Friday, November 16, 2018

Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, is back in this sexy, suspenseful novel of supernatural shenanigans.

When Charley Davidson 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. A friend of Cookie's named Mimi disappeared five days earlier. This friend then sends Cookie a cryptic message telling them to meet her at a nearby coffee shop. The coffee is brewing, but Mimi's still missing. There is, however, a clue left on the bathroom wall: a woman's name, scribbled by Mimi. Mimi's husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message.

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. And if they have a portal to heaven… well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Can she keep those she loves out of harm's way? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel her as she does?

Here is your signpost for the most hilarious read of the summer: Second Grave On The Left.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Second Grave on the Left is the second installment in the Charley Davidson series. It could be read as a standalone or out of order without too much confusion, but I recommend against it, simply because relationship/friendship/familial threads follow from one book to the next.

Charley is the grim reaper. The only grim reaper. She's also a private investigator, born into a family of cops. She doesn't get a moment's peace, either from her never-ending cases, the ghosts requiring her assistance, or her family members.

Cookie, Charley's next door neighbor/best friend/assistant, her friend goes missing, and this is the start of the mystery of this installment. The ladies follow the clues, sleuthing better than the cops. All the while Charley is terrified over Reyes not taking care of his corporeal form.

I likened this series to a paranormal Stephanie Plum, and I'll stand by my estimation. Loads of second-hand embarrassment is felt. While there are many chuckles to be had, it's not over-the-top silly slap-stick that can get old fast for serious-minded readers. Charley is sarcastic, witty – punny, if you will.

There's a slight thread of romance, as it's obvious her cop friend is crushing on her, but that all pales in comparison to the son-of-the-devil, Reyes. A light and dark balance between them, not necessarily good vs evil, because it's impossible to have one without the balance of the other.

I was on the fence, going to hand out a 4-star rating, but I have this thing where if an author gut-punches me, takes me out at the knees, I'll pass out a 5-star no matter what. When Charley was dealing with her dad, I got the feels. I didn't like how quickly everything was forgiven, but it gave me the desired emotional affect.

Charley's on the cusp of discovering there is more to this grim reaper business than being a beacon to call souls home, and I look forward to seeing what antics she gets into next, and how her powers grow.

In this second book, Charley grows into herself and starts to own her abilities as the Grim Reaper. And while Charley’s personal life gets even messier, she is also investigating the disappearance of one of Cookie’s friends.

I really enjoyed the characters this time around. Charley’s friends and colleagues are more entertaining in this second book – and Charlie’s relationship with her family is even more complicated. I like the growth we see in several characters – not just Charley. I like that the complex characters allow for relationships to develop across the series.

Messy, complicated – there is a whole lot going on in this story and there were moments when I found the overlapping storylines pretty confusing. I don’t even know what to call the storyline about Reyes, but there are a couple of WTF moments when I just had to accept what we’re told about him without questioning it. I love the original world building in this series, but I do have to tether my incredulity at times.

Like the first book, the actual investigation is pretty straightforward and wraps up with a satisfying conclusion. I’m glad something about this story is simple because everything to do with Charley’s Grim Reaper identity is increasingly complicated.

Seriously, what's not to love about these books?

Book two starts up where book one finishes, so there is no lull in time between the two.

I love Charley, she is so sassy and her one-liners are great.

I also love Reyes, there is still so much we need to know about him, or maybe I just want more!

We get more of Charley’s BFF, Cookie, in this book too, which I love.

I just adore the writing style of these books. I think the humour is what keeps me turning the pages.

I’m now off to dive into book three.

Also Available in the Charley Davidson Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our First Grave on the Right post.

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 Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #2) by Darynda Jones to read and review.

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