing it all out and bringing everything together.
I knew Charley was funny, but I had forgotten just how funny she was! I do not recommend eating or drinking while read this book. At one point, a lemon drop –the candy, not the alcohol infused drink- came flying out of my mouth due to the sudden onset of laughter. She may be funny with a heart of gold, but she is stubborn as hell. I love that she doesn’t back down, not even from Reyes. While I wasn’t gaga over Reyes in the first book, he definitely went up a few notches in this one. We discover exactly who and what he is in more depth, and it’s a biggie. I don’t mean that in a dirty way. Even though I’m sure it is true in a dirty way. 😉
Of course there are a plethora of great secondary characters as well. Seriously, everyone from Uncle Bob to the fry cook at the café (I wonder if Charley ever went back and got her food to go). Even the ghost from the trunk – haha. I was happy to see Cookie more involved in this book, because when she and Charley are together, there is no shortage of pure entertainment. Swopes is another character I enjoyed a lot more in this book. His and Charley’s relationship is a funny one, so I’m looking forward to seeing more of them. There are just too many to name, even though I want to go through and list them all and why I loved them.
Second Grave to the Left was by all means a kick-ass follow-up to the first book. I plan to read the rest of the series – well, what’s available – by the end of this year. I can’t recommend this series enough!