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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this series is fantastic
What was my opinion of Second Grave on the Left?

I "abso-freaking-lutely" loved it. Darynda Jones is a genius. This is her second book in the Charley Davidson series, and it delivered all that I had hoped for and more. The storyline is fresh, with a strong cast of characters. The writing is tight, fast paced, incredibly witty and left me wanting more...
Published on December 15, 2011 by kimbacaffeinate

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We need more Reyes
Some spoilers here, so don't read if you're sensitive. I read the first book in this series and enjoyed it enough to go on to the second. I'm starting to notice a pattern though, which is that we need to endure the tiresome mystery contained in each book in order to get to the good parts, namely the relationship between PI/Grim Reaper Charlotte ("Charlie") Davidson and...
Published on July 3, 2012 by Bookenz


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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this series is fantastic, December 15, 2011
What was my opinion of Second Grave on the Left?

I "abso-freaking-lutely" loved it. Darynda Jones is a genius. This is her second book in the Charley Davidson series, and it delivered all that I had hoped for and more. The storyline is fresh, with a strong cast of characters. The writing is tight, fast paced, incredibly witty and left me wanting more.

Protagonist Charley Davidson can see the dead; in fact she is a Grim Reaper. She helps souls cross over into the light. She is also a private investigator who has been helping her uncle and the police force solve cases since she was five. Charley is one of my favorite fictional characters alongside such greats as Harper Blaine from the Greywalker series by Kat Richardson and Mercy Thompson from the Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Charley is tough, smart and protective of the living and the dead. What sets her apart is her witty, sarcastic personality and fearlessness. My sides literally hurt from laughing. Get out a highlighter when reading this, because she delivers some one-liners you will want to repeat.

Second Grave on the Left picks up a few weeks after the last novel left off. It has Charley taking on a case involving a group of high school students from twenty years ago. Her father a retired police officer is receiving threats from a recently released felon. Cookie, Charley's BFF and assistant extraordinaire, has a ghost in her car trunk. We learn more about Reyes, the supernatural, super sexy, son of Satan. He has been a part of Charley's life since birth. Reyes has saved her from near death, has aided her in learning her abilities and given her an orgasm that no mortal man can match. The interaction between Reyes and Charley is intense, fueled with sexual tension and sarcasm. Reyes comes to Charley in the shower as an entity. He is covered in blood and seriously wounded. We quickly learn that demons have his corporeal body and that he is coming to her from his dreams. Charley wants to find him and save him, but Reyes warns her it's a trap. While working these cases, dodging a tail and dealing with people threatening her life, Charley begins searching for Reyes. The story that unfolds is fast paced and intense. Charley learns new skills in her role as Grim Reaper and we see growth in her as a character. I love that she evolves, while keeping her snarky personality. Jones gives us a glimpse of the powers that Charley has yet to utilize. The conclusion only leaves you wanting more. Little sub-plots and clues set us up perfectly for the third novel, entitled Third Grave Straight Ahead.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and funny, January 27, 2012
By 
I am completely, totally, 100% crazy about Charley Davidson. This book picks up right where the last one left off, taking me on yet another ride filled with mystery, action, snark, angst, and sexual heat. If you are not reading this series, you should be.

In this installment, Charley puts on her PI hat to help her friend Cookie search for a missing woman who Cookie knew in childhood. It turns out that Mimi is one of half a dozen people from the high school who have met an unsavory fate in a short period of time. And whoever is behind it all, has a long reach, because Charley finds herself in real danger more than once over the course of her investigation.

In the meantime, the sexy and mysterious Reyes is back... albeit in pseudo-spirit form. Charley is just as drawn to him as ever. (And frankly, I think I might be nursing a major crush on him, myself.) Unfortunately, he is in deep trouble. Demons who have escaped hell are holding his body captive. They're torturing him, hoping to draw Charley out... to capture her and the portal to heaven. Charley only cares about saving Reyes. But he doesn't want to be saved. He'd rather let them kill him than risk them getting to Charley. So she is on another race against time, to save the life of the man she can't live without.

I am completely captivated by the whole Charley/ Reyes dynamic. It's so... epic. Even though they have been sleeping together since the very beginning of the series, the author makes their relationship this amazing tension-filled powder keg. I don't know how they're going to make it work, but I want them to... SO MUCH.

