Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sixth Grave on the Edge, Darynda Jones. (Charley Davidson Series #6)

In the Sixth instillation of the “Charley Davidson” series, or the grave series, or the grim reaper series (pick your favorite, I’ve heard them all), Darynda Jones continues to entertain me with her hilarious writing, quick wit, sarcasm, mayhem, and ridiculously awesome chapter titles. For those not familiar with this series, let me catch you up: 

Charley Davidson is a private investigator. She’s also the grim reaper. Oh, but not the kind you think you know – she's not in a black robe with the scythe, and she doesn’t go after people to kill them. At least for now. She is a happy reaper. She can see the dead, talk to them, and help them cross over through her. When said dead people do cross, she sees their life histories, filled with memories and emotions flash through her mind as their spirit passes through her body. She’s the portal to heaven, shining bright like a diamond. She’s yet to discover her full range of super-powers, but in this book, you find she can do more than help people cross, summon spirits at will, stop time and shift the energy of the earth, and leave her corporeal body. She’s more of a coffee freak than I am which is saying a lot! Gotta love that she feels like she has a personal relationship with Mr. Coffee and talks to him as if he were real. But then again, she names many objects in her life, including her breasts: Danger and Will Robinson! Kickass. 

Of course, where there is good, there must also be bad. Ying to the yang right? Enter Reyes Farrow. Reyes. Alexander. Farrow. He’s hot. Hot as hell!  Literally. He’s the son of Satan. Rey’aziel, the Antichrist born into a human and once his corporeal body dies will bring the end of the world as we know it. She’s the portal to heaven and he has the map to the gates of hell tattooed on his back. HE's the one described with the hooded black robe, and the scythe that he wields at will.

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Naturally, these two need to get together. Initially, he’s told he was created as and sent to earth to take down the reaper (and of course, all of mankind), but then one look at her and he decides, nope, not gonna do it. Instead, he can’t resist her light and ends up being born so he could be closer to her, protecting her, falling for her, and tries to make her fall his charms and good looks. Reyes is described as having piercing brown eyes, flecked with gold and green, thick curly dark hair, dark golden skin and a devilish grin. Making this woman, hell all women, fall for him? Yah. Not hard to do.

-- “He looks like, I don’t know.” She dared a quick look over my shoulder. “Have you ever seen the sky at night when the stars weren’t out but it was crystal clear, the sky such a deep dark black that you were sure you could drown in it, it was so beautiful.”
I nodded knowingly. “Yes I have.”
“He’s that.” She slammed her eyes shut as thought picturing him in her mind, afraid to look again. “He’s the deep, dark kind of beauty that you’d sell your soul to have.”

And so it goes. In each book, you get Charley investigating some sort of case and there’s always mayhem involved. She often involves her friend/employee Cookie and her uncle/detective Bob (Ubie for short).  She often has run-ins with a bounty hunter named Garret, Angel – a deceased teenaged gang member that helps her solve cases, Rocket – the ghost in the asylum that documents the names of the dead, and a host of others both living and dead. Her dad (a retired detective/bar owner), sister (psychologist), and evil step mother are also around.   Cookie’s daughter Amber is also featured in multiple books. 

In Sixth, Charley is trying to “solve” a cold-case handed to her by her FBI friend Special Agent Carson, discovering who the naked old dude is in her Jeep, dealing with “The Dealer” to get back the soul of a client, all while being followed and blackmailed by the Chief of Police, and devising a complicated scheme to get her uncle and Cookie to finally admit they are attracted to each other and get on with it. Of course, she’s also having some sexy times with Reyes. 

You discover a few more of her super-powers, the story behind Angel, a tad bit more about the prophecies, the real story behind Reyes’ family and the whole abduction thing, and finally, some tidbits about Mr. Wong. I’m sure more will be revealed about him in upcoming books. What we didn’t find out is what is going on with her dad! Seriously, that story line just…poof. Vanished. 

 I love that Jones can simultaneously tell multiple stories without leaving the reader confused, and wraps most of them up within the book.  The bomb dropped on a post-it note at the end of Book 5: Fifth Grave Past the Light is answered, but this one ends with another explosive cliffhanger.  I’m not about to post the ultimate spoiler, BUT did realize that after a re-read of Fifth, there is a MAJOR hint there…I just didn’t get it at first. When I got to the end of and this one and made the connection, thought. “What the Holy Hell?!?!? OMG I get it!!” 
Shit. Now I need book 7. I hate it when this happens, because I’m greedy like Veruca Salt, I want it and I want it NOW! 

I really enjoy good mysteries and crime novels, and while this series technically is classified as “crime / mystery / paranormal”, it’s should also be filed under humor, romance, family, and sarcasm. There is a sarcasm category right? If not, there should be.
 I also made a connection that I has been creeping in my head since the first book and really, REALLY didn’t want to make about this series and the characters. After poking around at other reviews, others have said it, so it might not be new to you. Here it is: /Begin Rant: Charley Davidson and her antics could be swapped at any moment with Stephanie Plum. And just like Steph, Charley does things without thinking about the consequences to herself or others.
“I like tricky. Tricky is my middle name. No, wait, that’s trouble. Trouble’s my middle name. My bad.” - Charley
Reyes, like Ranger, has always been there to save her ass, only, you know, Reyes severs the spines of those that mess with Charley ‘cause he’s Satan’s son and all. Like Ranger, Reyes calls her on her crap in this book, and just like with Plum, she keeps on doing what she does and gets kidnapped, nearly killed, and ultimately, makes it through. Since she’s not really human, she will survive, but still – I can only take so much of this. Hell, he’s even bought her a car!

You bought me a new Jeep?”
“ I was hoping you wouldn’t notice”
You could even say that Cookie is the mom version of Lula, the female sidekick except this one doesn’t contribute to the mayhem. In fact, she helps keep Charley and her business running. 
At least with Darynda Jones’ there’s no love-triangle that after twenty fricken books is still not resolved, so there’s that. We already know that Charley gives into Reyes, but heck, even this somewhat practicing Catholic would make a deal with The Dealer for a piece of that devilish hotness! Seven books in to this series, I’m not bored, tired, and seeing repetitive story lines so that’s also good. Having said that, if Charley is still getting into trouble and near death experiences in book 20, and giraffes start to run in the streets after Cookie, I’m going to scream! Assuming there are that many books in this series. /endrant.

Book 7: Seventh Grave and No Body comes out in October. It’s going to be a long summer waiting for that one! 

I do recommend reading in order as you’ll miss a ton of key facts and people leading up to this one. They’re quick and easy reads, especially since they’re so entertaining. Be sure not to miss the chapter titles – those are honestly my favorite.  

For the entire series, visit: Amazon,

and don't forget to visit her website: 
 and read the "Graveyard" - extras and different points of view! 

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