Prepublication Reviews and Expertly Selected Title Lists

Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

After reading a couple heavy, yet still enjoyable, novels, I felt it was time for me to enjoy a book that encompassed the 3 Fs: fun, flirty, and fast. I’d read Darynda Jones’ First Grave on the Right to start the Charley Davidson series, so I knew I would get all 3 Fs in the sequel, Second Grave on the Left, and she did not disappoint.

Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, hates getting woken up in the middle of the night for the deceased who want to cross through her into Heaven. But she especially hates getting woken up in the middle of the night by her best friend, Cookie, who drags her on a mysterious mission and won’t tell her what’s going on. When Charley finally drags the story out of Cookie, she learns one of Cookie’s friends, Mimi, has gone missing. The two women start their reconnaissance and begin putting together a case that seems to stem from an event that happened in high school, as members of Mimi’s class are dropping like flies.

In addition to helping Cookie find Mimi and solve the case, she’s also trying to figure out the story of the dead homeless guy trapped in Cookie’s trunk. When she discovers her Uncle Bob has put Garrett Swopes on her as a tail, she decides to use him to her advantage to figure out how the guy died, why he won’t talk to her, and when she can get him to cross.

If all that wasn’t enough on her plate, she’s still dealing with Reyes, aka the Son of Satan, who, after waking up from a coma has gone MIA, is still coming to her in his own supernatural way. In some instances, it’s a good thing, like when he saves her from being gunned down after being kidnapped by someone who didn’t want Mimi found or the case solved. In other ways, it’s a bad thing, as lately their visits have turned less steamy and sexy and more argumentative and angry. He wants to let his human body die to keep the demons from finding her, the portal to Heaven, and she wants him to tell her where his body is because she can’t imagine her life without him.

Just like in the first novel, and in most chick-lit mysteries, the cases are solved neatly, but there are enough twists and turns to keep the end game from the reader. The supernatural aspects involved in the case are believable in their own unbelievable kind of way, and definitely leave you waiting for the next book (which I just found out is called Third Grave Dead Ahead and will be out in January! Woo-hoo!).

The characters developed in this book, as well. There were a couple great scenes between Charley and Garrett, which has definitely left me rooting for him more than for Reyes, though I am probably alone in that department. If you’re worried about them hooking up hurting Cookie’s feelings, there’s an interesting development between her and an important person in Charley’s life. Even though it’s minor (and hopefully explored further in the next novel!), I won’t say who so you can be as delightfully surprised as I was (or maybe you’ll be grossed out like Charley).

The worst part about reading a series of novels is waiting for the next one to come out, especially when they’re released a year apart. With a third Charley Davidson book only a couple of months away, it’s the perfect time to introduce readers to this quirky character and her grim reaper lifestyle, because patrons won’t have to wait much longer for the next entry.



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