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

Average Rating 4.5
( 575 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(344)

4 Star

(146)

3 Star

(45)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(29)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

26 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

Fresh, fun, exciting-more please!

I am so impressed by the fact that this book read like a 'bestseller': it kept the pages turning, the dialogue was quick and witty, and I felt I might run into the characters the next time I was in Albuquerque--they felt that real. But at the same time, this book does N...
I am so impressed by the fact that this book read like a 'bestseller': it kept the pages turning, the dialogue was quick and witty, and I felt I might run into the characters the next time I was in Albuquerque--they felt that real. But at the same time, this book does NOT read like yet another from your favorite author. Darynda Jones has found a new, fresh flavor to write with, and this book is completely unique. Charley and the other characters are personalities you've never had the please of meeting before (and you will love them!). They get into (and out of) situations you never thought possible, and their interactions feel true to life . . . well, if you are willing to believe that the grim reaper is a hot PI who shines like a beacon to the dead! Charley Davidson is smart, sassy, sexy . . . the only thing I don't like about her is that I can't BE her. And her amazingly tasty mystery man had my mouth watering! I loved the outstanding character development; the story is interesting and will keep you hooked from page one to the very end--I read straight through, and now I am craving more! Can't wait for Second Grave, and Third, and Fourth, and . . .

posted by LaurenJ11 on January 14, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

I have no idea

Sadly, I can't even open the book. I have done everything I can and the book refuses to open for me. I have done all the research possible to try to fix it, and I feel like I just wasted my money nothing. Which I did. It seems that this only happens to certain books and...
Sadly, I can't even open the book. I have done everything I can and the book refuses to open for me. I have done all the research possible to try to fix it, and I feel like I just wasted my money nothing. Which I did. It seems that this only happens to certain books and it's not the nooks problem, so buy at your own risk of even being able to read it once you do buy it.

posted by 7074251 on November 20, 2012

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  • Posted January 21, 2011

    Great Debut!

    Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and a full-time Grim Reaper. Her love interest, Reyes, is, believe it or not . . . . well, I guess you will just have to read the book yourself to find out what he is! This is a debut novel and I really enjoyed it even though the author tried too hard to be funny at times. It has a great storyline and interesting characters so the sometimes forced humor wasn't really necessary. I really do hope this book is the first in a series of books because I would love to see how the relationship between Charley and Reyes would evolve and what other predicaments Charley would get herself involved in.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2014

    Fun fun fun to read. Well written and clever plots. Best if re

    Fun fun fun to read. Well written and clever plots. Best if read in order. Can't wait for the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    What a great read!

    I am so impressed to find a book that was written in and about a character in Albuquerque, NM. Better yet, it was far from a mediocre chic lit-it was laugh out loud amazing. This is a rare find and I am so happy to have read it, I can't wait to read the other books in this series. So what are you waiting for, you should read it too!

    You meet Charley Davidson who is a private detective and who is also a grim reaper. Yep she sees dead people! Her job is to help the dead cross over to the light and in the meantime find out about how they died especially if their deaths were unfortunate. She is very much a spitfire and has more balls and humor than any character I have read in a while. Who couldn't love a character that names her girls/breasts: "the right one is Danger and the left one - Will Robinson".

    The novel is about a case that she is helping her uncle who is a detective out with and the trouble she seems to get into. She has two assistants (one dead, one alive) that help her with her cases. And if that isn't enough she has a dream lover. This one is for the history books!

    A great book that has a mixture of super natural, mystery and humor. A wonderful mix of characters and well written to boot. Author Darynda Jones has a real sense to keep the reader entertained, a true story teller through and through!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    Super read

    I could not put the book down, and I loved the author's snappy witt will recomend

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    I really liked this book!!! I am now on the fifth book in the se

    I really liked this book!!! I am now on the fifth book in the series. Page turning, funny, sarcastic and full of one liners that have me
    laughing out loud. Great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2014

    Great read!!!

