“ I’m so happy I finally got a copy of this book since I’ve been hearing good things about the series since it came out last year. I remember thinking I could hold off on it because it would be just another paranormal mystery series that I would have to catch up on, but now I’m a bit mad at myself for not grabbing this sooner.
The opening chapter gives you a good taste of what to expect from this book. Right away you get the snarky humor of Charley, a small teaser of heat, and a pretty good idea about what kind of trouble this woman can get into. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like Charley, she took a bit time to get use to but once I did she had me laughing out loud.Each of the characters clearly have their own personalities and I could imagine the whole cast with no real trouble. Cookie, Charley’s friend and assistant, was probably my favorite side character due to her own larger than life personality. Reyes is probably the quietest male I’ve seen in a book recently, but he definitely knows how to demand attention. I wish he had talked just a tad more but it’s rather clear he doesn’t need to, he’s got a whole lot going for him. The ghosts are fantastic and each one is just as vibrant as the living the characters in this book, in fact they are not much different…though some seem to have lost that control “filter” that keeps them from saying/doing hilarious things.
The plot of the book is pretty fast paced, and if I hadn’t been so lazy I probably would have finished this in a day or so. There isn’t much downtime so all of the big questions that pop up are answered within a reasonable time, and by the end of the book most things are tied up pretty good. The lore that the book uses is refreshingly different in some aspects, and it’s a tad complicated but the author does a good job at explaining everything. I definitely see this as a series I’ll continue to read and I’m super curious to see how things will play out for Charley and the gang.”
I have to be honest, when first reading the synopsis of this book, I was skeptical yet attempted to stay optimistic. So glad I stuck to my guns and read it. This book was a wild ride and best of all it kept me laughing with the witty dialog and characters…
“Note: This is a joint review of the first two books in the series, originally posted at http://www.twimom227.com/2012/12/review-charley-davidson-series-books-1.html
First Grave on the Right
4.5 stars: Loved it - enthusiastically recommend (A)
Second Grave on the Left
4 stars: Enjoyed - strongly recommend (A-)
Charley is the daughter of a retired cop, and her Uncle Bob (or Ubie as Charley likes to call him) is an accomplished detective for the Albuquerque Police Department. Charley has been helping them solve crimes since she was five years old. Currently, Charley runs a detective agency, which helps with her cover and allows her to actively work with the police. Not too many people know about (or believe in) her ability to talk to ghosts, and even fewer know about her true nature as the Grim Reaper. Among her inner circle is Ubie, her dad, her best friend (and assistant) Cookie, and a handful of helpful ghosts. In the past Charley has been hurt by people she trusted with the truth, so when she decides to let in free-lance skiptracer, Garrett, it really is big deal - and a fantastic emotional journey for the reader.
One of the BEST things about Charley is her perpetual sarcastic humor. She has a sharp tongue and a quick wit, poking fun at both herself and those around her. Although it is constant, the quips never come across forced or fake. Here are just a few samples of Charley’s droll disposition:
"It was hard being such an utter disappointment to the woman who’d raised me, but gosh darn it, I gave it my all. I could have invented the wheel and she would have been disappointed. Or Post-it notes. Or bone marrow." (First Grave on the Right)
"I toured them--also known as breaking and entering--regularly after accidentally discovering this asylum on night when I was fifteen." (Second Grave on the Left)
In the first book, Charley is busy solving two mysteries at once. First, who killed three lawyers and why? Second, who/what is her dream man (aka Reyes)? The two plots weave around one another in Charley’s stream of thought, therefore in the reader’s mind as well since we read the story from her POV.
Although Reyes only visits Charley in dreams, and later as some sort of non-corporeal being, he is every bit a solid man to Charley. Every encounter with Reyes is sensual, powerful, and engrossing. Charley has no idea what Reyes is, but she knows she can trust him, and the sexual chemistry is swoon-worthy. But Reyes is an enigma -- for example, why are other ghosts scared of him? First Charley must discover what Reyes is in First Grave on the Right, and then how to save him in Second Grave on the Left.
The opening of the second book has a different feel than first - it’s almost a bit darker, definitely a little more dire. Since Charley now knows who and what Reyes is, the reader gets more paranormal action right from the start, and Reyes is very worried about Charley’s well-being. Also, the latest mystery hits close to home with Cookie’s friend missing and a mysterious dead guy (ghost) in Cookie's car. Only one week passes between the first and second story.
The relationship with Reyes is slightly less hot and steamy in Second Grave on the Left, but mostly because Charley is determined to find Reyes corporeal body and won't let his seductive ways interfere with her search. The two spend a lot of the book at odds with each other, and I have to say that it dampened my feelings for the pair. Reyes is simply too cryptic, withholding information, and Charley is too determined to find him. They did have some quality chat time, which they didn't get much of in book one, and this allowed the reader to learn more about Reyes.
We also learn more as Charley discovers more about her powers and purpose. In addition, more people are coming into her inner circle of trust. In fact, Charley isn’t so bitter and is able to trust people and share her secrets. After a rough journey, she also has some excellent family bonding at the end of the book.
Both stories have highs and lows that create for a tremendous read. The juxtaposition of Charley’s successes with the realizations of her failures is poignant. The emotional journeys, coupled with romance, friendships, life lessons and humor, make the Charley Davidson series one I will continue to read. In the end, Ms. Jones leaves just enough of a hook to make me jonesing for the next book. ”
“Of all of the career choices there are, being Grim Reaper doesn't really top the most wanted list for children, but Charley Davidson has always known who she was. It's her duty to ferry the souls to the light, but sometimes they have unfinished business and they ask Charley for help. Most of the time the tasks are easy, like tell mom I love her, but sometimes, in the case of murdered ghosts, that business involves bringing justice to their killers. Sure her life can get a little hectic, but she wouldn't change a thing, not even the smoking hot dreams she's been having about someone from her past. Of course, she doesn't know just who he is, and when she does find out, well let's just say that her life will be changed. Forever.
