First Grave on the Right – Charley Davidson #1 – Darynda Jones

I did not realize that I had not posted this review until I was going through my site. Oops.

I think I just caved to pressure and decided to finally read this series but I am glad I did. There are several reasons that I steered away from this series. Although many people recommended this series, I have read some really bad reviews on Goodreads. I try to go down the list and read some of the good reviews and some of the bad reviews and for some reason the bad won over…too bad because I was missing out. The second reason was because I don’t really like 1st person POVs because the characters tend to be a little narcissistic and that grates on my nerves. The final reason is because I don’t like to follow the same person throughout a series. I get a little bored or irritated with it. I prefer series that have a bunch of characters and each book is dedicated to a separate character. We’ll see how this goes.

I have been reading too many books and watching too many shows where the main female character is too wrapped up in herself to care about anyone else yet everyone seems to love them and I can’t understand why. An example would be the show Weeds. While I think Nancy is funny in the first season, she starts to just look like a narcissistic basket case who cares about the excitement of selling drugs over the well-being of her own children. To me, she is a loser. It was refreshing that, while Charley is a little wrapped up in herself, she genuinely cares for her friends and family.

Charley Davidson juggles 3.5 jobs. She is a private detective, specializing mostly in domestic cases. She bartends sometimes at her father’s bar. She is a consultant under for the Albuquerque Police Department under her Uncle who is a cop and she is the grim reaper which she doesn’t get paid for so she isn’t sure she can list that as an actual job.

She sees ghosts. Most of the time, she helps them solve whatever the problem is that is keeping them from crossing over and then helps them cross over but there are ghosts that are just permanent fixtures in her life like her Great-Great-Aunt Lillian who pops in every so often and makes pretend coffee that Charley then has to pretend to drink.

In this book, Charley is juggling a lot of things. She helps a woman escape her abusive husband by stalling him at a bar while his wife gets on a plane but the husband ends up beating Charley up. She also has to help her uncle solve a case where three lawyers from the same firm were murdered in the same night. The ghosts are hanging around, trying to help her solve the murders but they didn’t see who shot them. The case gets pretty complicated.

She also has been having some steamy dreams involving a gorgeous man who might be a supernatural being. She’s been seeing a blur of movement in her peripheral vision and thinks this is the same being that has helped her out many times in her past when her life was threatened. This was probably the most interesting part of the story for me. This being was mysterious and interesting. As his story developed, I just became more absorbed into it. I love a mystery…as long as the author does it right and doesn’t hold out too long lest it become just a ploy to hold on to the reader’s attention. Luckily, this author didn’t do that or leave it for the next book.

Speaking of the next book…I am getting ready to read it now.

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