First Grave on the Right
by Darynda Jones
I’d been having the same dream for the past month – the one where a dark stranger materialized out of smoke and shadow to play doctor with me.
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 book was completely different than I thought it would be. When I bought it, after the girls at Bewitched Bookworms raved about this series, I read the synopsis but it took me some weeks to get to it and by the time I started reading it I completely forget what it was all about.
I expected something like I funny murder-mystery but it was way darker and more realistic, as much as that’s possible with a girl who’s able to see ghosts. I really liked the concept of the grim reaper as it is presented by Darynda Jones and I enjoyed reading First Grave on the Right but I had another book for night time (just for your information: I get scared pretty easily – I had nightmares after watching one episode of Castle and they are not scary at all).
Charley Davidson – oh how I love this name – is a wonderful main character. She has flaws, is sarcastic, has a wonderful neighbour and co-worker and can see dead people. A girl like you and me, right? Helping the police solving murders, her dad’s a former cop and her uncle is still one, was something Charley did from an early age on but when three lawyers from the same firm get killed in one night the case gets difficult. Caution isn’t Charley’s strong point and so she gets into hopeless situations quite often but somehow she always finds a way out.
Some of the dead people Charley sees are part of her “gang”, like Angel the 13 year old gangbanger who stays on earth because his mother would be lonely if he left or Mr. Wong, with whom Charley shares the apartment.
The book can only be described as a paranormal urban fantasy but it is awesome. Each chapter starts with a short blurb from a T-Shirt, bumper sticker or something similar (which I all marked as hilarious and need to remember) and sometimes I had to laugh out loud while reading. One of my favorite quotes is:
“You rented the apartment with a dead guy in the corner?” I shrugged. “I wanted the apartment, and I figured I could cover him up with a bookcase or something.
So if you’re looking for a funny paranormal fantasy book with a strong main and lovely side characters than try First Grave on the Right and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
The other books in the Charley Davidson series are:
- First Grave on the Right (#1)
- For I have sinned (#1,5)
- Second Grave on the Left (#2)
- Third Grave Dead Ahead (#3)
- Fourth Grave Beneath my Feet (#4)
- Fifth Grave Past the Light (#5) will be published: July 2013