Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, is back in this sexy, suspenseful novel of supernatural shenanigans.
When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously?
Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been found murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message.
Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven… well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Will Cookie ever get a true fashion sense? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel them as they do?
Here is your signpost for the most hilarious listen of the summer: Second Grave on the Left.
Also listen to the first book, First Grave on the Right
©2011 Darynda Jones (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
The humor in these books is so over-the-top ridiculous that you’ll spend a good chunk of your time wondering where the heck does Jones come up with this stuff! For example, I met Will Robinson and Danger in First Grave on the Right but in this installment Darynda names even more of Charley’s body parts. Priceless. Expect to laugh and to keep on laughing because Second Grave on the Left is better than 9.5 hours of live stand-up comedy!
Charley has a mouth on her like you wouldn’t believe; I could listen to her wise cracks all day long. She could even make a funeral entertaining, seriously! Her personality, fearlessness and saucy wit have sold me on the merits of this series. I also like how even though she’s a Grim Reaper she’s not indestructible; Davidson loses more scraps than she wins which is oddly refreshing in the world of Urban Fantasy.
Cookie is one of the better fictional sidekicks that I’ve encountered; not only does she have Charley’s back but her ditziness makes me laugh without trying too hard. Her faux pas’ aren’t stereotypical because they’re few and far between which keeps her character from becoming annoying but when she does goof, it’s spectacular. There’s this one scene that’s been on constant replay in my mind since I finished this book because it’s just too funny. The main plot revolves around one of Cookie’s friends so she takes a more active role in Davidson’s investigation this time around and I hope that this continues because I think that she really adds something extra to the story.
There’s only one thing that can make an already talented author’s writing even better and that’s a gifted narrator. Lorelei King’s portrayal of Charley is beyond memorable; her witty tone and colourful reading puts the little voice inside my head to shame. You really do get the best of both worlds with the audiobook version of this tale. There’s also a couple of extras that make it even more irresistible including an interview with the author conducted by King and a preview of the next installment.
I do have a few beefs with book 2 though; namely that it doesn’t contribute to the overall story arc of this series and that there weren’t enough Grim Reaper tidbits for my liking. As a result, this novel felt more like a snarky P.I. murder investigation as opposed to a story about THE angel of death; slightly disappointing but still entertaining nonetheless. The dream state sex between Charley and Reyes is also starting to bug me; it’s good but I’m itching for the day when they knock boots in real life.
Darynda Jones and Lorelei King are a winning combo that can’t be beat which makes Second Grave on the Left an essential listen for all audiobook junkies.
I love this author, and man oh man, did she ever select the right narrator! (At least, one would hope that its the author who has some say in who narrates her hard work.) Lorelei King is completely awesome in her role as Charlie Davidson, and brings such life (pardon the pun, as Charlie is the Grim Reaper) to the story that it literally makes you laugh out loud. (Really, you have no choice -- you MUST laugh out loud!) :) Keep 'em coming, Darynda and Lorelei!
Charley Davidson is a fun character and is so well written. The storylines in this book are great and surprising. I can't wait for the third book. The narrator is one of my favorites.
You can not beat a great story AND a great narrator!
I have really mixed feelings about this series. There are aspects to it that I like (the mysteries, some of the humor, Charley's interactions with the secondary characters) and some I don't (some of the humor, Reyes) and I don't know if I care about it enough to continue. Before I started it, I would have said I loved snarky characters, but after reading this, I'm rethinking that. It did have some laugh out loud moments, but mostly it was a "heh" not a true lol and there were a lot of parts where I thought the author was trying too hard to be funny; it didn't feel natural. I also don't like Reyes. He's a jerk and a bit too creepy/stalkery for my taste.
I feel like I'm missing something because everyone else I know who is reading it loves it.
The narration is great. Lorelei King does a great job with the different character voices.
Where am I going? And why am I in a handbasket? -bumper sticker
Charley is attracting more than lusty looks and spectral strays these days. Oblivious to the warning signs from her aptly named trusty sidekick, Danger. NOT Will Robinson (the hypocrite). Charley Davidson just can't seem to steer clear of Harms Way, one block south from cruising down Suicide Street, in Darynda Jones' Second Grave on the Left.
Death is NOT a Morning Person -teeshirt
You know your day is going to suck when your wake up call comes a mere two hours after it's predecessor in the form of the neighboring Cookie monster and her shank-shape nails attached to ninja fingers poking and probing while being pelted with random articles of clothing, and being held down with binding bedsheets, the torturous nightmare just won't end. Death is desperately fighting not to go into the bright light. That the Cookie monster evilly switched on. Days like this must make being the living embodiment of the punchline to a "Why did the chicken cross the road" joke suck.
Carpe Caffe -teeshirt
Turns out Cookie's friend Mimi is missing. Dressed to the nines in hobo gear, Char and Cook set out to a local coffee shop to meet Ms. MIA. Surprisingly missing Mimi is no where to be found. But have no fear Grim Reaper extraordinaire and super sleuthing PI Charley is on the case. Unfortunately, the deeper they delve into the Mimi's life the more death they uncover, and it's looking like Mim's on someone's hit list. Charley is dead by association.
