First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
OK, where is the next one?! And why did I wait to read this one? I put it on hold a while ago and then kept suspending my hold because I couldn't remember why I'd put it on hold or where I'd heard about it. (Apparently I'd read an excerpt on Bookbrowse.com.) Eventually I forgot to re-suspend the hold, and the book showed up at my library, so I checked it out with some others and read those first. But by yesterday I needed something to read at lunch and grabbed First Grave on the Right, which grabbed me right back. Could not put it down. Even took it with me when we went to run errands this afternoon.
It's got a sort of Stephanie-Plum-sees-dead-people feel to it. Similar zany, fast-paced style and sense of humor but with more ghosts and steamy supernatural sex scenes. See, Charley Davidson is the grim reaper, but in a nice way--she helps the departed pass through her into the light. Only sometimes they need her to do things for them before they go, like solve their murders, for example. So she helps her Uncle Bob, an Albuquerque police detective, with his case files.
Meanwhile, she's also dealing with an irritating but super-good-looking skiptracer named Garrett Swopes who has the hots for her but who is also having a hard time believing she can see dead people. And then there is Big Bad, the mysterious blurry black shadow who's saved her life several times over the years and keeps appearing at the edges of her vision. Not to mention the fantasy lover who has been visiting her dreams every night for the last month or so and is now starting to appear other places, such as her shower, living room, office, and who may turn out be less a fantasy and more...out of this world.
I'm glad this is the first in a series because I can't wait to find out what happens next.
For readers' advisors: story and character doorways
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