Friday, November 9, 2018

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right is the smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper.

Charley sees dead people. That's right, she sees dead people. 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 (i.e., 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.

This is a thrilling debut novel from Darynda Jones, an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

First Grave on the Right is the winner of the 2012 Rita Award for Best First Book.

Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

5 Grim Reaper Stars

I'm not one to compare a series against another, but for the sake of helping readers decide if they would enjoy the series... Charley Davidson is reminiscent of Stephanie Plum with a paranormal twist.

Charley has 3.7 jobs, and she never gets enough time to live life, let alone get a moment's peace to take a shower. When she does manage to get a few winks, they're interrupted by the best sex she's ever had – in her dreams.

Charley sees dead people.

The brightest of beacons, Charley is the grim reaper. One foot on two different planes, ghosts come to Charley to cross over. However, being a private investigator from a cop family, she ends up solving their deaths or passing on their final messages to loved ones.

The ghosts can be inconvenient, popping up at the worst of times, but also several are a large help in her professions. This installment's mystery revolves around three dead lawyers to a man who was falsely incarcerated for murder.

Crime sleuthing aside, the real mystery surrounds Charley's nocturnal visitor and The Big Bad, for both Charley herself and the reader. The driving force is to solve the mysteries of Charley's past with a boy named Reyes.

The ghosts add comedic relief to the heavier emotions Charley experiences when dealing in death – instead of over-the-top antics, the humor is more dry wit, sarcasm, and puns. The emotions felt real, making the characters resonate with me, especially Charley's dynamic within her family. The steam of the novel was more paranormal in nature, giving it an extra thrilling twist. The romance and connection are a lifetime in the making.

This is my second go-around reading First Grave on the Right, reading it years ago, and I appreciated it more this time around. I look forward to starting the second installment in the series as a treat to myself.

Recommended to those who enjoy humorous, mystery/suspense sleuthing, with a paranormal twist. I could see how the series could be a binge-worthy addiction.

In a genre full of vampires and werewolves, a series about the grim reaper is a wonderful breath of fresh air. I enjoyed the balance of original and complex world building alongside a relatively simple police/PI procedural.

The concept for this series reminds me of Amazon’s Lucifer (although the books came out four years before the show). I love the slightly Biblical, slightly fanciful set up for the story and I love the quirky humour gently mixed into the drama and action. I like that the author introduces a whole alternate reality in this story while also allowing readers the satisfaction of following a single PI case to its resolution.

The actual investigation is a relatively gentle case – think Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden mysteries – but it is good fun and a great introduction to characters I expect to see more of in later books.

I found it impossible not to love Charley. Full of attitude, her sass and sarcasm sometimes dip toward bitchy and nasty – but she’s always funny. I’m seven years late to this series but Charley reminds me of some of my favourite UF heroines – Sookie, Mercy, Merit, Anita... Charley is another woman trying to get a grip on her supernatural abilities while working in a male dominated industry. I enjoyed her voice in this first book and I like that the author has left room for Charley to grow into herself. The first few pages had me worried that this was going to turn into paranormal romance, but fortunately Charley stays focused on her case. For the most part,

I enjoyed this first book and I’m excited to learn more about Charley in future books.

First off, I can't believe I waited so long to read this book. The style of writing is right up my street, I loved all the little one-liners and comedy, it literally made me laugh out loud.

I always love a strong female lead in a book and Charley Davidson ticks all the boxes – a PI and a grim reaper, what's not to love about that?

All the mystery around Reyes kept me turning pages too.

I will definitely carry on with this series; I really enjoyed this book.

A solid five stars from me.

First Grave on the Right was a light, but funny crime drama with a hint of paranormal. I know, strange combination, but it really works!

Charlotte Davidson isn't your "normal" Private Investigator, she isn't "normal" at all. She's the daughter/niece of police officers, she has strange insights, a great sense of humor, and she just so happens to be the Grim Reaper.

Quirky one-liners, developing relationships, and strange encounters, all made this an interesting and entertaining read. I will say that some "mysteries" were easy to put together, but some kept me guessing. The end, though, that kept me hooked – I need to see what happens next!

Darynda Jones is the winner of the 2009 Golden Heart® for Best Paranormal Novel for her manuscript First Grave on the Right. Darynda can't remember a time when she wasn't putting pen to paper. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than twenty-five years and two beautiful sons, aka the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Connect with Darynda

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones to read and review.

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