Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Saturday, 22 February 2014 00:53
Title: First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)
Author: Darynda Jones
Publication Date: February 1st, 2011
Genres: Urban fantasy, Mystery, Adult
Rating: 5 of 5 stars

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?

“Never knock on death's door. Ring the doorbell then run. He totally hates that.
- T-shirt”

First Grave on the Right is a concoction of everything. It turned the cliched story line of grim reapers into that of a novelty. Have you ever considered a grim reaper being a cocky girl with an attitude? I certainly didn't.

I found the story line to be fast – paced, filled with humor and mystery. I also found the mixture of characters a little confusing but I got used to it. Jones has created an incredible character with originality - Charley Davidson. I found her to be resilient, strong, humorous and what not.
Jones has done an incredible work here. I love her narration and the way she made the story flow without it getting too complicated all at once due to its many characters.

Meet Charley Davidson

"If I couldn't be a good example, I'd just have to be a horrible warning." 

Charley Davidson is the grim reaper. Not in a creepy scary way. She’s nowhere close to being creepy or scary. The story starts off with Charley waking up from her dream – where a hot entity shows up and seduces her all the time.
At first, the dream part felt like a whole different story. During the day she’s an exceptional private investigator with a unique ability to communicate with the deceased – being the grim reaper and all. And at night she’s having dreams about an entity who seems very familiar but she couldn't exactly pinpoint who it was until the day the entity called her ‘Dutch’.

So, she investigates who this entity is and also investigates a crime scene were three lawyers were murdered. Without Charley, I don’t think the story would have stood as a novelty. I guess the characters make the story and not the other way around. Or at least, this is how I found this book. Charley made the story, she lighted the story into a brilliant flame captivating the readers. She’s one of the best female leads I've ever come across.

Meet Mr. Enigma aka Reyes Farrow 

“Every night in my dreams, a man appeared from the darkest recesses of my mind, as if he'd been waiting for me to fall asleep." 

Reyes Farrow was an enigma from the beginning so I’m not going to clear this part. It’s better if you read the book. All you need to know about him is he’s hot and sexy. The rest, read the book and find out.

And meet Garret Swopes

He’s another private investigator like Charley but he doesn't believe a thing about her ability in communicating with the deceased. But slowly as the story flows, he tries his best to understand her. They share cocky remarks about each other and Charley kind of likes and dislikes him at the same time and I think the feeling is mutual.

Overall, The first grave on the right was a unique read. I haven’t picked up much of mystery and crime – dealing books and this surely made me want to read more. The one great aspect of this book is that Jones has managed to make this book funny and serious at the same time! There’s a lot of grins for a few pages and lot of seriousness in the next. I loved it! This is one outstanding urban fantasy read.

So, in the end I am left hungry for more. Also squealing in excitement for more!