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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

First Grave on the Right / Darynda Jones

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

****Wanda’s Summer Festival of Reading Fluff****

I see dead people.

Well not me, the reviewer, but Charley the main character of this book does. Because she is a Grim Reaper, make of that what you will. But a girl can’t make a living doing that, so she is also a private investigator and often drafts the dead people around her to help out with the investigations.

There’s a lot of wise-cracking silliness that often over-rides the plot at the centre of this novel. At least Charley has her best-friend and personal assistant, Cookie, to debrief with frequently. (As a result, this book does pass the Bechdel test, despite the fact that they also talk a lot about the mysterious man in Charley’s life (or at least in her dream life).

Reyes is that man and he is what pushes the book over into the paranormal romance category for me. He is the stereotypically tall, dark and handsome man, the “man of her dreams,” as well as being the strong, silent type. In fact, I bet he says less than 50 words by book’s end. Obviously only a supernatural being can captivate Ms. Davidson, and Reyes’ presence haunts the book, so to speak.

The crime/mystery gets solved almost as an afterthought. I will see if I have time during July and August to get to the next book in the series—I see that there are quite a few and I doubt that I will read all of them. But I will at least give the next one a shot if I have the time.

Cute, smart-alecky, not-the-slightest-bit serious, a fun read.