Thursday, 1 March 2012

Just as good if not better - Book Review: Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been found murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message. 

Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Will Cookie ever get a true fashion sense? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel them as they do?

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, is back in this sexy, suspenseful novel of supernatural shenanigans. 

Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones is the second book in the Charley Davison urban fantasy series. I read the first book and just couldn’t put it down so I was a little worried about starting Second Grave on the Left in case it didn’t live up to my high hopes. But it did.

I LOVED, loved, loved this book. It was just like First Grave on the Right in that it was entertaining from start to end.

Charley Davidson is a grim reaper by birth and a Private Investigator by choice and in this book she stumbles across and around on another case, this time involving a missing person, Cookie’s friend Mimi. However, as with the first book Second Grave on the Left is jam packed with subplots and interesting twists that mean there is never a dull moment.

Charley Davidson really is a great character and I for one would love to have someone just like her as my friend in real life, it would certainly keep things interesting. In the first book I found Charley to be a bit like a caricature, with always something quick witted to say but she lacked a bit of depth, in this book I got to see more of her personality and I liked her even more. She was more believable in this book, if that can be applied to a grim reaper/private investigator dating the son of Satan.

“Well” Cookie asked as I walked to my apartment, her head poking out her door. How did she always know I was coming? I was pure stealth. Smoke. Nigh invisible. Like a ninja without the head wrap.“Crap,” I said when I tripped on my own feet and dropped my cell.

I was delighted to find that there was a lot more of Cookie in this book, she’s the best friend that everyone would be lucky to have, loyal, dependable and makes a mean cup of java. I also loved their banter and I don’t think these books would be the same without Cookie. Something I always notice about books that I love is that it’s about creating not just one great character but a whole novel filled with them and Darynda Jones has certainly done that with this series.

Speaking of great characters, Reyes was just as badass sexy in this book as he was in the first book. However, in this book their relationship was strong, dark and definitely a bit twisty. They are undoubtedly in love with one another but it was far from a perfect relationship and in fact they spent the majority of the book being mad at each other. But what else could you expect from the Son of Satan and the one and only super shiny grim reaper.

Darynda Jones is a great writer and her prose just flows effortless. More often than I would like, I tend to find that I can love the first book in a series only to discover that the second book is a bit of a letdown. This is certainly not the case here, from the cover to the end I really enjoyed Second Grave on the Left.

Highly recommended, I LOVE this series and I just hope Darynda Jones writes more and quickly because as far as I am aware after the third book (Third Grave Dead Ahead) I have to wait patiently or not so patiently for the fourth one to be published.

Genre – Adult, Urban Fantasy
Published by Piatkus Books (Jan 2012)
Paperback – 304 pages (£7.99)
Source – I bought a copy of Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones


  1. I'm currently reading this one and loving it!

  2. Gaby when you are done be sure to come back and tell me what you think! We can compare notes :D

  3. WOW! Highly recommended?? I'm definitely picking this series up now!! :D I think that it's so cool how she's a grim reaper AND a Private Investigator in this book! After reading Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series, I have the biggest weakness for reapers -- and Darynda Jones sounds like such a fun author to read something by! I want to find out more about this awesome Reyes too! ;)

    Amazing review, Jules! I'm so glad that this sequel wasn't a letdown unlike many other second books -- and I really love this cover as well! :)

  4. EEP so happy to see others fans of this series I LOOOVE it! I love Charley, I love the humor and all the characters it's so awesome. And the third book is great too! I think it may be my favorite of the 3. Awesome review!

  5. Ack! I just read a spoiler! LOL

    I'm reading book one, and since I just started it, Reyes is still a huge mystery to me. In fact, Charlie just found out he's in jail. Still, I'm so glad to hear that they are in love. Gives me something to look forward to.

  6. I've been wanting to read this series for a while now. Sounds good. Great review.

  7. Oh Noooooo - Sorry Missie!!

    It really is a great series, I look forward to finding out what you think.

  8. Following back! At first I thought this book was creepy, but you have won me over, it actually sounds pretty awesome! Thnx for the review!


  9. I totally agree with you it was a really great book, and you'll see you'll love even more the third, it was awesome! Great review

  10. ok, ok, you've convinced me - I need to start reading series asap. Luckily I have first grave on my tbr already...I'm very excited about this series now!

  11. This looks great! I just downloaded a sample to my Kindle.

    I like the UK cover better than US.


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