Monday, September 19, 2011

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right
Darynda Jones
Charley Davidson, Book 1

Charley Davidson sees dead people.  She's been helping her dad and later her uncle solve murders since she was a kid, and now that she has her P.I. license, her help is a lot easier to explain.  But even for Charley, three dead lawyers in one far-too-early morning is a little much.

I was hesitant to pick up this book at first, because it looked kind of ditzy, but I'm glad I did.  I still think it's a little ditzy, but it was also funny, sexy, and highly entertaining.  I don't know what it is about necromancers that makes them almost universally snarky, but it seems to be a trend, and I like it.  Charley is about as comedic as they come, and although her humor comes off a little forced at times, on the whole it was fun to read.

I didn't quite understand why Charley was so attracted to Reyes, but after I moved past that little qualm, the romance in the story wasn't bad.  After a startling revelation at the end of the book, I'm excited to see what happens next.

I did kind of get a cookie-cutter feel from some of the characters.  Reyes was the only one I found really interesting.  Charley seems to have suffered a ridiculous number of near-death experiences unrelated to her work (okay, not that many, but still), but they don't seem to have affected her all that much.  I'd like to see a little more character growth in future books, which I think seems likely based on the ending of this one.

The murder-mystery aspect of the plot had enough depth to keep me interested, and other elements backed it up nicely when necessary.  The story had enough going on that I was never bored, and there was plenty of action and romance to keep anyone happy.

Characters: 2 cupcakes
Plot: 3 cupcakes
Style: 4 cupcakes
Overall: 3 cupcakes

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