Charley is a phenomenal heroine. She is powerful and brave and loyal and so damn funny. The great supporting cast is back. Though I'm not feeling the love for Charley's dad right now, Cookie, Uncle Bob and even Garrett continue to pull their weight as great characters. But it's Reyes who steals the show. Seriously. I'm going to stop gushing now. 5 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive series, August 18, 2013
Love this series!! Charley is a kick butt character!! Love her sass and spunk! I am all about a gal who speaks fluent sarcasm! She really is a fun character to read.

The story this time is multi-faceted and ever moving. It even had me guessing in the end! A real treat as I am usually onto the mystery a couple chapters into a book. So, kudos to Ms Jones!

So many wonderful characters introduced here. I also loved the visits with ghosts and other supporting cast from the first book.

I am definitely a fan of this series and hooked! I will have to hurry on to the next book!

The steam factor is light. There is a touch of heat here and there but no real steam. Not a complaint just on observation.

I listened to the audiobook and found it was read by one of my favorite narrators, Lorelie King. She is always a delight and gives me happy ears every time!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Grave on the Left, August 16, 2011
This review is from: Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson) (Hardcover)
What's better than a series debut that includes a funny, unique take on the grim reaper? An even better follow up in book 2. As much as I enjoyed Charley Davidson's introduction in FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT, the newest edition to Charley's adventures took it up a level and it's exactly what you want to have happen in a series, have each new story better the one prior and this one does not disappoint. I was laughing from page one, loudly in most cases throughout the story and the end had me really feeling for Charley and Reyes and crazy to get my hands on book 3.

One week after the events in First Grave on the Right, Charley is rudely woken up by Cookie who needs her help finding a missing friend. It's just the start of many things Charley has to deal with in the coming days. First up is finding Cookie's friend Mimi and figuring out why her high school classmates are being picked off, one by one. I loved seeing Cookie in action with Charley, she's an active participant in the search and she really stepped it up in the supporting character role. She holds her own with Charley, and it's sweet seeing Cookie get a little ruffled around men, especially Uncle Bob and Garrett.
**********
"...Two men from the FBI are here," Cookie said. Quickly.

Crap. "Men in black are at the office?"

"Well, yes, but they're actually in more of a navy."

Crapola. I so didn't have time for men. In any color. "Okay, two questions. Do they look mad, and are they hot?"

After a long, long pause, Cookie said, "One, not really. Two, no comment at this time. And three, you're on speakerphone."

After another long, long pause, I said, "Okie dokie then. Be there in a jiff."
**********
While the missing Mimi storyline moves throughout the entire book, Charley's attention is split in a few other directions. Her dad is acting really strange, hiding something from her that comes out after an attack aimed at Charley and a confession from her dad caught on tape. It ended up being a really emotional moment for Charley and it hit a little harder for me simply because we're used to seeing Charley being her sarcastic, take it as it comes self - but this hit close to home for her and brought up a lot of issues she's had in the past with her family. Her step-mother is still annoying as ever, but there was nice development with Charley's sister that will hopefully give Charley a little relief knowing that someone else is slowly moving into her corner.

The most intriguing storyline for me was Reyes - of course it was Reyes! The last time we saw him, he was waking up from a coma in prison and walking right out of the building. He materializes outside of his human body throughout the story to pop in on Charley and warn her away from finding his body. He wants to let his human body die and tries to explain why to Charley, but since nothing is certain about anything involving Reyes, she doesn't want his corporeal body to die, thinking if that happens, she may never see him again. We learn what Reyes being in human form means to the demons in hell, and how he and Charley are connected. And yes, I'm leaving out plenty of details on this so nothing is given away. Needless to say, we get some answers and plenty more questions. Reyes continues to come in and out of Charley's life, never really being a full out presence in the story, but we do get more of him in this book than we did in First Grave, and the chemistry between he and Charley is hot as ever.

I would have loved to have a little more happen between Reyes and Charley, but their relationship is doing another slow build up, and the ending shows us that they still have a long way to go.

