Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson series)
St. Martin's Press / May 20, 2014 / $25.99 print, $12.99 digital
Most girls might think twice before getting engaged to someone like Reyes Farrow—but Charley Davidson is not most girls. She’s a paranormal private eye and grim reaper-in-training who’s known to be a bit of a hell-raiser, especially after a few shots of caffeine. Her beloved Reyes may be the only begotten son of evil, but he’s dark and sultry and deeply sexy and everything Charley could hope for. Really. But when the FBI file on Reyes’ childhood happens to land into her lap, she can’t help herself: She opens it...and then the real fun begins. First, Charley finds a naked corpse riding shotgun in her car. Then, a man loses his soul in a card game. Throw in a Deaf boy who sees dead people, a woman running from mobsters, and a very suspicious Reyes, and things can’t get any worse for Charley. Unless, of course, the Twelve Beasts of Hell are unleashed…
Charley Davidson returns in Darynda Jones's Sixth Grave on the Edge, and she's bringing everything but the kitchen sink with her. Gone are the days where this is a simple mystery series; the mythology is deepening, and much like Charley's hilarious struggle with ADD, she's hit from all sides with cases of both the missing persons and otherworldly variety. This new addition to the series hits the ground running, and this time, not everything's wrapped up with a neat bow by the end.
I had a lot on my plate: A naked dead man riding shotgun everywhere I went. A mysterious Asian man hovering in my corner who was made of something powerful, whatever that meant. Another man who sold his soul to a demon who was indifferent to the fact that it was for a good cause. A demon who was going around tricking people out of their souls so he could eat them. Which, ew. A rascally neighbor who'd proposed to me and was expecting an answer sometime this century. And an ongoing child-abduction case that had led me to believe that my man might have a brother he either does or doesn't know about. I was so not good at tying up loose ends. And to top it all off, I was one step closer to getting my BFF slash receptionist laid by my uncle.
That was so wrong. No matter. Life was good.
Charley is learning just how much being the grim reaper entails, not to mention the power that's coming along with the position. We can feel the series building and really picking up steam on the paranormal front, whether it's from the ghosts she's befriended whose stories we're finally getting more bits and pieces of or the growing number of demons that are seeking her out for one reason or another. Every character seems to have something life-changing going on, and they all need Charley's help.
Luckily, her trademark humor is still in fine form, proving that her wit is what keeps her well-adjusted, even if her wacky plans and outrageous schemes threaten to do her in eventually, a fact that keeps the man she loves on his toes. But dealing with a father in the throes of a mid-life crisis, a matchmaking endeavor between her partner in crime Cookie and her beloved Uncle Bob (equal parts the best and grossest thing that could ever happen,) and friend and colleague Garrett's personal paternity mission, it's no wonder Charley's a bit scattered. Then there are the friends and clients, both dead and alive, who remind us that for Charley, it really is an issue of life or death, that sometimes there are cases so tragic that will buckle even the most stalwart. And Charley's finally seeing just how high the stakes are.
Noni was my new best friend. Well, after Misery. And Cookie, my real best friend. And Garrett, my kind of, sort of best friend. And Reyes, my... my...
What was Reyes? Besides the dark and sultry son of evil? My boy toy? My love slave? My 24/7 booty call?
He was all those things, but he was also my almost fiance. All I had to do was say yes to the proposal he'd written on a sticky note, and he would be my fiance for reals. Until then, however, he was my almost fiance.
No, my soon-to-be fiance.
No! My nigh fiance.
Yeah, that'd work.
One of the greatest things about where the series is now is just how far Charley and Reyes have come together. Now that they're in each other's space—quite literally with an infamous wall incident—it's clear just how comfortable they've become with each other. And though the big question is left hanging between them, they're solid. The scenes between them, whether quiet and loving or rife with verbal banter, are some of the best. We know they're in it for the long haul. And in the end, there's a cliffhanger nearly as big as the last book's that could even change the game completely. One thing's for sure, Charley and her wildly entertaining posse aren't winding down any time soon.
Learn more or order a copy of Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones, out today:
Tiffany Tyer is a writer and editor who loves reading and analyzing all things romance. She also works as a vocalist, a tutor, and a non-profit ministry assistant, and she loves it that way. Her book reviews can be found at Happy Endings Reviews, a blog she co-founded.