First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones Review

Title: First Grave on the Right

Author: Darynda Jones

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press

Format: eBook

Publication Date: February 1, 2011

Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars 

Source: Library

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.

This book was just plain fun. It struck me as a bit like Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels, with the winning point being that Charley is nothing like Sookie (thank god). This book had drama, and tension to the max, but underscoring that was a lighthearted, witty humor that kept me cracking up even when some pretty serious events were going on. Jones has a writing style that just let me float through this book effortlessly, and I never knew what was coming next. One moment I wanted to tear up at how Charley’s stepmother treated her, and the next I was laughing out loud at Charley’s horrified musings on her aunt’s love life.

There is a solid plot here though, and one that definitely leads into the second book. We do get all the answers we could have hoped for though, so while there is a bit of mystery left over, you don’t have to worry about the book ending on a cliffhanger. Reyes is the biggest mystery and while he definitely has the smoldering thing down, I am looking forward to finding out what makes him tick. Mostly because I feel like this is a man who has unplumbed depths to him, and he will hide by trying to keep everything at the surface. There are also some great side characters here, Cookie, Uncle Bob, and Garrett. Cookie because she was the best friend every woman needs, Uncle Bob because he truly is a kind soul and loves his niece despite everything, and Garrett because while he is a total douchebag there were some genuinely laugh out loud moments. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have the skeptic in the story, I don’t think I would like this book as much if everyone just accepted what Charley could do.

I am really interested in what is going to happen in the second book, considering that this one ends on a bombshell (not a cliffhanger) and I think it opens up some very interesting avenue’s for Charley and Reyes to go down. I would give the book a 3.5 out of 5 stars for just being a fun, easy read.

3.5/5 – A Great Read, Well-Written


**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**

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Can I jump in your body and make out with my wife through you?”
I fought a grin. “It doesn’t really work that way.”
“Then can you just make out with my wife and pretend I’m in your body?”
“No.”
“I can pay. I have money.”
“How much we talking?”
Darynda Jones, First Grave on the Right