As always, Charley's humor and sarcasm is what made me read this book in one sitting. The random things she says, either to herself or others, her hilarious inappropriate reactions during what should be serious situations keeps the storylines light and fun, even when death and big bads are around every corner. Taft and his little ghost sister, Strawberry Shortcake show up, and SS steals every scene she's in. Charley does her grim reaper job a few times, but the ghosts that need to pass aren't as front and center this time around and don't need to be. The supporting characters are all interesting and funny and balance out Charley's craziness throughout her investigations.

SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT had me laughing throughout and a bit choked up at the end. Charley's a grim reaper who's only beginning to learn about all the power she has. She's crazy about a guy who's watched over and protected her all her life, became human for her, and she makes a decision at the end that changes everything between them. I can't wait to see where the author takes us next and how her relationship with Reyes will develop in light of new details that come out. This is a fun, exciting adventure that builds on the first book and leaves me excited for THIRD GRAVE DEAD AHEAD.

4.5/5 Stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outrageously Wonderful!I am totally enamored with Charley - and with every other character in Jones' hysterical take on what it, October 29, 2011
This review is from: Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson) (Hardcover)
I am totally enamored with Charley - and with every other character in Jones' hysterical take on what it means to be the Grim Reaper - whether you asked for it or not.

There are many women who write well, some humorous, some serious, but Jones puts forth a brilliant first effort in the Charley Davidson series that has me alternately admiring her writing skills, and rolling on the floor laughing at her humour. You really LIKE Charley, Cookie, and the gang, and want to see them succeed in their lives - - because even if you are the Reaper, you don't 'have' to be "Grim." I listened to First Grave on the Right, like I do so many other books, from the Audible.com site. Read by the wonderfully talented Loreli King, whose voice carries every character she ever does with aplomb, I gulped down the first installment in a day, then immediately grabbed Second Grave on the Left, and tonight, in the middle of the book, my battery on my Zune went down - OH, the Humanity!!!! Guess I will just have to sleep tonight instead of sitting up all night listening again. I have a fresh bag of coffee beans and a whole Sunday to enjoy the rest of this new obsession of mine.

While I have made mention of the humour in Jones' series, the pathos of the story of Reyas and his life is a crushing reminder of just how vicious and uncaring fate can actually be. It doesn't matter if you are the six-year-old with leukemia, or a Son of Satan, (who is SO unlike his father) come to Earth to live as a 'real boy' only to have his dream turn into a nightmare. Life can be a series of horrors the likes of which even Poe or Dostoyevsky could not do justice to - Jones does a moving rendition of the pain that humans can cause in another persons life with a depth of caring that is both well considered and well written.

Bravo, Ms. Jones. I see that Third Grave Dead Ahead is scheduled for publication January, 2012. I have already set it on my calendar to grab it as soon as it arrives - I can hardly wait!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun, Fast-Paced Series For Paranormal Fans, December 26, 2011
This series just gets better and better. I read First Grave over Thanksgiving weekend, so it seemed right for me to spend most of my Xmas holiday reading this second book. Charley Davidson aka The Grim Reaper aka Dutch aka Juicy is one of the most entertaining heroines I've had the pleasure of reading about in a long time. She's feisty, fiercely loyal, complicated, hilarious, and just plain likable. And her world is populated with a group of really well-drawn, interesting supporting characters who not only back Charley up, but offer their own quirks and surprises.

I don't want to say too much about the plot of this book because it's too much fun to read and be carried along as the story unfolds without knowing what will happen next. There are several plots/storylines interwoven in Second Grave. Charley's case, which involves a missing friend of her BFF Cookie, the search for Reyes (when last we saw him he had disappeared from a medical facility where he'd been on life support), assorted family issues, and introductions to several new characters whom I expect we'll be seeing more of (I am especially intrigued by the enigmatic Mistress Marigold.) There are several attempts on Charley's life (natch) and we learn more about what both she (and Reyes) are capable of. I love how Darynda Jones keeps adding layers to their relationship and their connection to each other.

Thank goodness I will only have to wait until February for book three of this series because I am dying (ha ha) to dive into Charley's next adventure.

