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First Grave on the Right: Charley Davidson, Book 1 | [Darynda Jones]

First Grave on the Right: Charley Davidson, Book 1

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. 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 (i.e. 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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Charlotte “Charley” Davidson is not your stereotypical Grim Reaper. She’s sexy, sassy, and likes to help dead people with unfinished business before they cross. She’s more of a bright light kind of girl than a hood with an axe. For her day job, Charley is an Albuquerque private investigator and a consultant to her police detective uncle. Lately, her nights have been steamed up with dreams of a hot mystery lover who may or may not be real. It’s chick-lit meets paranormal with a touch of mystery in the buzz-worthy First Grave on the Right.

Inevitably, this book will be compared to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. They both have feisty female protagonists, snappy dialogue, and zany characters. Veteran narrator Lorelei King also performs the Stephanie Plum books and is well-cast in this novel. What makes her fantastic in the Plum series is her ability to define the voices of all the secondary characters and inject them with interest and distinct personalities. In this performance, she does not disappoint. King seamlessly switches among the characters and has fantastic comedic timing. She elevates the work and keeps the laughs coming.

This is a debut novel from Darynda Jones. It will not be her last; this is clearly a launch for a series. There’s quite a bit of set-up as Charley begins to understand more of her abilities and the presence of other supernatural beings. Jones has created an interesting premise and characters. The mystery element is weak, however, and the writing is on the mediocre side. Jones is at her best with witty dialogue and keeps things moving at a brisk pace. Overall, it’s a fun, breezy listen and an enjoyable escape.

Fans of Janet Evanovich, Lorelei King, and paranormal romance will want to give this new series a listen. —Julie MacDonald

Publisher's Summary

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. 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 (i.e. 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.

This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense. The audio includes a sneak peak of Second Grave on the Left.

Keep chilled: spend some more time with Charley Davidson.

©2011 Darynda Jones (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (3635 )
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  •  
    Joanne Perry, GA, United States 03-17-11
    Joanne Perry, GA, United States 03-17-11 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Lorelei King does it again!"

    Fun book, but Lorelei King made it even better. She is my favorite narrator and I trusted her reputation. We were not disappointed!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Mattison Dallas, TX 03-03-11
    A. Mattison Dallas, TX 03-03-11 Member Since 2008

    starchimes

    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
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    551
    26
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    3
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    Overall
    "I don't get the all the fuss."

    To me this was a knock off of the Stephanie plum series with a supernatural twist. I like my supernatural with more grit.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelley Chatsworth CA 03-03-11
    Shelley Chatsworth CA 03-03-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    216
    ratings
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    184
    116
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    1
    Overall
    "Can't Wait Until The Next Book!"

    I can only repeat what most of the other reviewers have said about this book! It's absolutely terrific. And, like some others, I didn't really have high expectations when I first bought it and started listening. But it hooked me right away...excellent writing, good narrator and very involving plot.

    But unlike some other reviewers, I loved the ending. I won't give any spoilers here, but I thought the ending was filled with all the supernatural and cool religious things that I love in these books.

    Hurry up, please, please, Ms. Jones, and write the next one!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacie M. 02-27-11
    Stacie M. 02-27-11 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    "Pleasantly surprised!"

    I admit, I didn't have high hopes for this book, but I was desperate for something to listen to during my commute, and the book I was waiting for hadn't released yet. So I bought and downloaded First Grave on the Right, and my am I ever glad I gave it a chance! From the first few paragraphs, it had me hooked, and the storyline barreled forward at a great pace. The character development in this book was fabulous, and it's clear that Darynda Jones has some interesting things planned for "Charlie"... I can't wait for the next book!

    If I had one negative thing to say about the book, it's that the narrator wasn't my favorite. Her voice was quite deep and gravelly and sounded older than I pictured for Charlie, so it was jarring, especially at first. Eventually, I got used to it and it didn't bother me so much, but definitely not my favorite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wakia Odenton, MD, United States 02-22-11
    Wakia Odenton, MD, United States 02-22-11 Member Since 2005
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    10
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    "Loved It!!!!"

    I was looking for a book to keep my interest after Twilight, Black Dragger Brotherhood, Sookie Stakehouse, etc....this book was it!!! I cannot wait for the next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl EATON, CO, United States 02-21-11
    Cheryl EATON, CO, United States 02-21-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    214
    21
    FOLLOWERS
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    3
    1
    Overall
    "Great start to a new series!"

    I love Charley! She's the most unlikely, sarcastic grim reaper imaginable - those who love Stephanie Plum and Betsey the Vampire Queen will have a new, snarky, witty heroine to add to their list!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer bonaire, ga 02-20-11
    Amazon Customer bonaire, ga 02-20-11 Member Since 2005

    Jmac

    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    49
    19
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    1
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    Overall
    "Good until the Last Hour or so"

    I loved this book until the last hour or so. After the investigative plots finished, the author wrapped up loose ends to include a Charlie pity party, lots of graphic sex, and closure that wasn't meant to close but to lead to the next book. It irritated me because it didn't flow with the rest of the book which I thought was fun. The near death experiences were a bit much--reduced the quality of the book. For the most part, I enjoyed this until the end. Hopefully, Ms. Jones will provide a more evenly spaced adventure in her next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Sandwich, MA, United States 02-15-11
    Ruth Sandwich, MA, United States 02-15-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprisingly good"

    The premise seems uninspiring but the writing is excellent, as is the storyline. Reminiscent of Janet Evanovich, for both the narration and cleverness of the dialog.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire Cocoa, FL United States 08-22-11
    Claire Cocoa, FL United States 08-22-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Original. Not Creative."

    If you are looking for another Stephanie Plum/Janet Evanovich novel, you've found it. While I enjoy the Stephanie Plum series, I've reached the point that I prefer to borrow them from the library, saving my Audible credits for books that I care to listen to more than once.

    And herein lies the irony: in order to prevent the waste of a credit, I actually checked out a hardcover copy of this book from the library and read the first few chapters of the book before I bought the audiobook. I should have read the last half of the book as well. By the middle of the book, any originality that the author brought to this genre was gone. By the last quarter of the book, I became so convinced that Janet Evanovich had written this book that I actually went to Darynda Jones's web site to find out why a Janet Evanovich novel appeared to be written by Darynda Jones.

    On the web site, there are pictures there of a person labeled Darynda Jones and there is a picture of the two authors together. So, the publisher is really playing up the connection between the two authors. But I'm going to call them on it. Either Janet Evanovich wrote First Grave on the Right and is using a pseudonym, or she helped Darynda Jones complete it. And either way, the novel is a rehash of the Stephanie Plum series, all the way from Stephanie's attitude down to her ponytail, the love triangle, and a version of Grandma Mauzer.

    Finally, any book that I have to force myself to finish while rolling my eyes and gritting my teeth gets one star.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Riverside, CA, United States 02-25-11
    Amanda Riverside, CA, United States 02-25-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
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    2
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    "Couldn't Finish It"

    I was so excited by the wonderful reviews but couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about. I didn't think it was funny of witty at all. I really don't understand the point of the book. I have 2 hours left of the book and I'm giving up. I do like the narrator though.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
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