Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to be Death (Calliope Reaper-Jones, #4)” as Want to Read:
How to be Death (Calliope Reaper-Jones, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to be Death (Calliope Reaper-Jones #4)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  476 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
All Calliope Reaper-Jones ever wanted out of life was a fabulous job in New York City and a really hot boyfriend. But now, she's the brand-new President of Death, Inc. With the Board of Death breathing down her neck and her dad's copy of How to be Death (A Fully Annotated Guide) unopened, Callie's really feeling the tension. And when the guide book is stolen at a fancy for ...more
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published (first published February 28th 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to be Death, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How to be Death

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,342)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
*Genre* Urban Fantasy
*Rating* 3.0


How To Be Death is the fourth book in the Calliope Reaper-Jones series. Calliope Jones is the current President/CEO of Death Inc. aka the Grim Reaper after the tragic events of Serpent’s Kiss. Her real moniker should be clueless femme fatale because without her trusty sidekicks; Jarvis de Poupsy, Giselda aka Runt the hellhound, the Goddess Kali, and her sister Clio, she would be dead by now.

How To Be Death takes place at the annual Death Dinner and All Ha
Oh boy.

Since there was such a long period between reading the last Calliope Reaper-Jones novel, Serpent's Storm and this one. I totally had forgotten about my feelings toward Serpent's Storm and actually thought it was all right. Why I thought this I can only blame on sporadic temporary insanity. How to be Death is the fourth installment to the Death's Daughter series.

Calliope is starting her duties as the C.E.O. of Death Inc. Such duties include hosting the All Hallows Eve Eve Masquerade and t
Alice Liu
Feb 23, 2014 Alice Liu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book in this series and I was surprised at how easy it was to jump in. Amber Benson does a great job in filling in the back story without being cumbersome. My one trepidation was that Callie is a bit of a fashionista, which I am so not, but the story was not bogged down by fashion and girly things. What I noticed first off was how witty and intelligent Benson's writing is, although her Callie character is more of a slacker. I had to laugh when Callie described herself as not "e ...more
Matt Randall
This book was a little different from the previous Death's Daughter novels. It's more like a Agatha Christie murder mystery with some supernatural elements. There are a ton of new characters introduced (many more Death, Inc. employees), and I had a hard time keeping track of them all. The mystery also seemed a little too complicated. It's still a fun book, though, and I'm looking forward to the next book (which is sets up at the end).
Although this was the fourth in the series, it read very well. It picked up from a position in what was probably the third, with her stepping in as CEO of Death, Inc. She thinks everything is cushy, but suddenly discovers that her trials aren't over, and again enlists her assistant and other immortals in her quest.

There were two major quibbles I had with this book. One, she is supposed to be an adult but tends to go off in adolescent daydreams at very inappropriate times. Two, it appears that s
Sylvia McIvers
No Deaths have been harmed in the making of this novel.

Calliope has started paying attention to what she's supposed to be doing as Boss of Death, Inc, but she hasn't quite gotten the hang of it yet.
x No killing people directly, check.
x Lots of politics with people she doesn't like, check with her advisers.
x Halloween party with Deaths from around the world, check.
x Buy a fabulous dress, check
x Bring what your little sister calls 'the slutty bikini', check
x Realize that your ex-boyfriend is brin
Jami Zehr
How to Be Death is the latest book in Amber Benson’s fictional the Calliope Reaper-Jones series. Callie is Death, actually she is the President of Death, Inc. having inherited the position magically from her father. Callie didn’t want the job, all she wanted from life was to have a good enough job in NYC to afford designer clothing, shoes, and purses. She didn’t want to have to save the world from conniving sisters or deal with people trying to steal her job from her (which would be bad, because ...more
Sep 30, 2012 Rodrigo rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
On this 4th book of the Calliope Reaper-Jones series, Amber Benson demonstrates an ever growing skill as a writer and story teller. Instead of a simple urban fantasy book, she now gives us a deeper, many layered story with different elements and vivid characters.

