Monday, June 23, 2014

Going Back to the Grim Reaper

Third Grave Dead Ahead
by Darynda Jones

I honestly cannot believe it has been three years since I found Darynda Jones's first book First Grave on the Right. It was not one of those books I could simply add to my ever growing list of books to read before I die (funny when you read the books and realize the main character, Charley Davidson, is the Grim Reaper), it was one that had to be read immediately. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and did not like having to wait for the library to order the second book in the series, Second Grave on the Left. In fact, it was almost six months later that I was finally able to read the second book, and even longer for me to write my review. I guess looking back six months was nothing when I realize this book has been out for two years and I am just now getting to it. Maybe there is a limit to how much one person can read about the Grim Reaper before it starts to get to you.

While looking at the titles suggested by the librarians at my local public library I happened to see the title of Darynda Jones's latest book, Sixth Grave on the Edge. Right away you can see I am a bit behind. Evidently while I have been marking other titles off of my To Read List, Ms. Jones has been pumping out the books every six months, or so. I was thrilled to see she was still writing about Charley Davidson and even more thrilled when I found out the third book in the series was on the book shelf just calling to me, asking to be checked out.Well, that is just what I did!

Third Grave Dead Ahead does not disappoint. I truly felt I was back with an old friend. It is hard for me to imagine how I would react to a friend telling me she is the Grim Reaper. For the friends of Charley Davidson it just seems natural. This little tidbit of information is not something she reveals to her clients, but her abilities and other worldly friends make her job as a private investigator a little easier. However, these friends and abilities cannot keep Charley from getting into all kinds of life and death situations. Reyes, the son of Satan [Who I personally did not think I was going to like once his true identity was revealed. At first I kind of thought Ms. Jones you have jumped the shark, but I no longer feel this way. I have accepted him for who he is and the part he will play in Charley's life.] is back and although Charley has bound his incorporeal body to his physical body, he continues to make life interesting (mentally and physically) for our main character, even though he is serving a life sentence in prison for killing his step-father, Earl Walker. There are a number of story lines in this novel and I applaud Ms. Jones for the way in which she weaves the characters and their different journeys together to make a fantastic twisting tale of excitement. 

Without going into too much detail, here is a short list of some of the different characters Charley is involved with in the 300+ pages, and I'm not even going to get into all of the various spiritual beings Charley communicates with in the book in order to gain insight and information.

  • Dutch (Reyes's nickname for Charley) and Reyes's adventures - again I don't want to ruin the story by giving too many details.
  • Charley hired by Dr. Yost in order to find his missing wife, Teresa
  • Charley hired by Teresa Yost's sister and brother in order to locate the doctor's missing wife.
  • Charley's involvement with the leader of a biker gang, Donovan and his dog Artemis.
  • Charley's dependence and working relationship with her assistant Cookie.
I have already added the next three books in the series to my list of books to read this summer (Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, Fifth Grave Past the Light, and the already mentioned Sixth Grave on the Edge). The seven book, Seventh Grave and No Body will be released in October - two days after my birthday (family and friends, take note...a Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card would be a GREAT idea for a gift ~ just saying). Unfortunately I will not be reading the fourth book right away. Like I said, I found these at the library and I don't want to carry them out of town with me when I leave for a few days. Instead I will grab a paperback, or two or three, to throw in my backpack with me. I'm sure I won't be able to find anything to read while I'm away! ["There is a great need for a sarcasm font." - This is one of my favorite lines in the book. It is a t-shirt quote opening chapter two.] Never fear though. I WILL be back providing information about the next books in the series. We can't have Charley running around New Mexico without knowing what she is up to in her exciting life as the Grim Reaper, P.I.

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