If you drink, don't park. Accidents cause people. -bumper sticker
Mysteries are mounting, and multiplying like rabbits. Like, Who is that dead guy in the trunk?, Why is Charley's dad acting so strange?, and Where in the world is Reyes Farrow's body? Yes, things aren't so heavenly for Hellboy and Grim girl. It's your classic emo love story, boy wants to kill his corporeal body, girl is holding out on boy until he changes his mind. Farrow has hidden his body which is under siege by demons and is slowly slipping away, but it's a trap he won't let Charley spring otherwise Satan's minions could capture their one way ticket to heaven. How far will he go to insure Charley doesn't fall into the wrong hands? To what lengths will Charley go to save Reyes' body? Can their tentative relationship survive the consequences?
Careful or you'll end up in my Novel -teeshirt
Darynda Jones' followup to First Grave on the Right is just as fun, witty, and hard to put down. Charley is a wonderful heroine. I just want to live in her head. Jones' finds a way to make Charley's outrageous thought process sound clever and funny while coming across real and charming. The threads were pulled in so many different directions but the story didn't feel bogged down by too much information, or too many things going on. There were some unexpected twists but everything came together in the end with a nice lead in to the next book.
Team Awesome. -teeshirt
There is a magic that is created when you pair up the right words with an amazingly talented narrator. Lorelei King is hands down one of the best vocalist in the audiobook industry. I purposely pined for and solely bought the sound version because the imaginary voice in my head can't match King's performance. She could win an oscar for her portrayal of Charley. I highly recommend the audiobook, it even had extra features you don't normally get in this format. After the book ended there was an interview with Jones conducted by King and the first chapter of Third Grave Dead Ahead.
Chicken Pot Pie My THREE Favorite Things. -teeshirt
Second Grave on the Left is a solid four on my favorite things list. I have fallen hard for the adventures of the spunky Port-A-Portal. This is a great book with lots of fun and laughs, that you have to read just to meet Danger and Will Robinson's newly named friends. If you liked the First Grave on the Right check out the one on the left!
Darynda Jones knows how to please!! Her characters are fantastic and the narrator sublime as per usual with Ms. King!! I am dying for the next installment!!
If you want to get your friends interested in paranormal fantasy, this would be a great first series! They would surely be hooked after meeting Charley Davidson.
The story lines move along at a snappy pace and Lorelei King is a genius pick as the narrator. I love they way she delivers the main character, Charley's humor. I found myself laughing out loud more than once.
I know the third book is on it's way and I can't wait!
I have an hour commute (each way), so I listen to at least 4-6 per month. A bad narrator will kill a book for me faster than anything
I was on the fence about this series after the first book. While I liked the concept and I was interested in the characters, I was also a bit put off by the cheesy jokes. But I was intrigued enough to try the second book. Big mistake. It seems like the author is trying waaaaay too hard to be "funny" which translates into tons of cheesy, cringe worthy attempts at humor that come off as desperate. It actually made me a bit embarrassed for the author...something I dont think I have ever experienced before.
The thing is, the bones are good. The concept, the characters, interesting ideas with enormous potential. If the author would stop trying to be a slapstick clown waving a rubber chicken around and focus more on the story, it could be a really enjoyable series. For me, it just isnt. What a shame.
Favorite reads are urban fantasies featuring adults, with a firm twist of tasteful erotica, shaken well with plenty of humor & wit over ice.
Darynda Jones' Charley Davidson series is fresh, interesting, and moves at a good pace that keeps my interest without feeling rushed. The characters are great, a little quirky, and unpredictable and the some of the dialogue is so hysterical that my occasional snorts and giggles get funny looks and the cocked eyebrow from husband sitting on the other end of the couch trying to read the news.
Even though there's humorous moments, I don't mean to give the impression the book is predominately a comedy, it is most definitely a paranormal fiction/mystery with plenty of story including some rather chilling moments.
There is sex, but not so much that you get the feeling the story is only a serving tray for its delivery. But it's well done enough that I get that warm, fuzzy feeling that I've come to love from my fiction/paranormal/mystery/romances.
Lorelei King does a stupendous job narrating. Her voice and inflections seem to be a perfect match to for text...great author/narrator team!
Yea for me that I've found this series, just my kind of read/listen. I just happen to like my scary with a good plop of funny topped with a nice rich foam of steamy sex (of the non-vulgar variety.) LOVING this series!
OMG!! I so wanted to vent about the ending. That was crazy. Did it occur to her he might have other magic stuff to do other than saving her sorry ass every 5 min. I'm totally OFFF this series. And her snarkiness is almost always borderline inappropriate and smacks of an immature selfcentered mind. Like a desperate "look how clever I am" cry for attention. i.e. people are dead or missing and she is cracking jokes in front of friends or family of said missing or dead people. Its not adorable or funny. Its stupid, tacky asshattery. Nevertheless I enjoyed the mundane mystery more than the supernatural stuff, which just seemed sideline and nonsensical. Her dad got forgiven way to easily. Her sister came around way too quickly, that should have played out over the next couple of books. Her actions at the end are unforgivable. I can't see how she comes back from that. However she does it, I wont be listening or reading.
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