Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Posted March 27th, 2017 in book review / 18 comments

Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda JonesFirst Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press on February 1, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Adult
Pages: 310
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads
Rating: four-half-stars

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flow chart would have been nice.
Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can't she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

At A Glance

It’s as good as everyone said it was.

The Good

I bought this whole series when it went on sale. I wasn’t too worried with my assumption that I’d love these books because every blogger I know who has read this series (which is the majority of them) fell head over heels for every book.

Where do I even start? First, I loved the whole grim reaper thing. Definitely a fresh concept. Charley is a private investigator (part-time police consultant) who sees dead people. She helps them any way she can so they will cross over, be it by sending a message to a loved one or solving their murder. She’s good at all of her jobs, if only people would stop trying to kill her, it’s really inconvenient.

Be ready for some wise-assery beyond imagination. Charley is all jokes, wit, and snark. I laughed my ass off the whole time. And she doesn’t stop. She can be getting stabbed and she couldn’t help herself to some hilarious one-liner, story, or quip. It can come off cheesy but you soon find out it’s just her personality. Charley Davidson would not be Charley Davidson without named ovaries and boobs and an attraction to smoke monsters. Girl crush alert! Charley is also a crazy badass who puts her all in every situation. Have to love that kind of tenacity.

I pointed to my right breast. “This is Danger.” Then my left. “And this is Will Robinson. I would appreciate it if you addressed them accordingly.”

Every other character in First Grave to the Right was just as awesome in their own way. Cookie, Charley’s secretary, takes everything in stride, which you would need to if you had to experience Charley for more than 5 minutes at a time. I loved their friendship. Her police officer uncle is stern but cool. He totally has Charley’s back even when she makes The Joker seem sane. Garrett is an interesting one. He’s a jerk at first, then he grows on you.

Then there’s Reyes. Oh man, the way she describes him makes me weak in the knees…and ovaries (promptly named Moose and Not Moose (Can you guess where that’s form?)) I want to say so much about him but I can’t. But he makes things sooooo much more interesting. We find out a lot about him and Charley. They are not like us, people.

The mystery kept me reading. We actually have a few plotlines going which could get a bit confusing but it still worked. Lots of twists and turns and a few scary parts. I mean, we are talking ghosts here. Darynda did a great job of mixing humor, suspense, mystery, and sex in one fine piece of work.

The Bad

There was nothing significantly bad about First Grave to the Right. I was super close to giving it 5 stars but you know how stingy I am with those.

The Snuggly

The sex is hot and steamy but not super detailed. Just perfect for an urban fantasy.

Final Thoughts

Get on the Charley Davidson train. It’s so warm and comfy here. There are lots of laughs to be had on the ride and the passengers are one-of-a-kind. You will not regret buying this ticket, so worth the price. Highly recommended.


“My fore-parts, as you so ineloquently put it, have names.”
I pointed to my right breast. “This is Danger.” Then my left. “And this is Will Robinson. I would appreciate it if you addressed them accordingly.”
After a long pause in which he took the time to blink several times, he asked, “You named your breasts?”
I turned my back to him with a shrug. “I named my ovaries, too, but they don’t get out as much.”  

“I have three words for you,” EMT Guy said. “Possible internal bleeding.”
I turned back to him. “Don’t you think if I was bleeding internally, I’d know somewhere deep inside? Like, internally?”  

“Maybe I needed sensitivity training. I once signed up for an anger management class, but the instructor pissed me off.”  

“It isn’t the fall that will kill you, but the sudden stop.”  

Ok, I’ll admit it, the thought of those two having hot, unsafe animal sex was a bit creepy, especially since my aunt didn’t have any teeth.


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18 Responses to “Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones”

  1. Carrie

    Just went and bought the first book in the series based on this review … and reading the first chapter. OMG it sounds hilarious! Can’t wait!

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      Yayyyyy!!! I hope you love it! Let me know if you are going to continue the series.

  2. Nathan

    I haven’t tried this series, but glad you loved it. With the humor, maybe I should reconsider and read it someday.

  3. Olivia Roach

    Everyone and the next person loves this series! And now you too 😀 I am glad you could love it as well, and totally dig the whole grim reaper kind of thing. I am so adding this to my reading list and I cannot wait to start the series now too. Hope you enjoy the sequels 😀

  4. Melliane

    Oh you tried it! yay! I really enjoy this series and I’m happy to see it’s the same for you. I hope it will continue like that

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