Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
Narrator: Lorelei King
Series: Charley Davidson #2
Published by Macmillan
Published on: August 16, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 9hrs & 30mins
Amazon | Book Depo
When Charley Davidson and Cookie (her best friend/receptionist) have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. A friend of Cookie’s named Mimi disappeared five days earlier. This friend then sends Cookie a cryptic message telling them to meet her at a nearby coffee shop. The coffee is brewing, but Mimi’s still missing. There is, however, a clue left on the bathroom wall: a woman’s name, scribbled by Mimi. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message.
Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Can she keep those she loves out of harm’s way? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel her as she does?
The humor in these books is so over-the-top ridiculous that you’ll spend a good chunk of your time wondering where the heck does Jones come up with this stuff! For example, I met Will Robinson and Danger in First Grave on the Right but in this installment Darynda names even more of Charley’s body parts. Priceless. Expect to laugh and to keep on laughing because Second Grave on the Left is better than 9.5 hours of live stand-up comedy!
Charley has a mouth on her like you wouldn’t believe; I could listen to her wise cracks all day long. She could even make a funeral entertaining, seriously! Her personality, fearlessness and saucy wit have sold me on the merits of this series. I also like how even though she’s a Grim Reaper she’s not indestructible; Davidson loses more scraps than she wins which is oddly refreshing in the world of Urban Fantasy.
Cookie is one of the better fictional sidekicks that I’ve encountered; not only does she have Charley’s back but her ditziness makes me laugh without trying too hard. Her faux pas’ aren’t stereotypical because they’re few and far between which keeps her character from becoming annoying but when she does goof, it’s spectacular. There’s this one scene that’s been on constant replay in my mind since I finished this book because it’s just too funny. The main plot revolves around one of Cookie’s friends so she takes a more active role in Davidson’s investigation this time around and I hope that this continues because I think that she really adds something extra to the story.
There’s only one thing that can make an already talented author’s writing even better and that’s a gifted narrator. Lorelei King’s portrayal of Charley is beyond memorable; her witty tone and colourful reading puts the little voice inside my head to shame. You really do get the best of both worlds with the audiobook version of this tale. There’s also a couple of extras that make it even more irresistible including an interview with the author conducted by King and a preview of the next installment.
I do have a few beefs with book 2 though; namely that it doesn’t contribute to the overall story arc of this series and that there weren’t enough Grim Reaper tidbits for my liking. As a result, this novel felt more like a snarky P.I. murder investigation as opposed to a story about THE angel of death; slightly disappointing but still entertaining nonetheless. The dream state sex between Charley and Reyes is also starting to bug me; it’s good but I’m itching for the day when they knock boots in real life.
Darynda Jones and Lorelei King are a winning combo that can’t be beat which makes Second Grave on the Left an essential listen for all audiobook junkies.
|Recommendation:||Perfect for readers looking for something outside of the norm and an outrageously sarcastic heroine.|
|Like this, like that:||The Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price and the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent.|