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First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1)

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  51,963 Ratings  ·  5,548 Reviews
First Grave on the Right is the smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper.

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), so
Paperback, 338 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published February 1st 2011)
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Nouhe You should absolutely give this book a chance. It's a funny and easy read with it's serious moments. Try the audible edition if you like listening to…moreYou should absolutely give this book a chance. It's a funny and easy read with it's serious moments. Try the audible edition if you like listening to audiobooks. The narrator is one of the best and does a terrific job bringing the characters to life.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Khanh (the Grinch)
Charley Davidson is like white chocolate. You either love it, or you think it's an abomination of nature. I love white chocolate, I love Charley Davidson, and I am not ashamed.

She's got such a great narrative voice - she is, dare I say it, a lot like me. A lot of deadpan humor. A lot of inappropriate thoughts at the worst possible times.
“Well, I was kind of kidnapped, though not really kidnapped so much as led away.”

A hand shot to her mouth to squelch a gasp.

“God, all this sounds so awful when
I think it's time someone let the author of this book into a little secret: Ms. Jones, stringing together a thousand-odd wisecracks does not make a novel. That is more commonly known as a Joke Book. In fiction, we like our wisecracks accompanied by an actual plot, plot development, sub-plots and character development. Say it with me, Sto-ry-line.

You know that teen movie trope about a nerdy guy trying to be popular by joking around with the jocks? Only his jokes always sound rehearsed and fall f
Emily May
Dec 24, 2013 Emily May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal-uf, 2013
You know, I love a well-written, well-constructed, complex urban fantasy world as much as anyone. I love beautiful writing, jam-packed plots and wild twists that I never would have seen coming. But sometimes, just sometimes, I have a real need for something lighthearted, nonsensical, silly and sexy. Like the Bridget Jones version of urban fantasy. Paranormal "chick lit" one might say.

First Grave on the Right is a girls' night in watching your all time favourite romcom whilst eating ice cream. I
3.5 (ish) stars

“Don't fear the reaper. Just be very, very aware of her.”

Well, personally, I have mixed feelings towards the reaper.

Confused. Befuddled. Puzzled. Disconcerted. Call it what you like, it's still the same. While First Grave on the Right was a gripping and funny story, I had some issues with it, especially with Charley.

Let's take it from the start.

“Just a girl, a few ghosts, and the entire human race. What could be easier?”

The creepy guy we call the reaper is not that creepy
Jul 20, 2011 Lora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are looking for a hot and hilarious summer read
Recommended to Lora by: Dawn, Maja, J.R. Ward, my library's shelving system
Shelves: lib-read
. . . So. I was browsing in the New Fiction shelves at my library the other day — you know, just like every bookaholic does — and I came across debut author Darynda Jones' First Grave on the Right. I flipped through it, thought it sounded interesting but decided to put it back for the moment, since my bag was already giving me a shoulder cramp. Just as I was putting it back on the shelf, I noticed the blurb on the cover: "The best debut novel I've read in years! Hilarious and heartfelt, sexy and ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Jul 02, 2016 Mike (the Paladin) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
First my over all impression of this book. Then I'll give some detail as to why I feel as I do. I picked this up because it got a...."whole passel", of 4 and 5 star ratings here. My over all impression of the book????

It's crap.

Why do I think that? Well at first I was thinking it would be okay if not one I really liked. It opened with an account of the protagonists dream where she was having intercourse with a "hot" shadowy figure. She made sure to tell us she'd had an orgasm.

I sighed and went on
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Garrett chose that moment to join the conversation. “I appreciate your forethought,” he said, his tone distant, as if his mind were elsewhere. “Not as much as your fore-parts, but still…”
I twisted around in my seat to face him. “My fore-parts, as you so ineloquently put it, have names.” I pointed to my right breast. “This is Danger.” Then my left. “And this is Will Robinson. I would appreciate it if you addressed them accordingly.”
After a long pause in which he took the time to blink several tim
Sharon ∞❥ is an angst book junkie ❥∞
Don't you just love it when the majority of your friends love a book and keep telling you to read it but for some reason you don't get around to it. Then when you finally do...the only question that begs asking is why didn't I read this sooner?? That's this book exactly!

But beware...if you do not like snark, do not read this book. It is loaded with snark with more snark on top and even some snark sprinkles but any girl that names her boobs "Danger" and "Will Robinson" and her ovaries, "Beam me
“Never knock on death's door. Ring the doorbell then run. He totally hates that.
- T-shirt”

First Grave on the Right is a concoction of everything. It turned the cliched story line of grim reapers into that of a novelty. Have you ever considered a grim reaper being a cocky girl with an attitude? I certainly didn't.

I found the story line to be fast – paced, filled with humor and mystery. I also found the mixture of characters a little confusing but I got used to it. Jones has created an incred
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3 stars!

