Fifth Grave Past the Light

Fifth Grave Past the Light

by Darynda Jones

Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5)

Never underestimate the power of a woman on a double espresso with a mocha latte chaser high.
– T-shirt

Charley Davidson isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper. She’s more of a paranormal private eye/grim reaper extraordinaire. However, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. To further complicate matters, Reyes is her main suspect in an arson case. Charley has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth…but then dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason. When it becomes apparent that her own sister, Gemma is the serial killer’s next target, Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes’s help. Arsonist or not, he’s the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return. Charley. All of her, body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay.

Charley Davidson is at it again in the sexy, suspenseful, and laugh-out-loud funny fifth installment of the New York Times best selling series.

Charley is back to her old self in Fifth Grave Past the Light. Yeah, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet showed us the more human, and vulnerable, side of our heroine, but it was tough seeing her so scared. She’s back in full snark-mode and it’s wonderful!

The best thing about Fifth Grave Past the Light is the main mystery. I LOVE the mystery! Charley’s apartment is rapidly filling up with the spirits of tormented blonde haired women. They are all barely dressed, covered in mud, and unable to focus on our spunky grim reaper long enough to give out clues. Charley is forced to get her hands dirty and search out their fates. Also, there is an arsonist determined to torch all of Reyes’ childhood homes and Charley is pretty sure the Son of Satan is responsible. And if all that wasn’t enough, the sultry Reyes has moved in next door! (I know you can’t see me but I am totally fangirl giggling over here. This has to be my favorite in the series so far!)

The plot is obviously quite complex and Jones handles it masterfully. The pace is quick and everything ties in smoothly. The full cast of characters is back, including personal favorites Uncle Bob and Cookie. We get to see a more personable side of Reyes that will leave you swooning. And we get to see Charley delve in to the depths of her grim reaper powers.

Once again, the strained relationship between Charley and her father is the only thing worth complaining about. I’m just ready for some solid information instead of fighting with Charley’s determination to ignore her father. I am hoping answers come soon!

READ Five Grave Past the Light and let me know what you think! Happy beach reading!

Lindsay

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Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

by Darynda Jones

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Welcome to the world of grim reaper extraordinaire Charley Davidson. Try as she might, there’s no avoiding her destiny.

Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above…or at least get dressed. It becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. But the more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.

In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved.

Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans in this hilarious fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling series.

Charley Davidson has just survived a brutal attack from a psycho killer, been arrested by her father, and had her detective agency temporarily shut down. Not surprisingly, she has locked herself in her apartment and refuses to come out for anyone until a desperate young woman shows up at her door. A young woman who is sure someone is trying to kill her. A woman who everyone thinks is crazy.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet does not have the crazy, carefree feel of the first three books in the Charley Davidson series. But that doesn’t mean it lacks the snark and pace that keeps me coming back. We just see Charley in a very vulnerable situation and it actually deeps her character for me. 

Charley is dealing by purchasing everything she can to cover the blood stains in her living room. She is hiding but still remains close with Cookie and we see her develop a wonderful relationship with her sister. I like that Charley is having to deal with demons, both literal and figurative, and that she struggles to pull herself out of a state of fear. 

The only negative point I have about the story is Charley’s relationship with her father. Both are constantly making knee-jerk reactions. Plus, we never get a clear explained behind her father’s decisions. But that’s it.

I definitely recommend Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet for anyone needing a fun paranormal mystery. Believe me when I say the ending is AWESOME! 

What mysteries are you reading?

Lindsay

Third Grave Dead Ahead

Third Grave Dead Ahead

by Darynda Jones

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Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she’s drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on. How is she supposed to solve a missing persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hell-bent on murder when the devil’s son just won’t give up?

Last week I talked about needing a funny book to read because life was being annoying. So, I went down to the library that day and picked up a copy of Third Grave Dead Ahead. I’m so lucky to have friends who get my sense of humor. This series was recommended by two awesome women and I know Charley’s antics will leave me laughing every time.

I started this series last year and feel free to check out my reviews of First Grave on the Right and Second Grave on the Left. I decided to take a break after Second Grave because the character development and interactions just left me frustrated. So many reactions were just too knee-jerk and confusing. Third Grave Dead Ahead eliminated all of that for me.

Reyes is alive and back in prison. Cookie and Uncle Bob have started flirting! Garrett has fully embraced Charley’s roll as the Grim Reaper. And Charley isn’t sleeping…Third Grave Dead Ahead picks up mere weeks after Second Grave and Charley’s dreams are haunted by an angry Reyes.

I LOVED this story. I finally understand the friendship between Charley and Garrett and Jones provides two ‘on the edge of your seat’ mysteries for Charley to solve. Charley actually interacts with Reyes outside of her dreams and it is interesting! Plus, Jones introduces us to the biker gang that owns the old asylum. Third Grave was just a well developed, fast paced story. I actually connected with Charley, which I just didn’t have with the first two books.

My only complaint would be how Charley’s dad was portrayed. His brooding and abrasive responses just felt out of character. I could only see him as Charley saw him: an unfair man who was slowly turning in to her enemy. I have a feeling this will be resolved in the next book.

I definitely recommend Third Grave Dead Ahead and the Charley Davidson series. It is the perfect series to read when you need a good dose of snark and a reason to laugh!

