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First Grave on the Right is the first book in the Charley Davidson series by American author, Darynda Jones. Private Investigator Charlotte Jean Davidson was born with a singular ability: she can see (and talk to) dead people. Not only that, but it turns out she’s a grim reaper and facilitates the passing over to the other side of those who ready.
Talking to dead people, yes that would come in handy for a murder investigation, wouldn’t it? When he was a cop in Albuquerque’s Police Department, her Charley’s Dad certainly thought so, and she was helping out from a very young age. And now Charley is a consultant for the APD, providing much assistance to her uncle, Detective Robert Davidson.
Sometimes the dead hang around for trivial reasons, but when three lawyers, all murdered in the same way on the same night, come to see Charley, of course she’s going to help. Before long, she’s chasing after missing teens and trying to help a man wrongly imprisoned. And doing her best not to be distracted by a gorgeous, if irritating skip-chaser and a sexy, sensual spectre.
Jones spends a good portion of this debut setting her characters and the rules they live under, in what is obviously intended to be a series. While Charley is sassy and funny, she does prove to be a bit flaky at times, and seems able to switch her lustful attention between the real Garret and the smoky Reyes without hesitation.
In a plot with a few twists and surprises, Jones neatly solves the main case but also sets up the story that appears to run throughout the series, so there’s a hook to draw the reader into the next book, Second Grave on the Left. Paranormal fans will likely find this an enjoyable read.