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Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

Second Grave on the Left (edition 2011)

by Darynda Jones

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Title:Second Grave on the Left
Authors:Darynda Jones
Info:St. Martin's Press (2011), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones



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Charley Davidson is the Grimm Reaper, the portal through which the dead can reach Heaven. She’s also a private investigator and when her best friend reports one of her friends has gone missing under worrying circumstances, she has to get on the case. A string of murders lead to a long buried past

One case would be enough to handle but there’s also Reyes, Charley’s mysterious and dangerous love interest – also the son of Satan. He’s hurt, he’s dying and Charley will find him in time –whether he wants her to or not.

This book should be silly. It should be ridiculous. I should be rolling my eyes. But I’m not doing any of those things because I’m laughing and smiling so much. Charley is simply hilarious and even if her character is snarking away at some of the most bizarre times, it still works. It shouldn’t, but it does.

For a while I just put this down to writing style and was willing to completely ignore the shattering of anything resembling common sense or the simple fact that absolutely no-one would act this way simply because it was funny enough for me to not care about realism. But reading through this I realise this is actually part of Charley’s character development – it’s mentioned almost in passing that she wasn’t afraid of things even as a child and that she generally doesn’t feel much fear either due to what she is (the Grim Reaper) or due to what she’s seen (as the Grim Reaper) which means her endless snark works. She isn’t cowering or worried because she genuinely isn’t afraid, has seen worse and it doesn’t come close to suppressing her sense of fun.

Which is what Charley is – immense fun. She’s sarcastic, witty, confident and skilled. She’s good at what she does, she knows she is and she’s quite happy to amuse herself along the way and she does (and me) immensely. Her character interactions in general are excellent, but especially with her best friend Cookie. I honestly think they have one of the best friendships I’ve seen in the genre, I think I could read a whole book of them doing nothing but drinking coffee and bantering back and forth

Does this levity always work? No, I’m afraid, though I always enjoy it. But there are at times, especially given the severity of the cases they’re working, when it seems badly out of place even while I’m laughing.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Jan 25, 2015 |
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 (actually listening to the audiobook which was narrated so well by Lorelei King), 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. Ack! ( )
  Bugetta | Sep 29, 2014 |
Contemporary, Paranormal, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Charley Davidson has found life gets very complicated when hanging around the dead. Luckily complicated is her middle name. Being a part-time investigator and full-time Grim Reaper makes life very interesting. Demons find her irresistible and the deceased find her very sparkly. Though one entity wants to seduce her any way possible.

Now Charley and her best friend and receptionist, Cookie need to track down a missing woman. Though the case isn’t quite as open and shut as they believed it would be. While investigating that case the Son of Satan also knows as Reyes Alexander Farrow has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. His body is being tortured by demons determined to lure Charley to them. Reyes is determined to not let that happen because if it does it will give the demons a portal to heaven and that would not be a good thing.

Now Charley is dealing with hot nights with Reyes and hotter days tracking down a missing woman. She also has to keep those she loves safe from harm. Charley is also wondering if there is possibly enough coffee and chocolate to get her through this latest case.

This book picks up right after the first book left off. It also proves to be just as fun and hilarious as the first book was. This is a series that is a fun take on paranormals that once it is started the reader will never be the same after. This takes sarcasm to a whole different level that makes it fun and will keep the reader turning the pages just to see what situation Charley will get herself into next. This is proving to be a series not to miss and that will have a permanent place on reader’s keeper shelves. This has mystery romance and sarcasm that is not to be missed. ( )
  lrhubble | Sep 20, 2014 |
awesomeness! I can't believe how good this book was. Charley Davidson
is definitely my new favorite heroine and Reyes is my newest book
boyfriend with all that scorching hotness. The book was as funny as all
get out,but things got a little tense right at the end. Darynda Jones
has a way with the ending of her books. Already started book number
three of the series. Can't get enough! ( )
  msralways | Aug 19, 2014 |
Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
Book #2: Charley Davidson Series
Source: Purchase
Rating: 4/5 stars

Charley Davidson’s life is never, ever simple or stress-free or safe. As a private investigator Charley expects a certain degree of crappiness but when she goes looking for Cookie’s friend Mimi, the degree of crappiness seems to rise exponentially. In the span of no more than two weeks, Charley is stabbed and/or cut multiple times, super glued back together multiple times, shot at, and, concussed multiple times. At least there is never a dull moment in her world 

Cookie’s friend Mimi is the last person on Earth who would simply abandon her family and go on the run but that is exactly what she has done and no one seems to know why, not even Mimi’s husband or parents. The only thing anyone seems to be sure about is that Mimi had a damn good reason for leaving behind everything she holds dear and the only clue she left is a random name and set of numbers on a bathroom door in a local diner. Sure, Charley should be able to figure that out, right? As the digging in begins in earnest, Charley and Cookie quickly figure out that Mimi’s disappearance is nothing short of a hot mess that began more than twenty years ago with the disappearance of a young girl.

And so the hunt begins. Mimi’s disappearance quickly becomes a total goatf**k with dead bodies piling up all around and an evil puppet master pulling a lot of strings simultaneously. Those strings are attached to a lot of people who all seem to have gone to school together and to have been involved in or know about what happened twenty years ago to the young girl who went missing. Clearly, Mimi is terrified and if Charley and Cookie can’t put all the piece of the puzzle together, Mimi is sure to meet the same fate as her classmates. Oh, did I mention the puppet master has enough pull and cash to have hired some seriously ugly assassins? Yeah, this story has assassins too! One other little tidbit, as this particular story progress, Charley’s Grim Reaper powers seem to be progressing as well and man, oh, man can she do some cool stuff!

In the meantime, Reyes’ delectable corporeal body is still missing and not only are the authorities looking for him but so are Charley and a whole host of demons (literally!) ready to claim Reyes and make their way to this plane en masse. Still able to separate from his corporeal body, Reyes continues to appear to Charley and warns her that finding his corporeal body and saving it would be a serious violation of his wishes and is certainly something she should not pursue. Seriously? He has met her, right?? One would think the Son of Satan who has lived for thousands of years would have heard the phrase “dog with a bone” at least once in his many lifetimes.  As you should expect by now, in addition to looking for Mimi, Charley is also looking for Reyes and is hell bent on saving his body. What she doesn’t expect is who she will get help from in this pursuit and what lengths she will have to go to protect the man(ish) she so clearly loves.

The Bottom Line: Charley Davidson is my hero!! Even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds she never fails to fight for all she is worth and does everything within her power to help her clients. To Charley, nearly every life is precious and if she can help someone in need, she will do so even if it requires super gluing her back together. But aside from all the mushy stuff, I love Charley’s sense of humor and extreme sarcasm. Even though the situations she is in are serious and often dire, Charley never loses her smart mouth and that sure makes the read all the more enjoyable. As with book one, I liked the plot and the twists and turns of this read but am truly more enamored with the characters. Jones writes a solid, full-bodied (and sometimes incorporeal!) character that is easy to get attached to. Her plots aren’t so dense that you get lost and the dialogue and interaction between all of the characters is generally light and easy to follow. In all, Second Grave on the Left is an enjoyable read that certainly does not suffer from the dreaded sophomore slump. ( )
  arthistorychick | Jun 29, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Darynda Jonesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, LoreleiNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys, Danny, Jerrdan, and Casey.
You are the reason I breathe
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Charley, hurry, wake up.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Awakened in the middle of the night by a friend who has been texted by a missing woman, Charley Davidson discovers clues linking the disappearance to the murder of a woman two weeks earlier.

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