Third Grave Dead Ahead
St. Martin’s Press, $23.99/$10.99 digital, January 31, 2012
Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she’s drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on. How is she supposed to solve a missing persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hellbent on murder when the devil’s son just won’t give up?
In novels there are all types of funny; there’s the “ha ha” funny, you know the kind that’s in-between “yeah that was funny” and an LOL. Then there’s the fake LOL, you do it everyday on Twitter and Facebook when something is supposed to be funny but you don’t get it, so you LOL in hopes no one calls you on it. But the best kind of funny, at least in my opinion, is LMAO, snarky, self-deprecating humor and we get that full on in Darynda Jones’s Third Grave Dead Ahead.
Death comes to those who wait. And to those who don’t. So either way…..
-Charlotte Jean Davidson, Grim Reaper
When you are in Charley’s line of work, you have to see the humor in life or you would probably lose your mind. As the Grim Reaper, Charley is the door for spirits who happened to miss “the light” the first time around. Charley knows that sometimes things need to be said or done, so she reluctantly ( I mean, nobody likes a whiner) helps them settle their earthly debts and off they go to wherever it is they go. Even Charley isn’t sure; she just knows they go somewhere. On top of that “job,” Charley runs a Private Investigation business with her best friend Cookie. Charley does all that and so much more—she is the master of self-deprecation, but she will do everything in her power to keep her friends safe.
In the third installment of the series, Charley is wired for sound. She’s been power drinking coffee in order to stay awake because every time she closes her eyes Reyes appears. You know Reyes, the part human, part sexy beast son of Satan? Reyes is the one person Charley’s fast talking won’t work on. At the end of Second Grave on the Right, Charley took the reins away from Reyes, and he is PISSED. Flambé Grim Reaper anyone?
But they have all sorts of chemistry, hellfire hot chemistry! I guess it’s the danger aspect, because Reyes runs hot or really hot. So much so that Charley has a fear of him because he is dangerous, but the attraction is so intense she can’t just walk away. Plus, it’s not in her nature to just not help anyone. Charley can never forget—not like Reyes would let her—that if she fails to understand the full scope of her powers, a war will break out between the two of them. If that’s not a big old black cloud hanging over a relationship, I don’t know what is!
“I’d managed to dodge sleep like it was an ex-boyfriend with herpes…..”
Yet, that’s only one of the relationship issues Charley has, but it is the scariest. She’s got Uncle Bob (Ubie) who is overprotective but loves her and trusts her more then her own father, speaking of fathers…Charley’s is a doozy. He seems to think she doesn’t need him, so he neglects her for her Stepmother and her sister.
“I’m leaving the whole shebang in your hands, Mr. Wong!”
But the strangest and funniest relationship Charley has is with her live in ghost, Mr. Wong. She’s never seen his face because it’s always facing the wall in the corner of her living room. She doesn’t even really know his name, since he’s never tried to communicate with her. I’m telling you all, when he finally speaks to her, it’s going to be a tirade of epicness.
I close with words of wisdom from a T-Shirt. Remember this, it might save your life.
If all hell breaks loose, blame gremlins.
Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website Wicked Little Pixie and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat, Seamus.