Charley Davidson is my new favorite character, and I have feeling it will be a very long time, if ever, before she gets "dethroned." She's just so sassy and quirky and honestly fun, that I absolutely adored her. She's definitely a no nonsense girl, but unlike a lot of Urban Fantasy heroines, she isn't hard or closed off from the world. In fact despite her reaper uniqueness, or maybe actually because of that, she's very open and rather happy with her life. Of course she does have to keep a good bit of secrets in order to stay out of the loony bin, but for the most part she makes no apologies for who and what she is. In fact some of her brazenness led to some pretty hilarious scenes, especially since you could never predict what would come out of her mouth next. There were several times that I had to re-read sections in sheer awe of of her sass and unpredictability. Seriously, best chick ever!
First Grave on the Right is the perfect example of what a series opening book should be. Everything was in perfect balance from the world building, to the characters, romance, and plot reveals (both for the book and the series as a whole). Not at one single point in the book did I become bogged down by the world building as it built gradually without any info dumps. But more importantly, I also never got frustrated due to a lack of information. Of course I still have a huge curiosity about some of the series plot threads that had started to develop, but that only makes me eager for the next book.
I'm always rather leery to pick up a book that seems to be taking the blogosphere by storm. I just hate the disappointment that seems to happen when inevitably the book doesn't live up to its hype. However, in this case I have to say First Grave on the Right has earned every single bit of that hype and then some. This book was just absolutely incredible it was rather astounding to be honest. It reminded me of when I first got into blogging and wasn't so jaded by the hundreds of books I have read and reviewed. I just cannot express how utterly refreshing and unique First Grave on the Right is. There is one advantage to coming late to the party with a book series, since now I can spend the next few days devouring the following installments. Seriously, this is one book, (and hopefully series) that you just won't want to miss!”
“I wasn't that taken with this first book - it's okay, has some laughs, mystery and romance, but the romance bits put me off. I like the concept with her being the grim reaper and her voice was similar to other heroines I like (such as Stephanie Plum), but in all, I found it a bit too disjointed to really love.”a stor(e)y wrote this review Sunday, December 9, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Charley Davidson sees dead people and they see and communicate with her. She's THE grim reaper and it's her job to convince them to go into the light. When their deaths are due to abnormal circumstances, like murder, they often want her to help bring their murderers to justice. Lately, she's been having erotic dreams about someone she saw when she was a young teen. Charley's not sure if he's alive or dead or something else but she's determined to find him.
Charley's an offbeat and courageous PI, working with her Uncle Bob, who she calls Ubie (you know, U for Uncle, B for Bob) to help him solve crimes with the help of her dead folks. He and her father, a retired detective, were able to create highly successful careers because of Charley's special gifts. In this debut series story, Charley is working with three dead lawyers who were partners in their law firm and were murdered on the same day. Meanwhile, Charley is also dealing with her own issues with the nightly erotic dreams involving a man she only knows as Reyes.
I loved this story, Charley and the quirky cast of characters involved in her life. The dead folks provide a level of humor you'd imagine and Charley's efforts to communicate with them in public without seeming odd herself is pretty inventive. Her pursuit of the answers about Reyes is a separate journey in itself with surprising outcomes.
This story has it all...romance, action, mystery, suspense and laughter. I just wish I hadn't waited so long to start this series. It's a great ride.”
“Charley Davidson can see dead people. As a matter of fact, she helps them cross over to the other side. She is the Grim Reaper. But sometimes the dead people aren't ready to leave. When Charley talks to the late Attorney Patrick Sussman, he wants her to help find the person who killed him and his law partners. Since her uncle is the lead detective on the murder case, she can feed him information to help the case along.
I was in a bit of a slump when I picked up this book. I think I'm officially over it. This is a funny story that is very hard to put down. I loved the humor. The characters are fun. And, Charley has a mysterious entity who has been following her around her whole life...one who is now starring in her dreams. Is he a ghost or some other type of being? I'll definitely be reading more of this series. My rating: 5 Stars.”
“I was really worried when I decided to download these books. First off, I love the Stephanie Plum books and this series is directly compared with the Plum books everywhere I look. On top of that, they're narrated by Lorelei King (the same lady who narrates the Stephanie Plum books). Recently, I'd had issues with listening to the latest Eragon book because Gerard Doyle narrates both them and the Septimus Heap books and I couldn't get the Septimus Heap books out of my head when I was listening to the last book. So, this audiobook had a lot of strikes against it before I even started. But I shouldn't have worried. Lorelei King is an amazing narrator and she amazing here. Yes, I did hear some of the same voices from the Stephanie Plum books but it wasn't distracting and not once did I find myself getting the series mixed. So kudos to King and if you're considering listening to a book narrated by her - have no fear. She's amazing.
Now onto First Grave on the Right. I loved it. It was fun, light-hearted, sexy and fast-paced. The dialogue is witty and sarcastic and Charley is a wonderful main character. It's so much fun listening to her dealing with the ghosts that pop in and out of her daily life. There's so much potential with Garret and Reyes as main characters. Yes, the story was a bit cliched at times but when I was laughing out loud at the book, I can handle the cliches. Hmmm, should I listen to the second book in this series or the next Night Huntress book first? Decisions, decisions.”
“Loved it, was hilarious and highly entertaining.”Pamela P wrote this review Saturday, September 22, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No