Eleventh Grave in Moonlight – Charley Davidson #11 – Daryinda Jones

I love the sarcastic humor in this series. Even in the direst situation, Charley either has a hilarious thought or something smartass to say which has me cracking up a lot.

As usual, Charley is juggling many things at once. She’s the Grim Reaper so she has to deal with the departed who cross over through her but now that she learned she is a god, she has even more to deal with. It doesn’t help that she got in an argument with the Archangel Michael and now angels are watching her every move. She thinks it has to do with her threatening to take over the world or it could be that her husband Reyes is from down under—not Austrailia—the other down under.

When Reyes was born on Earth, he was kidnapped from his birth parents by a creepy couple, the Fosters, who then handed him over to a monster of a man who abused him for most of his life. Charley had investigated the couple and found out that they had another son name Shawn who she was pretty sure they had abducted aslo but they raised him until adulthood. Charley was surprised when Shawn walked into her office and asked her to investigate the Fosters. He told her that he had secretly tested his DNA against theirs and knows they are not his real parents. He also admitted to her that he saw her parked near their home and had run her license plate so he knew who she was. She wasn’t as stealthy as she thought she was.

Charley and Reyes’ still have their daughter in hiding since so many dark forces are after her like Satan and Eidolon, the evil god from another realm. It’s hard for Charley to live apart from her baby but she knows she has to do it to keep her safe.

She also is dealing with a stalker who is stalking her best friend’s daughter and trying to figure out what her Uncle Bob is up to because he has been acting strange.

The one thing that bothers me about this series is the small children who are either ghosts or get killed by either accidents or evil people. I mean, I know this kind of thing happens in the world but this author seems to be obsessed with having creepy children ghosts and having bad guys kill children. For this reason, this will probably be my last Charley Davidson book. It just rips out my soul to see bad things happen to children and to see it over and over again is just too much for me to handle. In this book alone, there was a ghost of a toddler who had died because a dresser fell on top of him, a ten-year-old boy ghost, bones of a child that were found and the little creepy girl who is a regular in the series…and one more near the end of the book. That is the one that made up my mind about booting this series from my reading list. It’s too bad because this is an impressive series that I would have really like to continue but the excessive abused and dead children thing ruined it for me.

 

Eighth Grave After Dark – Charley Davidson #8 – Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson is nine months pregnant, living at an abandoned convent because she has to live on hallowed ground so the hellhounds who are after her can’t get to her.

Special Agent Carson brings Charley a case of a missing teenager and asks Charley to work her magic to try to find the girl.

Cookie, Charley’s best friend, is getting married to Charley’s Uncle Bob on the lawn of the convent.

There are hundreds of ghosts gathering on the front lawn of the convent but none of them are talking to Charley. They just stand there like they are waiting for something.

Duff, a ghost who Charley used to think was adorable for his stutter and shy ways, is starting to creep her out with the weird things he says like wondering what would what would happen if someone pushed Charley outside the boundaries of the sanctified grounds and how he loses his stutter at times.

Mr. Wong, the ghost who used to hover in the corner of Charley’s apartment, is now hovering in a corner at the convent.

Charley’s father who is a ghost now covertly tells her there are spies for Satan watching her and now she has to figure out who are the spies while making sure Cookie has a wonderful wedding and trying to solve the missing girl case.

As always, I loved this book. There was a lot going on and there were a few surprises near the end of the book…some good for Charley and some not so good. You’ll have to read it to find out.

Seventh Grave and No Body – Charley Davidson #7 – Darynda Jones

Ugh! More dead children! I wish this author would try to refrain from having awful things happen to children. It is my biggest complaint about this series. In almost every book, she has small children ghosts who have died in some horrendous manner. It irks me beyond belief.

In this book, Charley is working on a cold case with Special Agent Carson. It seems like a five-person murder until Charley sees more ghosts around the murder site, all little girls. When Charley follows one little girl into the woods, she hears a blood-curdling growl. Charley knows it is a hellhound even before the little girl tells her that they were summoned and to run. Charley hightails it out of there.

