Book Review: Darynda Jones’ First Grave on the Right

Posted November 15, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Darynda Jones’ First Grave on the Right

First Grave on the Right


Darynda Jones

urban fantasy in Hardcover edition that was published by St. Martin's Press on February 1, 2011 and has 310 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Second Grave on the Left, Third Grave Dead Ahead, "For I Have Sinned", Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, Death and the Girl Next Door, Fifth Grave Past the Light, Sixth Grave on the Edge, Seventh Grave and No Body, Eighth Grave After Dark, The Dirt on Ninth Grave, The Curse of Tenth Grave, Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, The Trouble with Twelfth Grave

First in the Charley Davidson urban-fantasy series set in Albuquerque, New Mexico and revolving around a grim reaper and her family.

In 2009, First Grave on the Right won the Golden Heart for Best Paranormal Romance. In 2012, it won the RITA Award by Romance Writers of America for Best First Book and the HOLT Medallion by Virginia Romance Writers for Best First Book & for Paranormal/Time Travel/Futuristic/Fantasy.

My Take

Omigod!! This one is a buy! If I could give this a “7”, I would. In a heartbeat.

Darynda Jones is an absolute crack-up from page one on.

“…wonder if repetitive exposure to nightly…earth-shattering climaxes could have any long-term side effects.” “Death via extreme pleasure was a serious concern.

Do I seek help or buy drinks all around?”

Then there’s:

“I had on a Scorpions hockey jersey I’d snatched off a goalie and a pair of plaid boxers — same team, different position.”

Of course, we can all relate to:

“I dragged all 470 throbbing pounds toward the kitchen and, more important, the coffeepot. Caffeine would chisel the pounds off…”

As well as…

“I kept the coffeepot in my office…it was my answer to potpourri.”

Jones has one of the more explosive orgasm scenes I’ve read yet…pure poetry!

“Galaxies formed in my mind as I saw the universe being born…”

I am so looking forward to reading Second Grave on the Left!

The Story

After staggering into bed, Charley wakes much too soon to yet another call to a murder scene. Worse, the Dead Guy is hanging out by her bed. Between the phone call and the DG, they’ve interrupted yet another of those fabulous dreams. Hot, sensual…Charley came more often in her dreams than she did in reality. Now if she could only find the guy in the real world?!

The Characters

Charlotte “Charley” Davidson is the grim reaper. Yup, uh-huh. The dead show up on her doorstep, in her bathroom…especially in her bathroom until she can direct them to the light. By setting herself up as a private detective, it makes it so much easier to explain her presence at a crime scene. Her dad, an ex-cop now, make good use of her abilities to solve crimes; then, her Uncle Bob inherited her services. Denise is her super-bitch of a stepmother, and Gemma is her sister.

Cookie is Charley’s secretary and best friend while Amber is her so-very precocious daughter. Rocket is a dead grim reaper. Born too early for his time period and misdiagnosed, Rocket’s brain was fried and twisted. Now, he simply knows who is dead and who isn’t. Angel is a thirteen-year-old gangbanger who helps out on Charley’s cases. It’s cool; he’s dead. But the night she met Angel is the same night she encountered…

Reyes Farrow is a memory from high school. Now, he’s a dream. He calls Charley, “Dutch”. Garrett Swopes is a PI and bounty hunter. Hot and irritating all at the same time. Officer Taft is being followed around by a Strawberry Shortcake blonde, and as her antics become more obvious, Taft becomes more friendly.

Patrick Sussman III, Elizabeth Ellery, and Jason Barber are all murdered the same night. Lawyers in the same law firm. The same night, Carlos Rivera tried to give Barber a flash drive with the proof of what Bennie Price is doing to children.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a crack-up. And it gets better when you discover that Charley is the grim reaper — puts a whole new perspective on the skulled-strap sandals on the end of that white pant-clad leg and the gleaming sickle resting on her thigh. Nicely set off by the black mani-pedi she’s flaunting.

The title has got to be another play on words. I swear, Darynda Jones has such a way with words. Seein’ as Charley is always giving directions, I reckon it only makes sense that one of those directions to the dead may well be First Grave on the Right.