    I enjoyed this twist on the romance novel genre so much that I ended up bying the whole series and read them all in a week.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2014

    274 pages

    Sad to say, I harbor a deep dislike of paranormal books. I guess it is time to come clean and amend that statement to ; at one time I disliked all paranormal books, but I now just dislike most of them since reading, book one of this series. I really enjoyed this book. It has every errata known to mankind concealed within its pages, from grammer, punctuation, spelling and sentence structure, this author made them all. Yet, I still enjoyed this, stand alone book. It was so good, I am not even taking off a star for errors. (which I hate.) It was funny, surprizing, irreverant, with hot, descriptive animal sex and a very different type of romance. There was no cursing, drug use and as far as religion goes, I am just not sure. You will have to decide that for yourself. There is child abuse, all sorts of death, murder and violence, none extremely descriptive. There are other sorts of wickedness and things that go bump in the night as well as ghosts. This book sorta reminds of The Ghost Whisperer television series, only so much better. It is a twisty, curvy, wonderful roller coaster of a ride, full of mystery and suspense. Because of adult themes, I recommend this book for readers 18 years of age and up. It is more chick than rooster lit. Read and enjoy, as for myself, I am off to purchase book 2, but do not tell anyone. I am rather embarassed about it. Book 2, costs $2.99.

    AD

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2014

    One of the BEST debuts!

    I saw a recommendation from JR Ward on Ms. Jones' first novel - love me some BDB! - and I thought, "why not I have nothing to read now". So I picked up this book at the library. I was skeptical - I really don't like first person narratives (I want to be a fly on the wall of all the stories I read) but after the first chapter, I completely forgot about it and was firmly entrenched into the life of one Charley Davidson, PI and Grim Reaper extraordinaire! I fell for Reyes, and UB, and Cookie, and Garrett - seriously I loved everyone in it. This was my favorite debut book by far - and the subsequent Charley/Reyes books do no disappoint! Give this one a shot! You will not regret it :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Every so often something rare and wonderful happens to a reader.

    Every so often something rare and wonderful happens to a reader. You come across a book that just clicks. This book was one of those for me. Many of my friends on Goodreads gave it 4 or 5 stars, if I could I would give it 6 stars (I'll tell you why below). I had this one as a to-read for a while now and was hesitant to give it a try because it didn't sound like the type of paranormal I normally read. I may have mentioned before that I am pretty loyal to my Vamps, but have been known to stray into worlds centered on Angels and have just recently developed a taste for Weres. A story centered on a Grim Reaper, I don't know just didn't sound like something I would really get into. I'm not a fan of Zombies and the Anita Blake series turned me off of wanting to try anything dealing with the dead. Oh how wrong I was...




    Alright now why I LOVED this book. The humor is what first brought me in, I like both dark and lighthearted paranormal books. After reading so many heavy and serious novels you just need something to make you laugh, something fun. This book does humor brilliantly, the character has a razor sharp wit and wields it well. The author has managed to strike a nice balance in this book though. Charley is sarcastic and can give the other characters a hard time, but she can be serious too when the situation calls for it and you get to see her humanity as well. 




    The supporting cast of characters was great in this new world as well. Charley's Uncle Bob, her best friend Cookie, her Dad and I even liked Garret. I really enjoyed Reyes and finding out all about his mysterious past and its link to Charley. One of my few complaints about the book involves what looks to be a set up for a love triangle between Charley, Reyes and Garret. Please don't. I like Garret, but there is no way he can compete, just let the tension develop and hopefully a relationship with Reyes develop without throwing in Garret...please. 




    Another aspect of this book that I adored was the more serious moments. Those times when Charley helped the spirits and people around her find closure. There were some really beautiful moments in this book that brought me to tears, happy ones. The story line would turn all serious and start to get heavy and then Charley would whip out some line and make you smile. Really well done in my opinion. A book that bring me to tears and then have me laughing on the next page is a winner in my mind.




    There were also serious moments in this book that didn't work out so well in the end. We got to see Charley question herself and her role in this world and wonder if she is doing more harm then good. It was these moments that kept the book real for me, made sure the story wasn't too much of a good thing. Our heroine isn't infallible, she doesn't have all the answers, like us she struggles and doesn't get everything she wants. You get the sense that Charley has been alone and struggling to figure out her abilities or role as a Grim Reaper up until this point in her life. That she has also had to go it alone. It was nice to see her start to open up and realize she can count on those around her. 




    Up until the end of the book I thought it was mainly going to be a detective or private investigator series and each of the future stories would just center around some case or group of departed that Charley had to deal with. Enjoyable, but not a lot of depth to this new world I was enjoying. Then in the last few chapters everything changed, and wow the story took a plunge and gained an edge I wasn't expecting. I was already hooked and adding all the next books to my to-read list on Goodreads, then suddenly the author develops this whole other story line that I did not see coming and it all revolves around Reyes, so please leave out a love triangle.




