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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review: Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

Posted by Irish in Review2 Comments

Title: Second Grave on the Left (Goodreads)
Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Source: Library
Publication Date: 16 Aug 2011
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN: 0312360819
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 302

The Author on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First Line: “Charley, hurry, wake up.” Fingers with pointy nails bit into my shoulders, doing their darnedest to vanquish the fog of sleep I’d been marinating in. They shook me hard enough to cause a small earthquake in Oklahoma. Since I lived in New Mexico, this was a problem.

Charley Davidson Series Order
Book 1: First Grave on the Right
Book 1.5: For I Have Sinned (novella)
Book 2: Second Grave on the Left
Book 3: Third Grave Dead Ahead
Book 4: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Book 5: Fifth Grave Past the Light (July 2013)
Book 6: Sixth Grave on the Edge (Summer 2014)

After finishing First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones on audio I debated long and hard on if I wanted to continue the series in that format or not. I loved the audio narration and really could have done the whole series that way. But I also wanted to devour these books and that is something that the steady pace of an audio doesn’t allow you to do. Since Second Grave on the Left was just sitting there on a shelf at my library it seemed like the right choice to make to move to print. At first it was a tough transition, yes the reading was faster but it lacked the nuance of Lorelai King’s narration. So it should come as no real surprise that in the back of my mind I heard her voice as Charley’s as I was reading this book. 

Second Grave on the Left picks up not long after the first book ends and it starts off running. Well, it does once Cookie is able to get Charley out of bed. That girls loves sleep almost as much as I do. lol As with the previous book this story is filled with lots of humor but its not all fun and games. There is the mystery that spans the book from cover to cover that keeps the reader engaged and entertained. And then there is this bigger secondary mystery that carries over from the first book. One gets resolved as this book ends and the other lays a trail of seeds that leads the reader into the next book. Yet, despite the secondary story arc not being fully resolved the reader is not left unsatisfied. Instead, this does what all those crazy bomb dropping cliff hangers that are so popular in series reads fails to do for me. 

These little seeds make me want to read the next book as do all the characters that just grow and become deeper and more real as a series progresses. There is no big huge cliff hanger and if you never read the next book then you aren’t disappointed. As a reader, you can make your own ending, or you can move on and see where Darynda Jones leads you next. Its that desire to know what happens next that is key. Its what makes it so hard to put the book down once you start reading it. And for me this is one of those unputdownable reads. 

Second Grave on the Left is a laugh out loud funny story but there is a seriousness to it too. There is drama in Charlie’s world and lots of tension with her evil step-mother and uber hot and so very confusing Reyes. Oh, Reyes, if you pick up this serious for just one reason than he is enough. I adore Charley and I love her friends and family but there is just something special about Reyes. I like how he keeps Charley on her toes and keeps her off balances. I actually like that he’s the ultimate bad boy and yet he’s not totally evil. He’s just such a fun character and you never quite know just what side of the board he is playing on. 

Darynda Jones is a talented writer and I love her writing style. I love the characters and the world that she has created and I loved getting to know all these characters even better. I love a series in which you can see character growth and added depth with each new book. If you are looking for a fun and entertaining mystery then you will enjoy this book. Its perfect for the beach or for curling up on the couch on a cold winter’s day. I promise you’ll devour this story and immediately want to dive into the next book. I know I did.

2 Responses to “Review: Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones”

  1. Vivien

    It’s always great to hear when the sequel is just as good as it’s predecessor. This series sounds like a lot of fun. Only made better by the connection of the characters. Must get my hands on the rest.