Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Yay, a review!! LOL, I'm most likely going to be late for work this morning... but who cares? I have  a review up!! and hopefully, I'll be able to pump out a few today :) In the meantime, how is everyone doing? Pretty quiet lately on blogland. I'm still feeling kind of so-so. I had a blood test done yesterday and going to see the results today. Hopefully, that gives me a little peace of mind.

My sister cooked yesterday - she made vegetarian lasagna... which meant I ate much later than usual LOL. Yeah, I shouldn't be complaining since I didn't have to cook... and it was yummy :) We watched the newest episode of Rizzoli & Isles and also started a new tv show, Suits. So far, it's okay. Lots of blablabla though. Now, today, I need to start making my grocery list for our annual BBQ this Saturday :) Fun times ahead! Hopefully, for everyone else as well! In the meantime, enjoy my review! :)

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
published by St. Martin's Press in February 2011
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.
Genre: Mystery with paranormal elements
Series: Charley Davidson series, Book #1

The Story: Hmmmm, how to describe the story? Charley is not an ordinary woman. She has powers that allows her to see ghosts. However, she's not a simple medium... instead, she's a grim reaper. Actually, she's THE grim reaper and her job is to guide them towards the light. In addition to being able to see ghosts, she has some quirky abilities such as understanding every languages that have driven a wedge between her and some members of her family.

By day, Charley is a private investigator - yes, seeing ghosts and having their help definitively give her an edge :) She also helps her uncle, a detective, with useful tips. In First Gave on the Right, Charley is embroiled in an investigation about the murders of three lawyers who had gotten new evidence to get their client acquitted from murder. At the same time, she is being "haunted" in her sleep by a being... and she has no idea what's going on. Then, when she discovers that the being might be the guy of her dreams - a bad boy she's met as a teenager - she's determined to find out who, why and how he is haunting her. Especially  if he's the really "bad thing" that has protected her throughout her life.

My Opinion:  All right, LOL. Not the best synopsis, but let just say there is a lot going on in First Gave on the Right and it's not easy to explain... but as a very good author, Ms Jones makes it all work - proof of her talent, imagination and writing skills :)

So I really, really enjoyed First Grave on the Right. I first picked it up, because of the gorgeous cover, but also because despite the subject - grim reaper, seeing ghosts - the book sounded very funny... and it was :) Charley is a great heroine. A very complex character, she can come off a bit as a klutz, getting in all those kind of scrapes; however, at the same time, she's very competent as a grim reaper and that's what I liked about her. I liked that she knew herself and her powers and were comfortable with them, not afraid to use it. I liked that she actually knew what she was doing instead of muddling it through. She also has an humorous side which makes it fun to follow her in her adventures :)

As for the situation with Reyes, that was very interesting. Of course, I have a weakness for "love at first sight" and the kind of "romance" Reyes and Charley are having LOL. It's the kind where both parties involved know they are meant for each other and are trying to find their ways back to each other. Although with Reyes and Charley, it might be more complicated than most. I'm really looking forward to see how it will turn out. At the same time, I am concerned... with Reyes' identity. I mean, it's obvious that Reyes and Charley have very strong feelings for each other, even though they don't really know each other. However, with Reyes being Reyes... the romance might be near-impossible. So I just hope that Ms Jones doesn't add a third party to it ^_^; Someone more approachable, more possible. I know, I know, I'm worrying ahead... but hey, we've all seen it right? So I'm crossing my fingers it won't in this series.

The overall mystery in First Grave on the Right was well-done and well-written. I have to admit though, I was a bit confused at times, because there was so much going on. Still, for a debut novel, it's really good and enjoyable, and as a result, can be forgiven :)

In any case, let me repeat once more that I've really enjoyed this book. The series shows a lot of potential and Ms Jones has indicated that the series will go beyond 3 books, so that's great news for her and us, readers :) I'm interesting to see how the Reyes situation will turn out, but also see if something will be done with the family situation. However, in the end, the most important will be simply reading more of Charley, because she's a great heroine :)

My Grade: B+. I don't know if the following is good or bad, but anyway, that's how I felt LOL. After reading First Grave on the Right, the vibe I got about Charley was a bit of Stephanie Plum - klutzy and funny. So if you enjoy the Stephanie Plum series and paranormal elements, you want to give the Charley Davidson series a try :)


  1. I like suits. Nothing exciting going on over here yet. Sigh.. hopefully soon.

  2. Oh, it sounds like it was good!!
    I love the cover too, and even though I'm not really thriller/mystery girl, i'm always for some funny.

  3. I like the cover but I don't know if I'm interested in this one. :P

    I plan on watching Suits soon too. I hope I enjoy it.

  4. Hope you get good results. :)

    Hmm... I've never read the Stephanie Plum series but do like your review. I'll get this one on audiobook and see how that goes.

  5. Nath, I hope your results are good ones! (keeping my fingers crossed)

    I'm not a Stephanie Plum reader either, but I do like the cover. :D
    Glad you enjoyed this read so much.

  6. You're tempting me now! Might have to pick this one up...


  7. I did read this one, thanks to you. :) It took me a bit to get into it but once I did, it was a good read...albeit quirky. :P

  8. Isabel - So Isabel, are you inducing today? Hope so! :)

    Suits is okay in my opinion. I haven't been pulled in yet and it's a lot of lingo. Still prefer White Collar over it :)

    Alex - Yes, it was good :) and really, Alex, I don't think you need to be a mystery/thriller fan to enjoy this one. I categorized it under that, because the mystery is a big part, but at the same time, it's not all about the mystery. Oh and it's definitively funny LOL.

    Ames - I think you have to try in order to know if it's for you LOL. If you do, I hope you enjoy :)

    Let me know what you think of Suits!

    Leslie - Yep, everything's normal :) It's just me being paranoid...

    Getting this one in audiobook is a good idea :) I hope you enjoy it :)

    Hilcia - I think the cover captured the spirit of this book perfectly LOL.

    Li - Am I? Am I? LOL, I actually think you would enjoy this one a lot :)

    Tabitha - Yay!! LOL, it is definitively quirky, but that's the charm of it! :)