    I wish I could give you some more complaints about the book, but there really is only the one. I enjoyed the book, loved the mix of humor and drama. There was a love interest, but only really one good steamy scene. I guess it was a little annoying that Charley seemed to be attracted to most of the men she came in contact with, but that wasn't such a big deal, so she was a horn dog. I look forward to reading more of Charley's adventures and am definitely looking forward to getting to know Reyes better.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    It was ok

    Her inner dialogue got old

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Shameful

    It is unfortunate that this author decided to depict the crime of attempted rape as an erotic experience. It is also disgusting that her readers apparently see nothing wrong with this.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2013

    This book is broken. Do not purchase.

    This book is broken. Do not purchase.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2012

    would love to read the book, but sadly, it won't even open on th

    would love to read the book, but sadly, it won't even open on the NOOK. and FYI, B&N won't stand behind it and refund the purchase! So if you are interested in the book, don't buy the everison!!!! It won't work, we are on the second copy purchased because B&N convicned my sister it was her nook, not the book, well, GUESS WHAT B&N, IT'S THE BOOK!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Different

    Fabulous book !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2012

    How did I go so long without reading this book (and series as a

    How did I go so long without reading this book (and series as a whole)?
    Shame on me!! Absolutely loved it! Where to start….. This is a quick
    read that is easy to follow with a few subplots, but again, easy to
    follow. The characters are, well great! They would so be the people I
    would want in my life and have them as friends! They each are quirky,
    smart, sarcastic, and witty in their own way! The dynamic between each
    of the individual relationships and the larger group one is written
    perfectly! Charley is a consultant for the local police department,
    assisting her uncle who is a detective with solving crimes. She’s also a
    P.I. , sees dead people and oh yeah, is the Grim Reaper! Busy girl! No
    wonder she’s a coffee-a-holic!! Which I can’t be one to talk as I do
    love a good cup of joe! Of course, add every day challenges (new
    cases, paying bills, waking up with enough energy to start your day,
    etc.) and of course a bit of complicated love life and well, it makes
    for not only an interesting day, but an interesting book. My oh my,
    speaking of Love Interests… Hotty Reyes!!! Can’t go into it without
    spoiling it but wow! A perfect combination of being hot, steamy and
    mysterious! Love how Darynda created that unique aspect of their
    relationship and didn’t give everything away all at once. You’re
    discovering things at the same time Charley is!! Darynda’s writing
    style is witty, creative, and hilarious! The book is filled with
    one-liners that will make you laugh aloud! Bonus that every chapter
    begins with either a t-shirt, bumper sticker or Charley quote!
    Brilliant!! Great series to read back to back (I couldn’t put it down
    so that’s how I read them) or use as a “breather” for when you’re
    reading “darker” books and need a “bright light”.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2012

    Very

    Very enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    good for a fun read

    Join Charlie Davidson, Danger, and Will Robinson on a crazy, laughable adventure complete with mystery hunks, lurking dead people, and that pesky, hot detective that keeps showing up to ruin your day. Charlie is part-time PI, part-time Police consultant, and full time grim reaper. THE grim reaper.

    Charlie's visited by three lawyers, all killed the same night, all partners at the same law firm, and all working on the same case. Coincidence? Me thinks not. Helping the dead lawyers say their goodbyes and find out who killed them takes Charlie to the police case she ends up working with her uncle and the hot, annoying detective (both of which know her secret of talking to the dead).

    Throughout the book, Jones has two other subplots and back story woven in, and it's done pretty well. One of Charlie's cases as a PI is a faint blip on her radar, only really popping in at the beginning and then again at the very end. The other is a mysterious hot dude she keeps having dreams about and is madly in love/obsessed with.

    That part kinda bothered me. She eventually figures out that he's in prison and in a coma, and oh yeah, he's the guy that threatened to rape her when she was like twelve after she saw him get beat up by his dad and offered to call the police.

    Way to fall for a winner, Charlie. This is worse than an obsessive-stalker-vampire boyfriend.