“Never knock on death's door. Ring the doorbell then run. He totally hates that.
- T-shirt”

This is where I use this review to rant about Goodreads a bit. 3 stars is NOT A BAD RATING!! I enjoyed reading this so even if you mean well, please do not say sorry or better luck next time . Remember a 3 star rating according to Goodreads means I liked it . 4 stars is for REALLY liked and 5 is for LOVED.

Back to the real part of the review.

Charley Davidson can see dead people. Te
Jo ★The Book Sloth★
This book was so, so, so awesome! I don't know how to describe how happy I am right now!

We have Charley...

Charley is THE Grim Reaper...Not the guy with the black hood and scary face but the 27 year old brunette, full of attitude and snark. Can I just say that Charley went right up there with my favorite heroines? She isn't a badass like Kate Daniels or Elena Deveraux, in fact she mostly gets her ass kicked through the book but she is so full of sarcastic comments and hilarious innate dialogs tha
It is rare for me to give a book five stars, because to me, a book can only achieve such a high rating if:

1. It is near perfect.
2. It affects me on a deep, emotional level.
3. I’m biased towards the author and/or series and I’m not capable of remaining objective.

There are books that I have loved unconditionally and books that I have loathed to ever read again, but despite how my tastes may differ from those who share my love for books, I must insist that if you’re a fan of paranormal romance o
Kat Kennedy
I got so damn sick of people recommending this book to me. "Sheesh, peeps!" I'd say to myself if I were the kind of person to use the word "Peeps".

"It's $12.69, peeps! I can't afford that!" some alternate universe version of myself would exclaim.

Out of sheer desperation for something to read, I finally buckled and bought it. You know what? I don't totally regret it.

Firstly, I have the most massive crush on Charley. She unequivocally made this novel. She has more personality than a Jung and Bri
Where have you been all my life.

Yes, this review is going to have a lot of BOLD lettering.
My mind is currently blown away and thus, unavailable.

Charley Davidson.

To all future heroines,
The standards have been upped to overflowing capacity.
Kindly settle for lower positions.

I cannot stress enough how AWESOME this book is.
I'm simply reeling in feelings of literary bliss.

“I stood and walked around the desk so I could stand over him. Menacingly. Like Darth Vader, only with better lung capacity.”

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

This review discusses the audio book qualities, as well as the actual story.

First Grave on the Right is the first book in Darynda Jones’s Charley Davidson series, and the world Ms. Jones has created is intriguing, exciting, and unique. I thoroughly enjoyed Lorelei King’s narration and her ability to give such distinctive voices to the many characters. She brings them to life with humor, passion, and a deeply profound poignancy that completely took me by surprise.
On the Cover: Charley sees dea
Duchess Nicole
No time to be thorough with my review, so this will be a quickie:

-- I knew I'd love this because I had it recommended to me by no less than five of my reader friends. It's official: they know me well!!

-- Charley is freaking awesome! Despite the fact that she's the grim doesn't get much more awesome than that...she's also such a fun person. Her battle with morningtime routine and the whole getting out of bed process was worth reading the whole book

-- Ummm...Reyes?!?! Yes, please! He's
Jun 11, 2011 new_user rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Where was the laugh track, Jones? Darynda Jones litters First Grave on the Right with her sometime witty, sometime corny humor.
"You're about as inconspicuous as a monster truck at an exotic car show."
Wince. I don't mind bad analogies in lieu of clichés. At least she didn't say "a sheep among wolves." Jones owns her narrative; the formula doesn't own her. Put that on a plaque. But she really needs some restraint. Jokes continue as she's fleeing a murderer or dying from blood loss until you just
Heather C
Mar 23, 2012 Heather C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cloud
This was an awesome paranormal-romance-urban-fantasy-mystery-comedy

It had a little bit of everything that I love!

What I loved:

Charley: She was hilarious with the "attention span of a gnat"! She's an awesome heroine and reminded me a little of Stephanie Plum. She's kick-ass and hilarious.

Reyes: He was yummy, hot, and delicious. (See sexy man photos below Thanks, Cayce!!)

Swopes: If there was no Reyes I would take Swopes for myself!

The lawyers: Even though they kinda made me sad :(

The Sp
2016 is the year of 5-stars for me. I used to be so picky about handing out the 5-star rating, but then I realized that life is too short to be stingy with the stars. If I like it a lot, then all the stars for you! YOLO! (sorry for saying YOLO, but YOLO)

So, this book is like a rom-com that is more com, with the MC being the Grim Reaper. A sarcastic, funny, slightly crazy Grim Reaper. Who is a private investigator, because why not? She sees dead people and that is very helpful in murder investiga
Sh3lly ✨ Bring on the Weird ✨
DNF 43%.