Lindsay

Second Grave on the Left

Second Grave on the Left

by Darynda Jones

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If you hang around with dead people, life can get pretty complicated. Take it from Charley Davidson, part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Complicated is her middle name. The deceased find her very sparkly. Demons find her irresistible. And one entity in particular wants to seduce her in every way possible.

When Charley and Cookie (her best friend/receptionist) have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Cookie’s friend Mimi disappeared five days earlier. Mimi then sends Cookie a cryptic message telling Cookie to meet her at an nearby coffee shop. The coffee is brewing, but Mimi’s still missing. There is, however, a clue Mimi left on the bathroom wall: a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains to them that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old high school friend had been murdered. The same woman whose name Mimi had scribbled on the bathroom wall.

Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty.

Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Can she keep those she loves out of harm’s way? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel her as she does?

Here is your signpost for the most hilarious read of the year: Second Grave on the Left.

I’m always needing a good laugh and I picked up Second Grave on the Left, book two in the Charley Davidson series, because I enjoyed First Grave on the Right.  The story picks up mere weeks after the events in book one; Charley is slowly healing from her beatings and is doing her best to find her mysterious lover, Reyes Farrow.  But, her life doesn’t stay quiet for long and she is soon involved with a politically driven missing persons case while desperately trying to save Reyes from the depths of Hell.

Second Grave on the Left was enjoyable because readers are provided a more complex picture of the snarky grim reaper.  Charley is hardheaded, sometimes judgemental, and always quick to jump to conclusions, but she is still willing to sacrifice herself for others.   She has a great relationship with Cookie and a strained partnership with Swopes, but we also get a better understanding of Charley’s family connections.  The first book emphasized Charley’s positive relationship with her dad and Uncle Bob, but pointed out her disdain for her step-mother.  Violent events force the family to work on their issues, which adds depth to our stubborn heroine while also highlighting her shortsightedness.  These all seem like negative traits but I like that Charley is a properly flawed individual.  She manages to realize her faults, embraces her issues, and still proceeds full steam ahead with unwavering confidence and plenty of snark.  I like her.

The mystery progressed at a nice rate and Charley’s snarkiness reads smoother and much funnier this time around.  I like learning more about Reyes through his best friend, Amador Sanchez, and the creepy prison fan club leader.  And I love the ghosts!  Jones’ kills me with the overly personable ghosts and I found myself giggling each time the evil little Strawberry Shortcake showed up!  As for Dead Trunk Guy…yes!  The final scene with him was just perfect!

There is one point that really irked me; I couldn’t stand the relationship building between Charley and Reyes.  The two have a deep, and passionate, connection and yet they are completely incapable of communicating.  Sex will only get you so far and these two spent the whole book arguing because they are both so darn stubborn.  Charley selfishly ignores Reyes’ pleas to be left alone and Reyes tells her NOTHING about the situation.  Really?  Tell a hardheaded woman not to save you when she knows you’re dying and she’s definitely going to ignore your demands.  I felt like so many issues would have been solved if they actually talked to each other instead of constantly squaring off like charging bulls.  This issue is just annoying and had me hesitant to pick up book three.

I will continue reading the Charley Davidson series because I like the snarky grim reaper and the ghostly sub plots.  It’s a different series and I love the fast pace of the stories.  Are you a fan of the series?  What do you think about the Charley/Reyes relationship?

Lindsay

First Grave on the Right

First Grave on the Right

by Darynda Jones

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

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.

 

I have spent 2015 fighting a persistent winter cold.  Its annoying, and I was pouting last week when a sicky resurgence kept me from doing my weekly workouts.  I needed something that would make me laugh.  My sweet friend, Jen, recommended Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series.  The description sounded fun, so I grabbed the first book from the local library.  I spent Saturday reading First Grave on the Right.

Charlotte ‘Charley’ Davidson is a grim reaper.  She is also a part-time private investigator specializing in solving the murders of dead clients.  First Grave on the Right finds Charley investigating the murder of three lawyers and unveiling the identity of the sexy, mysterious man who visits in her dreams. Her sharp tongue, ever present good humor, and ability to withstand a beating result in a fun and fast paced story.

First Grave on the Right is a really good debut novel that Jones has now developed in to a series of at least seven.  I instantly enjoyed reading Charley.  Her ‘devil be damned’ attitude and constant wit kept me giggling.  The same goes with her best friend and secretary, Cookie.  I mean, who couldn’t like a woman who has such a deep love of coffee?  And I can not get enough of Reyes!  His protective, alpha male tendencies left me swooning (see I do like some romance themes 🙂 )  I couldn’t put the book down and I spent Saturday soaking up sun in my bathing suit and laughing away my cold.  My favorite scene is when Charley tries to convince the third lawyer that his is dead.  His steadfast denial results in some hilarious dialogue.

The plot was very twisted and detailed, but I wish it had tied together better.  I chock this up to First Grave on the Right being a debut novel and Jones inexperience.  In the same vein, many of Charley’s reactions and witty comments were lost on me because the relationship between characters, namely Charley and Garret, lacked the necessary background descriptions.  I still have no idea why she considered Garret an asshole when he spent the whole book desperately trying to communicate with her.  I would have liked more backstory.  It is still a well written story despite these details!

First Grave on the Right was a great read and I will be picking up book two, Second Grave on the Left, from the library this afternoon.  Anyone else a Darynda Jones fan?  What books do you read when you need a laugh?

Lindsay