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

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson Series #1) - Darynda Jones The Charley Davidson Series is one that has been on my radar for quite some time now. When I finally got my hands on book 1 during the Holidays this year, I knew it wouldn't be long till I cracked that bad boy open. Within the first few chapters I was already giggling out loud. Before long, I found myself caught up in Charley's adventures which usually include a healthy mix of enigmas, humor grit...and paranormal sexiness! And while the plot felt a bit lighter then whay I'm accustomed to, by the end I was already itching to see what's in store for book 2. First Grave on the Right is a fun & steamy UF that promises to be the start of something good!

First Grave on the Right introduces us to Charley Davidson, a feisty, no-nonsense private investigator..who also happens to be THE grim-reaper. The combination of the two make for some 'interesting' situations (to put it mildly) whenever someone has been murdered and the victims seek out Charley to help make things right. While investigating one such case, she bites off a bit more than she can chew - for 2 reasons: 1- the case is far more complex than what it initially appears. And 2 - she's been having these recurring...and very steamy dreams about this...guy, an... entity that she's not even sure is real. Soon Charley realizes that even within her VERY uncommon existence there are plenty more things out there that even she can't begin to understand - and she may be in all the more danger for it.

''This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual. Or a diagram of some kind. A flowchart would have been nice.''

I was a bit surprised to find these books in the 'Mystery' section of my bookstore, I went in thinking adult fiction, fantasy or even romance - but when I actually sat down to read the story it became more and more obvious that the 'crime-solving' element played heavily into the story-line. I really enjoyed that aspect because it's not something I've come across much before. I especially liked how well it all meshed together with the paranormal & romantic elements. The characters were instantly engaging and while I didn't feel an intense connection to them, I did have an affinity for the MC and the secondary characters and an investment in what they were all going through! Charley is a fun & tough protagonist who is easy to like & respect. She has NO problem holding her own against any man she crosses; she's bold, sarcastic & doesn't hold anything back. While she wasn't instantly relatable for me, she earned my respect soon enough with her self-deprecating humor & her inherent stubbornness. The cast of supporting characters were all believable & diverse from Charley's police officer uncle, her quirky assistant Cookie and a host of ghost acquaintances (and a roommate!! haha) but the one that stood out the most was *swoon* Reyes. He is quite a handful (ahem) and I can't wait to learn more about him. Talk about a hot take on a bad boy with a heart AND a haunted past!! I won't reveal more cause spoilers but anyways, yeah...I already like him. A lot.

As much as I enjoyed myself immensely reading this book, sometimes it felt like there was something missing. I longed for a deeper connection with the characters & the plot and while my feelings grew as the story moved forwards, I never gave myself completely to the story. I've been reading much heavier fiction lately so this lighter UF might have just thrown me through a loop. In all honesty though, it's only the first book in the series & I feel like my feelings will grow as the series progresses. All in all, this was a entertaining read full of mysteries and sass...oh and steamy hot love scenes! Yeah.
My rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars ★★★☆☆

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