Charley is the Grim Reaper but learning that she is way more than just a portal for souls to pass through and because of this Satan wants to kill her. Her friend, Garrett, is working on translating a prophesy that is written not only in an ancient language but also in code but the one thing they do know is that twelve hellhounds are after her and she has no idea how to kill them.

Her Uncle Bob has a case for her where people have been writing suicide notes but there is no body. They have just up and disappeared.

A frantic ghost named Lacey pleads with Charley to help her find her missing body which is no longer in the grave.

Charley can’t get ahold of her father. He won’t return her calls which is starting to worry her.

And Reyes, who never pays attention to other women, just put his back to her and blocked her from seeing the newswoman who was shamelessly flirting with him.

Oh! And I almost forgot. Charley is pregnant! We found out at the end of the last book.

Reyes gets mad at her at one point in the book because she keeps charging into dangerous situations without thinking about the consequences and she keeps trying to ditch him which is stupid because he is the one who saves her from 99% of the dangerous situations she gets herself into. He thinks her priorities are messed up and I had to agree with him.

I love how even though Charley is facing dangerous situations, she can still be sarcastic and funny. I especially like how she and her best friend, Cookie interact. The cast of characters are also lovable or despicable and fascinating. The story just keeps getting better.

Sixth Grave on the Edge – Charley Davidson #6 – Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson has a lot on her plate in this book. Her father has left her stepmother which was long overdue but he has decided to go live on a sailboat even though he has never sailed a boat in his life. Her stepmother tells her that her father is up to something but Charley only half listens to her.

The naked elderly dead guy is still riding around in the passenger seat of her Jeep but he won’t talk so she doesn’t know how she can help him.

She has to try to get the soul of her client back from a demon called The Dealer who is an expert out of making deals and tricking people out of their souls.

Reyes, her lover and the son of Satan has asked her to marry him and she has to give him an answer soon. It drives me nuts that she is making Reyes wait for her answer.

She has to figure out a way to get her uncle and her best friend together since they are obviously into each other but both too stubborn to ask the other one out.

She is investigating a 30-year-old child abduction case for Special Agent Carson of the FBI but she already knows where the child is because he happens to be her boyfriend, Reyes. The case is turning out to be more complicated than she originally though.

Two guys in ski masks woke her up in the middle of the night and told her they have one of her friends and will kill them if she doesn’t find where a woman is who is witness protection. She can’t figure out which friend they are talking about. You would think that Charley would get better security for her apartment since she has had so many break-ins and was actually tortured once in her apartment.

There’s also the prophesy and some evil beings called The Twelve who are out to kill her.

And last but not least, she finally takes an interest in Mr. Wong, the ghost who has been hovering in the corner of her apartment since before she moved in. A couple of people have mentioned that he is powerful so she started looking at him closely like under his shirt where he is tattooed with strange symbols. Who or what is Mr. Wong really?

I’m loving the cast of characters in this series and this book introduces a demon called The Dealer who sounds intriguing. The story is also getting more complicated and complex. It is obvious that the author writes each book as a stand-alone because she gives a recap of the events which I find a little annoying but I understand it is necessary for new readers. But why do people start reading a book from the middle of a series when they can just start from the beginning?

This series has me hooked.

Fifth Grave Past the Light – Charley Davidson #5 – Darynda Jones

Fifth Grave Past the Light

By Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson #5

 

Charley’s apartment is full of blonde female ghosts from all different ethnic backgrounds. Some of them looked like they may have died in the 1980s from the way they are dressed but none of them are talking. They are just scratching at the ground and the walls and scared out of their wits. They appear to be the victims of a serial killer. She doesn’t know why they have all shown up at once but she intends to find out.

I have a huge complaint about how the author always uses departed children. In almost every book, there is a child who died of some horrific crime or abuse. It’s heartbreaking and yet creepy at the same time. One of the blonde ghosts in Charley’s apartment is a seven-year old girl who is scratching under her bed. Charley is able to sleep with her doing that.

Chapter Three begins with a quip that says…667 The neighbor of the beast. I thought it was cute until I realized that 667 would be across the street not next door. Just had to point that out.

