Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones

Darynda Jones submitted her manuscript for the first book in the series, First Grave on the Right, and won the 2009 Golden Heart Award for Best Paranormal Romance from Romance Writers of America, which was an award given for manuscripts of unpublished authors. This led to the publishing of that manuscript, and Jones has since released three more books in the series. I personally would not call this series a "paranormal romance." There are elements of romance within the series, but it has more of the urban fantasy feel to me, and Charley has several mysteries to solve in each book, which is why it can be found in our mystery section. Charlotte (Charley) Davidson is a private investigator in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and she is also the Grim Reaper. Charley can see and touch dead people, which is a big help to her uncle, Bob (a homicide detective), as she can give him an edge on the person who committed the murder. People who have not passed on, for whatever reason, can see her (to them she is a great beacon of light), and they can use her to pass through to the "other side." Charley will also help them with their "unfinished business," if it is at all possible for her. Charley has also always been able to see "The Big Bad," a black cloaked figure who always shows up to save her whenever she gets into danger and is in way over her head. Charley also has great friends in her office manager and best friend, Cookie, her bond enforcement agent friend, Garret Swopes, a savant ghost who knows everyone who has passed, Rocket, and various other people she manages to charm with her quick wit and snarkiness. Throughout the series, Charley will find that she can do a lot more things than even she could imagine, and she learns more about the "Big Bad," how  they are connected, and how their connection could lead to another war between heaven and hell. She also solves a lot of mysteries in between.

I listened to the series, and I really enjoyed it. The series is read by Lorelei King, who also reads the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and several of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I found myself chuckling all throughout the series, especially at the little witticisms found at the beginning of each chapter (from various t-shirt designs and bumper stickers). It is a fun read, and I highly recommend it.

First Grave on the Right
Second Grave on the Left
Third Grave Dead Ahead
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet


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