How to be Death is a much more mature book, both from the perspective of the author as a writer, but also the story itself. People like me, who were disappointed by Serpent's Storm, will find this fourth book to be at least as enjoyable
(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
Originally posted at

How To Be Death is the fourth book in Amber Benson’s Calliope Reaper-Jones series. A lightweight urban fantasy about a scatterbrained young lady who inadvertently becomes the head of death. Calliope Jones is the current Grim Reaper. Death incarnate. Madam Death. The “girl who can wish you dead.” Not a job she wanted but after her father’s murder and her sister’s attempted assassination and company take over, Calliope has finally steppe
Nov 15, 2015 Esther rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Woo, Calliope is back! In this volume, Benson explores the classic detective story. Something I wish I'd known from the start, as I would have paid more attention to the group of party guests Callie meets at the start of the book. Would have made it easier to follow. No matter, though, it was still a pleasure to read. I like detective Freezay, he's a nice edition to the verse. A very enjoyable book, I'm looking forward to part five.
Oct 11, 2012 Matt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think it could get any worse than the last three books in this horrendous series, but man, was I wrong. 300 pages' worth of my life wasted on a vapid, dreary whodunit featuring a bunch of boring one-off characters that even Amber Benson doesn't seem to care about. The book's premise strikes me as nothing more than a half-hearted attempt to give Calliope a new environment in which to act like an idiot, trip and fall over constantly, and say lots of vomit-inducing things about fashion and ...more
Nov 17, 2015 Anita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I absolutely adored the first three books, I feel this book is slightly... Meh? I don't know. It's meh. A murder mystery is fun, but eh. I don't know.

I will read book 5 to find out how it'll all end but *sigh* only because I got the book for my birthday nearly 2 years ago.
Jeska Dzwigalski
Mar 04, 2012 Jeska Dzwigalski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
Devoured this book over the weekend.

Not ashamed to admit that I enjoy the Calliope Reaper-Jones (aka Death) series, Amber Benson's take on the paranormal romance/supernatural/urban fantasy genre. The characters are imaginative, sarcastic and interesting and the stories have a creative playfulness that I really enjoy. Plus they're quick, fun reads.

This book read as more of a straight-up "whodunnit" than the last few, borrowing some of the more popular murder-mystery motifs (locked room mystery,
Jan 03, 2016 Trisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Callie has three adventures under her belt. Now it's time for the fancy dinner party to officiate her title. What better time to do so than on All Saints Day. Her and other supernaturals will have twenty-four hours to prove their worth by going without magic. Not only does Callie have to worry about not having magic (again), but she also has to look and play the part of Death in front of other officials. The location is beautiful. The room is elegant. The weather is even better. Nothing can go w ...more
Dec 30, 2013 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
I always greatly enjoy this series. I waited a long time to start this one bc the last made me so mad. this one was a little more generically urban fantasy than the others have been, with the whole murder whodunit as the main action. but,being the author she is, she made fun of that storyline well,even while advancing through it. and there were a great deal more twists and turns than you normally see in one mystery. not what I expect from this series,but done in a fitting way. and I rea
Jan 10, 2015 Topher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Calliope didn't want to be death, but now she's stuck with the job. In this one, she meets Columbo and get's her inner Ms Marple on.
Jan 07, 2013 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: supernatural
This was definitely better than Serpent's Storm. The only issue I have with this series is the lacking sense of danger. Sure, the consequences are dire, but there's always this feeling Callie will get out of the situation unscathed. On the plus side, she's finally taking initiative, and there's more of a mature Calliope. Granted, the plot was a race against time and there wasn't time for clothes talk or constant whining, but still. Her actions regarding Marcel also made me happy.