P.S. I want t-shirts with all of the funny mottos that are quoted at the beginnings of each chapter in these books. They always make me smile and are so very Charley.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We need more Reyes, July 3, 2012
By 
Bookenz (Bay area, CA) - See all my reviews
Some spoilers here, so don't read if you're sensitive. I read the first book in this series and enjoyed it enough to go on to the second. I'm starting to notice a pattern though, which is that we need to endure the tiresome mystery contained in each book in order to get to the good parts, namely the relationship between PI/Grim Reaper Charlotte ("Charlie") Davidson and the male lead Reyes Farrow. These scenes are very good and there aren't nearly enough of them. In this case, we have to listen to all the myriad details about Charlie's friend/assistant Cookie's missing friend Mimi, and the so-called repartee and sarcastic one liners between Charlie and Cookie as they go about gathering clues.

I'm not done with the book yet, but it's frustrating. I keep thinking, yeah, yeah, now get back to sexy Reyes. The author has kind of a flip writing style and has given Charlie a smart-ass attitude which can be fun, but sometimes annoying because it's overdone. Charlie jokes about everything, even when she's in great danger and I would like to see her take things more seriously because if she doesn't, how is the reader supposed to. The interactions with the ghosts and the cute bail bondsman Garrett are interesting too, and I enjoy the flirting with Garrett.

I'm also tired of Reyes always being in a comma or injured to the point of death, and he and Charlie only meet in spirit and not in the flesh, usually for sex. Not that I'm complaining about the sex scenes, although more detail wouldn't hurt ("girl parts," seriously?). I'm over half way through the book and we only get small bits of interactions between Reyes and Charlie, and I hope this book and the others in the series improves on this. I want less of Charlie/Cookie and more Charlie/Reyes. The author has created a really interesting world and a fascinating character in Reyes, and he is very much underutilized. If I didn't think this series had great potential, I wouldn't bother posting a review.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanity is back-ordered. Sarcasm is in unlimited supply. -bumper sticker, August 17, 2011
This review is from: Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson) (Hardcover)
Where am I going? And why am I in a handbasket? -bumper sticker

Charley is attracting more than lusty looks and spectral strays these days. Oblivious to the warning signs from her aptly named trusty sidekick, Danger. NOT Will Robinson (the hypocrite). Charley Davidson just can't seem to steer clear of Harms Way, one block south from cruising down Suicide Street, in Darynda Jones' Second Grave on the Left.

Death is NOT a Morning Person -teeshirt

You know your day is going to suck when your wake up call comes a mere two hours after it's predecessor in the form of the neighboring Cookie monster and her shank-shape nails attached to ninja fingers poking and probing while being pelted with random articles of clothing, and being held down with binding bedsheets, the torturous nightmare just won't end. Death is desperately fighting not to go into the bright light. That the Cookie monster evilly switched on. Days like this must make being the living embodiment of the punchline to a "Why did the chicken cross the road" joke suck.

Carpe Caffe -teeshirt

Turns out Cookie's friend Mimi is missing. Dressed to the nines in hobo gear, Char and Cook set out to a local coffee shop to meet Ms. MIA. Surprisingly missing Mimi is no where to be found. But have no fear Grim Reaper extraordinaire and super sleuthing PI Charley is on the case. Unfortunately, the deeper they delve into the Mimi's life the more death they uncover, and it's looking like Mim's on someone's hit list. Charley is dead by association.

If you drink, don't park. Accidents cause people. -bumper sticker

Mysteries are mounting, and multiplying like rabbits. Like, Who is that dead guy in the trunk?, Why is Charley's dad acting so strange?, and Where in the world is Reyes Farrow's body? Yes, things aren't so heavenly for Hellboy and Grim girl. It's your classic emo love story, boy wants to kill his corporeal body, girl is holding out on boy until he changes his mind. Farrow has hidden his body which is under siege by demons and is slowly slipping away, but it's a trap he won't let Charley spring otherwise Satan's minions could capture their one way ticket to heaven. How far will he go to insure Charley doesn't fall into the wrong hands? To what lengths will Charley go to save Reyes' body? Can their tentative relationship survive the consequences?

Careful or you'll end up in my Novel -teeshirt

Darynda Jones' followup to First Grave on the Right is just as fun, witty, and hard to put down. Charley is a wonderful heroine. I just want to live in her head. Jones' finds a way to make Charley's outrageous thought process sound clever and funny while coming across real and charming. The threads were pulled in so many different directions but the story didn't feel bogged down by too much information, or too many things going on. There were some unexpected twists but everything came together in the end with a nice lead in to the next book.

