Title: Third Grave Dead Ahead
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson, #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (Imprint of Macmillan)
Date Published: January 31st, 2012
Charley Davidson—grim reaper extraordinaire, private investigator . . . meh—is practicing her profession under the influence, caffeine and copious amounts of it, due to an extreme desire to induce insomnia. Every time she closes her eyes, Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan, is there. Only thing is, he’s a tad peeved. She did bind him for all eternity, so it’s hard blame him. But 13 days without a wink is bound to bring out the crazy in a girl. So, when a man hires her to find his wife, Charley accepts the job with one goal in mind: Put the man behind bars, and not the wet kind. She can sense the guilt waft off him and vows to find the woman’s body and prove he’s a murderer.
In the meantime, Reyes is back in prison and none too happy about it . . . so Charley thinks, until she is carjacked by the dark-haired rake, who swears the very man he went to prison for killing is not only alive, but close by. And he wants Charley to find him.
While a visit to her old friend Rocket sheds no light on Reyes’s situation, Charley finds out the man’s wife is still alive and time is running out. Finding her before she dies would be a miracle, but she has to try. Together with the help of a fashion-impaired receptionist named Cookie, Charley sets out to bring the bad guys to justice. She just hopes Reyes is not one of them. And that she’s not hallucinating from her self-induced bout with insomnia.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting lovely Charley yet, let me introduce you. Charley is a witty, sarcastic, downright hilarious female private investigator who manages to get herself into all sorts of trouble on the various cases she’s trying to solve. Oh, and did I mention she’s the Grim Reaper? The one and only light beyond the grave baby.
From the moment I read the first book in this series, I knew we’d have a long-term relationship. I’m all about the humor mixed into a storyline, and these books definitely have that. I’ve heard some say it’s “cheesy” humor, but I would categorize it more as cheesy with a good dose of sarcastic mixed in. I can’t tell you how many times I laughed while reading this book though, which is good because that’s just what I needed after the last book I read.
The one and only thing missing, or I guess I should say a bit lacking rather than missing altogether, is the steam factor! We get this hottie-hot-hot Reyes who we hardly ever see and after the third book is still a humungo mystery. Every time he enters the room Charley practically salivates at the mouth, and who could blame her? But it’s not enough! It’s almost too much tension/build up between those two. Don’t get me wrong, we get a bit of one-on-one, and in this book we get a lot more Reyes than we have in the previous books (which is still not a lot btw). So I think if the books took it up a notch when it comes to their relationship, then these would easily be five stars for me.
But at the same time what makes these books so fantabulous is the Charley-isms. She’s like a walking talking humor stick and really the series is ALL about her. Which is totally fine. I think in a way if the romance were taken to the next level, it might take away from the humor a bit. It’s hard to say, but when it gets to that point (if it ever does) then it definitely needs to be done right to stay true to Charley and the series as a whole.
For those of you just starting the series, don’t let the teeny-tiny bit of romance deter you (if you’re a big romance buff that is) because despite not having a lot in that area, these books still have so much personality and are a serious pleasure to read. If you haven’t joined up with Davidson Investigations, then you’ll definitely want to come on over if you’re a fan of witty female leads who will keep you laughing the whole time, and a dose of mystery that is actually pretty good and not really all that predictable. Bonus!