Looking forward
Jul 31, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, 2012
I was a little disappointed in the last Death's Daughter book--I felt like Callie was a little too dependent on others and didn't stand up for herself enough. I was relieved to see that she's grown up a lot in this book, which may be my favorite of the series so far. I'm a sucker for a good whodunit, and Amber does a great job telling a modern Clue-esque tale while also letting various characters shine. I'm excited for book #5!
Nov 17, 2013 Kristi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Callie has stepped into her role as the leader of Death Inc, and is trying to grow up. She finds out a lot of things about herself and the people around her she didn't know. Some of them aren't so flattering. It's a great mid-point in the series and I like how it leads into the next book. Give it a read - the series has gotten better with each book!
Scott Williamson
A nice light murder mystery at an California estate. A page-turner (for me anyway - I read it in one go) with a good amount of humor. The first comparison that comes to mind is Agatha Christie, but only if Ms. Marple was a 20-something, 21st century woman who happens to be Death. This will sit along side Christopher Moore's "A Dirty Job" on my humorous Death shelf.
Amazing new book in this series. I totally loved the growth of all the characters and how the story set up like a game of Clue. Was shocked by the big surprise at the end regarding Callie's familial ties. My only wish was that the book was longer as I can't wait to find out what happens next in Callie's journey to become the best Death that she can be.
Spotted this at the library and picked it up because I was a fan of Amber Benson as Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It took me awhile to warm up to this. Overall, it was a decent book to read over a long weekend with time to kill, but I don't know that I liked it enough to seek out Benson's other novels/the others in this series.
Apr 19, 2013 Rainbowjay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Her usual great book. I loved it. Unfortuantlly it was over too fast. It was so well written I didn't even realise I hadn't read the thirs book in the series. I would tell anyone to read this book as it has a little bit of everything thing in it, fantasy, adventure, romanance.
Dec 28, 2012 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
The best of the series since Death's Daughter. Benson's got her groove back. The plot kept twisting in tasty fashion, Calliope continued to mature and exude bad-assery and an appreciation for her father's livelihood -- and life itself -- and there was plenty of Kali and Jarvis. Win!
Kathryn Tucker
Nov 01, 2013 Kathryn Tucker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have gone from hating Callie to loving her. Amber Benson's characters are so well written. And this book was just so much fun. It was modeled after the old madcap mysteries where an eccentric detective solves a murder at a hotel full of rich bitches. Perfect and silly!
Dec 25, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another truly enjoyable journey into the world and customs of Death, Inc. Although the reveal near the end of the book can be quite confusing, the rest of the novel was great. If you are a fan of the series definitely read this installment as well!
May 09, 2012 Nora-adrienne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
How to be death, the third book in the Calliope Reaper-Jones books is fantastic. The twists and turns that take place and the way each one has Calli getting into more trouble with each one is just so entertaining. I love it!
Michael Mckinney
I loved this book, much better than the third book. In this book Cal is back with the gang and they must solve a mystery or she could be in real trouble. Benson writes very well and I love her sense of humor.
Christi Barth
Apr 23, 2012 Christi Barth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing how much can happen in 24 hours. This book was as good as all her others, and had a fun, Agatha Christie feel to it. Massive cliffhanger - don't know how I'll survive the wait until the next one!
Lenore (Biblliolatry Me!)
The newest work from this author/ actress is one not to miss according to Michelle
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 44 45 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Darklands (Deadtown, #4)
  • Dragon Justice (Paranormal Scene Investigations #4)
  • Apocalypse to Go (Nola O'Grady, #3)
  • Switchblade Goddess (Jessie Shimmer, #3)
  • A Taste For Blood (The Godhunter #6)
  • Bleeding Out (OSI, #5)
  • Undone Deeds (Connor Grey, #6)
  • The Devil's Backbone (Niki Slobodian, #5)
  • The Half-Breed Vampire (Sons of Midnight #3)
  • Claimed by a Vampire (The Claiming #2)
  • Siren's Desire (Dark Tides, #3)
  • The Road to Hell (Hell on Earth, #2)
  • Devil's Punch (Corine Solomon, #4)
  • Tundra 37 (A New Dawn, #2)
  • Black Lament (Black Wings, #4)
  • Master and Apprentice (Gavyn Donatti, #2)
  • Right Hand Magic (Golgotham, #1)
  • Coveted (Gwen Sparks, #3)
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Amber Benson...

Other Books in the Series

Calliope Reaper-Jones (5 books)
  • Death's Daughter (Calliope Reaper-Jones, #1)
  • Cat's Claw (Calliope Reaper-Jones, #2)
  • Serpent's Storm (Calliope Reaper-Jones, #3)
  • The Golden Age of Death (Calliope Reaper-Jones, #5)

Share This Book