Ok, it must just be me. I can't get into this. It's not that it's bad writing. Occasionally, there's an awesome witty zinger, but everything in-between is Snoozeville for me.

Lots of people love this series. I just can't muster up anything for Charley and her investigative case or her seeing ghosts. Reyes seems intriguing, but he's still just a whisper in the plot at this point. Meh. :(

Usually, when I wind up disliking a book the masses have loved, I am the last person to be surprised. I do, after all, have a penchance for being the black sheep; a tendency, if you will, to rarely give out high ratings. With First Grave on the Right, though, I don't think anyone is more surprised than I am. Unfortunately, this novel is a clear cut case of 'it's not you, it's me.'

Quite honestly, I am still struggling to come to terms with the fact that I did not enjoy this book, or as much of t
Too much

Aug 21, 2011 Giselle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, paranormal
“You rented the apartment with a dead guy in the corner?” I shrugged. “I wanted the apartment, and I figured I could cover him up with a bookcase or something.

Pee. In. My. Pants. !!! Yes, I had to wear Depends while reading this! This was such a fun, fantastic novel. And, oh my god, Hilarious!!! Charley Davidson (that's right!) is a grim reaper, she sees and helps ghosts cross to the other side, but sometimes she helps solve their murders - which is why she is also a private investigator.

The hu
Oct 28, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlotte “Charley” Jean Davidson reminded me of a dude with breasts, a Meatloaf if you will, but with a rockin’ bod. Sorry Meatloaf. She has more attitude than a trust fund baby tooling around Albuquerque in a Lamborghini, stolen police siren, and Jimmy Choos. She even manages to name her womanly parts, and as far as I know, most women don’t bother. When you’re a guy, though, you can just name your penis Spike and be done with it. But coming up with four names certainly proves more of a challen ...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
Apr 26, 2015 Robin (Bridge Four) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Psych and Snarky always 'On' humor

4.5 Stars

“If I couldn't be a good example, I'd just have to be a horrible warning.”

I want to be Charley Davidson….I can’t say that I have ever read a book and was like omg I want to be that girl. I mean I love characters in other books don’t get me wrong but who really wants to be Katness, or Georgina Kincaid, okay okay I maybe want to be MacKayla Lane (cuz seriously Barons would be worth it) but I totally wanted to be C
Oct 19, 2015 Naomi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this and loved Charley's sass and attitude but it tended to drag in some parts for me. I have heard that this series only gets better so I will definitely read the next book!
Oh there's so many reasons why I didn't enjoy this book...

His features darkened. He stepped closer, pressed the length of his body against mine, leaned into me, and whispered in my ear. "What's your name?"
"Charley," I said, suddenly afraid, too afraid not to answer.
...He was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. He was solid and strong and fierce. And vulnerable. "No," I said in a whisper as his fingers drifted down and brushed intrusively over my breasts.
"Have you ever been raped, Dutch?"

RATING: 4 BadAss Reaper Hearts!! :D

"You don’t look like the grim reaper.”
“You’ve met him, have you?”
“Well, no not really,” he said.
“My robe’s at the cleaners.”

First Grave on the Right is the perfect unique blend of urban fantasy, paranormal, mystery, romance and humour. The positives don't just stop there though; Darynda Jones takes all the aforementioned elements and combines them with a solid story and a fabulous cast of well-developed characters – both main and secondary – to create a fa
Anzu The Great Destroyer
That's it, I'm reading it to see what team I'm on.

So far it goes like this:



Stuck in between:

*** second read - I love it more! 4 stars! ***

***No spoilers

Song of choice: The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails

Ohkay, now here’s a new one. This was supposed to be a challenge of some sort. Most of my Goodreads buds read this book and are torn between two sides. They either hate the living hell out of it, or love it with the power of
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
Nov 20, 2012 Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Night Huntress fans
Recommended to Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog) by: J.R. Ward site, UKSandy
When I read this book when it first came out, I was meh over it. I liked it, thought it was hilarious, found all the characters amazing, but didn’t feel the need to rush out and read the next book in the series when it came out.

However, I tried the audiobook recently and was floored by the way the narrator, Lorelei King was able to really bring the characters to life. She has that snark that I think is really important for Charley’s character and she does little girl’s voices SO WELL. I devoured
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NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart, and a Daphne du Maurier. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. She currently has two series with St. Martin's Press, the Charley Davids ...more
More about Darynda Jones...

Other Books in the Series

Charley Davidson (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2)
  • Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3)
  • Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4)
  • Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5)
  • Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson, #6)
  • Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson, #7)
  • Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8)
  • The Dirt on Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson, #9)
  • The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10)
  • Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (Charley Davidson, #11)

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“Never knock on death's door. Ring the doorbell then run. He totally hates that.
- T-shirt”
“That took balls."

"Please," I said with a snort, "that took ovaries. Of which I have two.”
More quotes…