First Grave on the Right by D. Jones

First Grave on the RightWith the birds singing, pollen floating in the air and the sun shining down on us all it really only means one thing: finals are upon me. And that means I should be hitting the books, studying hard and being an overall good student. But I couldn’t resist temptation when I saw the shiny, pretty, pink cover of First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones. As soon as I opened up the book, I was lost. Lost in Charley Davidson’s world, which is just more entertaining than anything I could have read about while studying for finals.

Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to go into the light. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

There is never once a dull second in Charley’s world because she’s the Grim Reaper.  She sees dead people everywhere – like Mr. Wong, who just kind of floats in the the corner of her living room and never moves from that spot. If they weren’t interesting enough, there’s a “Big Bad” that’s followed her throughout her life (literally, from the day she was born, which she remembers vividly), always popping up to usually save her life – which is in danger more often than not. Her witty comebacks and inner dialogues spice up the rest of her life.

First Grave on the Right was also filled with great secondary characters that complimented Charley (either by giving her someone to use her witty comebacks on, or like her best friend Cookie, someone who’s actually there to support Charley). One of the people in the former category, Garrett Swopes, “aka pain-in-the-ass skiptracer,” was the brunt of so many of her witty lines/comebacks that I’d often have to reread their converations as I’d invariably miss something because I was laughing too hard to actually read.

It wasn’t all laughs and giggles, though. First Grave on the Right did have a bit of a mystery. It started with three ghosts who were lawyers coming to Charley and quickly snowballed into something bigger than even Charley could handle – not that she told anyone else that. Or let that stop her from working on the case.

There was nothing about First Grave on the Right that I didn’t absolutely love. (I even loved those quotes from people, bummer stickers, t-shirts and inspirational posters, at the beginning of each chapter.) And I certainly don’t regret missing all those hours I could have spent studying. Charley has instantly become my new favorite Grim Reaper of all time.

Read Order:
First Grave on the Right
For I Have Sinned
Second Grave on the Left (8/16/11)
Third Grave Dead Ahead (2/2/12)

Also reviewed by: Reading on the Dark Side, The Book Faery, Wicked Little Pixie, Sara’s Urban Fantasy Blog and Mindy Spot

About Casey 203 Articles
Casey is the founder of Heart Full of Ink, Director at Reading Until Dawn Con, and a full time cheese addict. She's been ranting and reviewing for Literary Escapism since 2010, and is part of the trio #3Bloggers1Series podcast. When she's not reading, looking for new books, or stalking authors online (waiting for more books), she can be found binge watching Netflix. But really, her life is all about DEM BOOKS!


  1. I’ve definitely been debating about buying First Grave on the Right for myself to enjoy and I think your review just tipped my decision in the buying-direction! :)

  2. This book is at the top of my wishlist – I’m just waiting for it to come down in price when the paperback is released. I love books with this kind of theme.

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