First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)by Darynda Jones

Hardcover, 310 pages

Published February 1st 2011 by St. Martin’s Press

4 Stars

My Review: I have some friends who read this series and even though this is not my genre of choice, I decided to give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised. Charley Davidson is not what I would have expected from a “Grim Reaper”. Not only is she tasked with convincing dead spirits to move into the light, but she often has to either solve a murder or get a message to a loved one before they will move on. Working with her uncle who is a police detective, she consults with the Albequerque police. She is a cross between Stephanie Plum from the Janet Evanovich series and Kinsey Milhone from Grafton. She is a private eye who actually solves cases with the help of dead spirits. The only great thing is that she heals really quickly which she definitely needs. In the introduction to this series, we meet Charley and her admin. assistant Cookie. Cookie believes everything Charley tells her and they have quite a fun relationship. There are a couple of male characters, a police officer and bounty hunter that are part of the ensemble who help her uncle solve crimes. There are several dead spirits that hang around her and do not want to leave and go into the light which adds to the humour in the story. I will check out the next one and see if I enjoy it as well. My only complaint is that there are a couple of rather odd sexual encounters with a ghostlike figure that are a bit descriptive, but otherwise a fun read. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

Synopsis: This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flow chart would have been nice.

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. 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 (like 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. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.