First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

November 17, 2014 Reviews 13

First Grave on the Right by Darynda JonesFirst Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Narrator: Lorelei King
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Published by Macmillan Audio, St. Martin's Press on February 9, 2011
Genres: Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 310
Length: 8 hours 58 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased

A 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 an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense. The audio includes a sneak peak of Second Grave on the Left.

I’ve owned First Grave on the Right on audio for what feels like FOREVER, but for some very stupid reason I didn’t read it until it came up as a selection for book club. Well thank goodness that made me read it! There was absolutely nothing about First Grave on the Right that I didn’t love – but I’m giving it 4.5 stars because I wasn’t quite blown away enough to push it to 5.

Charley is nothing like I expected – she’s THE Grim Reaper, that comes with certain dark, badass expectations. Even though that’s not her at all, I adore her. She gets into loads of trouble (she’s not exactly a badass LOL) and has a really sarcastic and somewhat inappropriate sense of humor. As in snark overload. But you love that, right? I know I adore a grim reaper that names her boobs “Danger” and “Will Robinson”!

Charley also has a HUGE heart. Having a heart like hers could be a liability when you have to deal with death so frequently, and it kind of is for Charley – remember all the trouble she gets into? – but I loved that she doesn’t let some pretty horrendous things keep her from caring.

And I just loved her dynamic with her best friend – Cookie. Cookie is Charley’s assistant at her private investigation firm, but she’s also just a GREAT friend. Charley’s life is far from normal and Cookie just excepts it. Sure she freaks out and mothers Charley when Charley almost gets herself killed (notice a theme –> Charley gets into a lot of trouble), but that’s what a good friend does.

And then there’s Reyes. So when I heard his name, I thought, “Ohhhh Reyes!” Needless to say I’ve heard all about Reyes but I didn’t realize he belonged to this series. Yes, I like Reyes. He earned some sighs from me too. But he didn’t illicit the reaction I thought he would, given the hype. That’s okay, because I still really like him and I’m super curious about him – he’s a bit of a twist in the plot all on his own, so I can’t say much without being spoilery.

The way this world works is neat – grim reaping is nothing like I expected. Charley has an awful lot of ghosts around her and I found myself thinking, “aren’t you supposed to reap those souls?” But it doesn’t work that way – Charley is really just that bright light souls pass through. They have to choose to pass through her – so she’s more of a gate than an actual active soul collector.

I really enjoyed First Grave on the Right and look forward to reading more. If you’re one of the few out there that haven’t read it like me – I’d recommend it, especially if you enjoy snark, a bit of paranormal woo-woo, a light (almost cozy) mystery, and some sexy fun! And I’d definitely recommend it on audio – Lorelei King nailed it! I think the personalities, humor, and snark really came to life BECAUSE if her reading. This will be audio only for me, for sure!

4.5 stars I loved it

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About Darynda Jones

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart, and a Daphne du Maurier. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press, the Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than 25 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

13 Responses to “First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones”

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    I’ve owned a copy of FGotR since before it’s release…I got an ARC at work! And it’s still sitting on my desk. I meant to read it in Oct for my rec fest, but it didn’t happen. So hopefully next month. You have me chomping at the bit to read it now. Charley seems like my kind of heroine! 😉 I’m so happy you enjoyed your intro into this series, Berls. Thanks for the fantastic review!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Teaser Tuesday ~ #45**My Profile

  2. Lorna

    I have only read this one, and really enjoyed as well. I have the second one but just haven’t gone on with the series. Maybe I should get it on audio, as it sounds like it’s awesome like that! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Traci @ Mad Hatter Reads

    Yay!!!! You finally read/listened First Grave and discovered the awesomeness that is the Charley Davidson series!!!! *doing a little happy dance for you* This is one of my all time favorite series so I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂
    Traci recently posted…Coffee Shop Talks, #80My Profile

  4. Melanie Simmons

    I so love this series on audio. The writing is great, but King’s narration really helps to push the series to the one of tops of my audio list. The snarkiness of the characters and the humanity of them is just great. I love Cookie and her daughter, who will get more time later in the series. Uncle Bob is another great character. I’m so glad you started this series and that you chose to listen. Great review.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…5th Annual Gratitude Giveaways Hop (Hot Listens)My Profile

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