Cathy 's Reviews > First Grave on the Right

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
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's review
Aug 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, urban, read-in-2011, twitter-author, paranormal, mystery
Read from September 09 to 10, 2011

A very fun book, I liked the balance between the PI investigations, the paranormal scene and the humor. There were a few times when I thought the wise cracks could be dialed back a tiny bit, but I thought it was 95% great in that department, mostly either funny or setting a the right tone, a typical laugh or I'll cry kind of thing for a woman who's really lonely and isolated. She hasn't told anyone the full extent of what she is, not even her father or uncle or best friend, both out of fear of being rejected (from bitter experience) and to protect them from things she thinks humans just shouldn't know. It's a horribly lonely way to live, not to mention that she has ghosts showing up at all hours of the night and day, and she has to deal with them and not try not to have people think she's insane. I think a few wise cracks are a pretty healthy coping mechanism, not to mention generally pretty amusing to read.

Anyway, I actually really liked Charley's balance between joking and seriousness about her jobs, all 3.7 of them (although we didn't see her tending bar in this one, I just bet she takes mixing drinks very seriously too). She bitches and moans and then does whatever it takes to protect the victims, dead or alive, and get the job done. I also liked that action with the guys, both the mysterious mystical guy and the down to earth bounty hunter guy, (although he's clearly not the front-runner in this race). The guys are hot as can be, but they don't take over the book, which is how I like it. It's still much more about the cases and the unfolding investigations, and Charley is very firmly the center of the story. My only real quibble is that she gets rescued by one of the guys too much, I like my women to do the rescuing, but I'll hold my judgement and see how is plays out in the next books, there's a longer story happening here that I'm curious about, and it wasn't done in a major way that offended me or anything, Charley is still a very strong character.

By the way, there is a short story that takes place between books 1 and 2 that you can read online at Don't read it before book 1, it has spoilers.
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Reading Progress

09/09 page 59
19.0% "She keeps the coffee pot in her office as her answer to potpourri, makes me wish I could smell some right now. And drink some."
09/10 page 156
50.0% "Loving it so far, tough but cool chick, lonely with her secrets, things suddenly spinning out of control." 1 comment
02/06 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Arismum (new) - added it

Arismum Great balanced review, Cathy. I've seen lots of reviews on this one and have been dithering. I think I'm going to give it a go!

Cathy Thanks! I really did like it a lot, but you know me, I don't like anything too serious. Well, that's not true, I do like serious a lot, I just like to have fun while I'm reading it, that's why I like fantasy and sci-fi so much, the authors tend to know how to tuck the serious themes into the entertaining stories. No Oprah Book Club selections for me, if I'm going to cry I'd better be laughing on the next page to make up for it. I hope you like the book!

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