Team Awesome. -teeshirt

There is a magic that is created when you pair up the right words with an amazingly talented narrator. Lorelei King is hands down one of the best vocalist in the audiobook industry. I purposely pined for and solely bought the sound version because the imaginary voice in my head can't match King's performance. She could win an oscar for her portrayal of Charley. I highly recommend the audiobook, it even had extra features you don't normally get in this format. After the book ended there was an interview with Jones conducted by King and the first chapter of Third Grave Dead Ahead.

Chicken Pot Pie My THREE Favorite Things. -teeshirt

Second Grave on the Left is a solid four on my favorite things list. I have fallen hard for the adventures of the spunky Port-A-Portal. This is a great book with lots of fun and laughs, that you have to read just to meet Danger and Will Robinson's newly named friends. If you liked the First Grave on the Right check out the one on the left!
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Constant Comedic Sarcasm Equal to Nervous Twitch, September 8, 2011
By 
Book Fan (East Coast, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson) (Hardcover)
The follow-up to "First Grave on the Right" finds the Paranormal P.I., Charley Davidson helping her assistant find a high school classmate who has gone missing.

I liked the story as a whole as I did with the first book. But, I will say I was hoping with this outing there would be less of the un-ending banter from Charley. I like sarcasm and I like banter, they do add a little umph to certain situations and characters. However, every line, in every paragraph throughout the whole book does not have to end in a comedic rimshot. After a while it gets really, really annoying. It completely ruins the flow of the story being told and the character dialogue. I seriously hope the author will tone this down by maybe 75% with the next outing. It's like being stuck next to someone on a plane with a nervous twitch for hours -- clearly they are not specifically trying to annoy you, but you really wish they would stop.

As to the characters, I like them all relevant to their parts with one exception. And, I bet a lot of people are going to disagree but, I do not like Cookie. She is a one-dimensional character. Also, I kind of hate the fact that she was made the 'plain heavy-set friend with a heart of gold' to the really fit, attractive main character. Very cliche. And lastly, Cookie knows that Charley can see the dead. But she constantly acts like it's a new or odd occurance when Charely starts talking to people who she can't see. Really? She's been friends with this woman for three years and it's still a shock?

I really think the concept of the series is interesting, but as a reader I wish it were more tightly edited for the reasons stated above.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, January 30, 2012
REviewed by Angela(Under the Covers Book Blog)

This is the second installment to Charley Davidson series and this book get better and better. Ms. Jones once again delivered an outstanding story.

Charley Davidson, Private Investigator and Grim Reaper continues to keep us wrapped around her little fingers. She is as addicting as the coffee she drinks!! There's another crime to solve in Charley's world but this time, she is helping her BFF, Cookie as her close friend goes missing. As she helps Cookie with this mystery, she of course is still trying to solve her own problems with her Big Bad AKA Reyes. Continuing from First Grave on the Right, Reyes goes missing for the purpose of hiding from her, his corporeal body anyway.

Reyes is definitely a mystery on his own but we get to know him a little more in this book. We see his humanity, how he acted with his sister and friend. We see him more clearly - descriptions of how he looked, how he moved. In fact, if I close my eyes now, I can see him taking a shower his back to me.... Sexaaay!! And we see how protective and how much he loves Charley. The romance is not as strong but both Charley and Reyes' connection is evident. *sigh*

Charlie, on the other hand is still hilarious. She continues with her coffee addictions, her comical banters, and the silliest comments when she's in the most inconvenient situations. I think she may have A.D.D. Her mind goes on these tangent thoughts which I find so entertaining. Her t-shirt/shorts/bumper sticker sayings are so funny. And Charley is definitely NOT a kick ass heroine. On the contrary, she gets her ass whooped a few times here, so we get some good action. I do commend her as she keeps getting up, doing what she wants to do. We meet more of her body parts of course. We've met her boobs, ovaries and now all her toes! But God forbid, she would never name her fingers. That's just crazy!

As far as her REAPER side, well, let's just say she discovers more powers and discovers what she can do with them. In the end, she will do something that Reyes will not be happy with. I've got to so say *shaking my head*, I don't blame him. I cannot wait to read Third Grave to find out how Charlie will get herself out of THAT situation.
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Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson)
Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson) by Darynda Jones (Hardcover - August 16, 2011)
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