Sunday, 11 August 2013

Second Grave on the Left (#2 in the Charley Davidson series)

Author: Darynda Jones
Genre: Supernatural Mystery
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 307
Series: #2 in the Charley Davidson supernatural mystery series
Series Order (read in order):
  1. First Grave on the Right (2011)
  2. For I Have Sinned (2011) -- Book 1.5 in series
  3. Second Grave on the Left (2011)
  4. Third Grave Dead Ahead (2012)
  5. Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (2012)
  6. Fifth Grave Past The Light (2013)
Source: Public Library
Publisher: St Martin's Press
First Published: August 16, 2011
First Line: "Charley, hurry, wake up!"

Book Description:
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?

My Thoughts:  The first book in the Charley Davidson series, "First Grave on the Right" took me by surprise when I read it a mere couple of weeks ago.  I loved it!  It was a refreshing twist on a very popular genre combo.  It had a quirky main character, lusty romance and loads of my kinda humour t'boot.

So, was this second book just as good as the first?  Yes, yes it was.  The mystery had great twists and turns and I found Charley so much funnier than in the first book -- which is saying something.  I loved Charley's sarcastic, snarky quips, usually to her sidekick Cookie, that had me gigglin' to myself.

There is one aspect though that I didn't love: the relationship between Charley and Reyes. I realize that Reyes is the main love interest and he's sexy with a capital Yum but I still had a hard time liking him.  He's so angry (understandably so) but I feel like he's gone way past the 'bad boy with an attitude' and on to something much, much darker.  Someone I may not want Charley to end up with.  Ya, not good.  Here's hoping that he comes out of his schlump and morphs back into a bad boy that I can still root for in future books.  

Another reason that I didn't click with their relationship is that Charley and Reyes' relationship felt a little stagnant to me.  Reyes spent the book trying to keep Charley safe but Charley was determined to find Reyes' corporeal body to help him.  Their meetings would consist of Charley insisting that Reyes tell her where his body is only to be repeatedly told "No" by Reyes.  Not very riveting stuff, unfortunately, yet these conversations happened repeatedly throughout the book.  It made their burgeoning relationship more frustrating than anything.  I was hoping for more movement in their relationship not a bunch of nattering whenever they'd meet. 

BUT!  And here's a big bootilicious but(t) .... I'm whole-heartedly putting my faith in Darynda Jones and her vision for this series.  Ms Jones has a heck of a funny sense of humour and I have a feeling that this book was just a stepping stone to bigger and better things which is why I'm very eager to pick up the third book in the series (which is patiently waiting on my nightstand for me to finish the book I'm reading now).

I'm so happy to have found this new-to-me author and I'm really looking forward to reading more from her.  This is now one of those precious book series that I'm savouring.  I fit in a book from this series in around other books that I'm reading so that I don't devour the entire series too fast.  Like a good piece of cheesecake, a great book series needs to be savoured and not schnorfed down quickly.

I highly recommend this series as a good, fun, hilarious summer read.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Similar Reads to the Charley Davidson series:
Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator by Janni Nell
Loose Ends (#1 in Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery series) by Terri Reid

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