Saturday, October 15, 2011

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones - Hot, Snarky, and Fun!

Pros: Witty and funny, sexy and exciting
Cons: The writing style on random occasions

The Bottom Line: Recommended to me by one of my managers - good deal! I know I'll be reading the second one!

Usually when people recommend books to me, I brush it off. But sometimes the books they recommend just stick. In this case, one of my favorite managers recommended Darynda Jones's First Grave on the Right. One look at the cover and I thought, "Oh this could be fun." I read the book blurb and with my manager's insistence that the book was hilarious had me hooked. I checked it out of the library once I finished Clash of Kings.

Charley Davidson is a private investigator and "consultant" to the Albuquerque Police Department. What most people don't know is that she's a grim reaper. The grim reaper in fact. Ghosts can see her sparkly come-to-the-light beacon from miles upon miles away, but sometimes they need a little help. Like finding out who killed them. While Charley tries to discover who murdered three lawyers, her dreams are filled with a mysterious but super hot-n-sexy entity that she may actually know. Who is he and what does he want? And can Charley actually get through a day without getting herself injured?

The funny thing is that I read this book right after reading Stacey Kade's Queen of the Dead...and then Meet Joe Black was airing the night I finished this...and the next day some other person-sees-ghost movie was on. Coincidence? Or creepy fate..?

Anywho, this was a fun book to read. Charley is snarky and doesn't take crap from anyone. She keeps her little gift to herself because most of the time people can't take it and freak out. But her father and her Uncle Bob, both of whom worked for the police force, believe her and deal with it because it helps them solve cases and (naturally) get promotions. Her assistant, Cookie, is a fun little character, and the mystery man is ooh-la-la delicious. I look forward to seeing more of him...even after knowing who he is.

My only issue was some of the sentence structures and occasional writing style hiccups. Just very randomly I would have to go back and read a bit because I had no idea what someone was referring to, like a pronoun at the end somewhere - does "they" refer to the cops or the houses or donuts or what? Or when the dialogue went off on a slight tangent and then jumped back to the task at hand - only not quite. It's hard to describe, but I know if I were editing this, I'd mark several places with notes or question marks.

But maybe that's just me. Otherwise I had a great time and I do intend to dig up (hah, pun intended) the second book and then move on to the third. I loved some of Charley's little taunts and descriptions, and laughed aloud at more than one point. At the beginning of each chapter is something either Charley says or that exists on a bumper sticker or a t-shirt. And it's always funny.

More graves please!


P.S. I love the shoes on the cover!

Originally posted on

Notes from the playlist: "Rest Easy" by Natalie Walker

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