Charley suspects her boyfriend’s sister, Kim Millar of being the arsonist who has been burning down buildings because all of the buildings are addresses where Kim and Reyes lived with their abusive father, Earl Walker. Charley thinks Kim is burning down these buildings because Earl used to take humiliating pictures of Reyes and put them in the walls for some reason and Kim wants to get rid of the evidence to protect Reyes from any further humiliation.

The captain of the Albuquerque Police Department, Captain Eckert, has taken it upon himself to start following Charley around. She is afraid he will deem her to be a loon once he figures out that she speaks to dead people and block her from being a consultant with the department.

Another departed woman pops into her apartment and tells her where to find her body but this woman is a brunette. After investigating, Charley discovers the woman is actually alive but has dreams about people dying and those dreams come true.

Charley is also working a cheating husband case. Charley is always busy and she drinks lots of caffeine to get through her days.

Her friend Garrett who died for a few minutes before being brought back to life is researching a prophesy about Charley. When Garrett died, before he was resuscitated, he was sucked into Hell where Satan told him all kinds of things about Charley and Reyes. Of course, the devil lies so he has to sort the fiction from the truth but he thinks Reyes could be a danger to Charley. He’s found an old prophesy that says that Charley will amass an army and among them will be a warrior, a prophet, a scholar, a gatekeeper and a warden.

As always, this book was highly entertaining. Charley’s sarcastic attitude keeps me liking her even though I think she is off her rocker most of the time. Hopefully, the books continue to keep me interested. I think they will.

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.

Third Grave Dead Ahead – Charley Davidson #3 – Darynda Jones

I cried two times in this book. I can’t say what happened because it would spoil the book but I just wanted to give fair warning that this book conjured up greater emotions than the two previous books. At one point, I wanted to slap Charley because I was so mad at her.

In the last book, Reyes tried to kill his corporal body because he thought it made him weak and slow, not to mention the fact that demons were using his body to locate Charley. Charley bound him which meant he could no longer leave his body as a separate entity unless she summoned him. She learned that she has a lot more powers than she thought she did. She thought she was just the grim reaper who could see and communicate with the departed, letting them pass through her as a portal to heaven when they were ready to go.

After Reyes healed from the torture he endured from the demons, he was taken back to prison. He refused to see Charley because he was so angry at her for binding him. She has since tried to unbind him but it didn’t work.

In this book, Charley is sleep deprived. She refuses to sleep because every time she falls asleep, Reyes shows up in his alternate form. They usually have angry sex which is kind of disturbing. I don’t understand why she just doesn’t face him. Anyway, she goes around sleep deprived throughout the book.

Reyes escapes prison. He solicits her help to find Earl Walker, the man he is accused of murdering and the man who raised him. She finds out that Earl set Reyes up for his murder. The police used dental records provided to them by the dental office where Earl’s girlfriend worked. She had switched the records but the girlfriend conveniently turned up dead so nobody could prove she did it.

Charley is also working a case to find a missing woman who Charley is sure has met with foul play but just to make sure, she goes to her friend Rocket’s home to ask him. Rocket is a ghost who probably died in the 1950s in the mental asylum that he now haunts. He is a special kind of ghost though and knows the names of everyone who has died. He writes their names on the walls of the dilapidated asylum. Charley has to sneak in to see him because the asylum is owned by a biker gang who has Rottweilers who guard the outside of the building.

This time, as she is trying to shimmy through a basement window, she gets caught by one of the Rottweilers who ends up just drooling on her but the biker gang leader is there along with some of his buddies. Charley ends up befriending the group.

I love Charley’s personality for the most part but her callous behavior towards Reyes bugs me. He has done nothing but protect her throughout her life and it is obvious that he is in love with her. He doesn’t hide it at all but she blows him off most of the time like he isn’t worth her time. She also flirts with other guys and even thinks about having sex with them. It irks me and I’m starting to not like her because of it.

This book was so compelling that I hurried and downloaded the next book and started reading. I need to go to CDA, Charley Davidson Anonymous to help me with my addiction.