    Her feelings for him were completely unbelievable for me, no matter how 'hot' she thought he was. And the cherry on the sundae? The thing she finds out about him at the end that was totally out of left field......not gonna tell ya what it is, though. Find out for yourself. :-)

    The storyline wasn't overly original, and I'll tell ya why. When you're writing about something (grim reapers, vampires, angels, etc) paranormal (or not) that has a pretty monotonous/predictable/cliche storyline to it, you HAVE to jazz it up a lot to make sure you grab the right kind of attention from your readers. And a groan followed by the words, "Another Twilight?" doesn't count.

    It was almost like Jones took a page from The Ghost Whisperer TV show with Jennifer Love Hewitt. Which is fine--if she would have twisted it and made it her own, which I didn't really feel she did. Both Whisperer and Grave had the identical premise of helping the departed cross over into the light, and it was their job to find out why the lingering earthbound spirits were here, and help them finish any unfinished business so they could cross over.

    Jone's writing is good and I think it's a good debut novel. The mc was witty, sharp, and funny. But by the middle of the book, it was getting obnoxious. I got to the point in a scene where I could say to myself, "Cue witty remark...now" and there it would be. (I have mad skills, people, mad). I mainly just glossed over the parts where I knew they would be.

    I felt the characters weren't as developed as they could've been, even Charlie, and the side characters in the novel were flat and almost cliche, but they served their purpose in helping to get the story told and keep the plot moving.

    Overall, I enjoyed this book, and even with all the pet peeves I mentioned above, the book was still entertaining and fun to read and had a pretty good mystery to solve. It went by fast and had a little bit of steam and a lot of wit. If you get the chance, pick it up and give it a read. It's entertaining and a fast read, but not one of the best books I've read.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2014

    AWESOME!!! Funny, Entertaining, with Romance!

    What's not to love? A snarky heroine and a hot love interest, great secondary characters.

    This is a great series and I highly recommend!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2014

    Check it out!

    Nice read, will check out the rest of the series.

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  • Posted November 22, 2014

    4.5 stars I¿ve owned First Grave on the Right on audio for what

    4.5 stars
    I’ve owned First Grave on the Right on audio for what feels like FOREVER, but for some very stupid reason I didn’t read it until it came up as a selection for book club. Well thank goodness that made me read it! There was absolutely nothing about First Grave on the Right that I didn’t love – but I’m giving it 4.5 stars because I wasn’t quite blown away enough to push it to 5.

    Charley is nothing like I expected – she’s THE Grim Reaper, that comes with certain dark, badass expectations. Even though that’s not her at all, I adore her. She gets into loads of trouble (she’s not exactly a badass LOL) and has a really sarcastic and somewhat inappropriate sense of humor. As in snark overload. But you love that, right? I know I adore a grim reaper that names her boobs “Danger” and “Will Robinson”!

    Charley also has a HUGE heart. Having a heart like hers could be a liability when you have to deal with death so frequently, and it kind of is for Charley – remember all the trouble she gets into? – but I loved that she doesn’t let some pretty horrendous things keep her from caring.

    And I just loved her dynamic with her best friend – Cookie. Cookie is Charley’s assistant at her private investigation firm, but she’s also just a GREAT friend. Charley’s life is far from normal and Cookie just excepts it. Sure she freaks out and mothers Charley when Charley almost gets herself killed (notice a theme –> Charley gets into a lot of trouble), but that’s what a good friend does.

    And then there’s Reyes. So when I heard his name, I thought, “Ohhhh Reyes!” Needless to say I’ve heard all about Reyes but I didn’t realize he belonged to this series. Yes, I like Reyes. He earned some sighs from me too. But he didn’t illicit the reaction I thought he would, given the hype. That’s okay, because I still really like him and I’m super curious about him – he’s a bit of a twist in the plot all on his own, so I can’t say much without being spoilery.

    The way this world works is neat – grim reaping is nothing like I expected. Charley has an awful lot of ghosts around her and I found myself thinking, “aren’t you supposed to reap those souls?” But it doesn’t work that way – Charley is really just that bright light souls pass through. They have to choose to pass through her – so she’s more of a gate than an actual active soul collector.

    I really enjoyed First Grave on the Right and look forward to reading more. If you’re one of the few out there that haven’t read it like me – I’d recommend it, especially if you enjoy snark, a bit of paranormal woo-woo, a light (almost cozy) mystery, and some sexy fun! And I’d definitely recommend it on audio – Lorelei King nailed it! I think the personalities, humor, and snark really came to life BECAUSE if her reading. This will be audio only for me, for sure!

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