Second Grave On The Left by Darynda Jones(3 out of 3)

The first book in the series was great. It took me awhile to get into that one, namely because “paranormal” was the big thing at the moment, and throw in the brouhaha over crap like Twilight and True Blood…and I just didn’t want any part of it. However, one summer day, I just couldn’t figure out what to read from G’s ever-expanding literary hall of shame…so I picked that up. And laughed. And liked. Then- as happens with those who are overwhelmed with literature and indecisive as hell- I quickly forgot about the rest of the series. For some reason the second book bopped into my head a week ago, so ordered it from the store, bought it, and here we are.

Charley Davidson is a PI/Grim Reaper who’s stumbling into one dead body after another(or often ,they stumble into her).  Reyes Farrow is a HOT, HOT(HOT) male who just happens to be the son of Satan and entertaining Charley in…well, sinful ways. I can’t even tell you how great the dialogue between the two characters is. I wish they’d made this into a TV series instead of that over-saturated True Blood series(my opinion, don’t stake me!). This time, Charley’s assistant Cookie’s friend Mimi goes missing- and of course Charley stumbles right into the mystery by finding a message from the missing on a bathroom wall(seriously? It’s like Grease but in an Agatha Christie high school theater production). Charley has a great sense of humor and the sarcasm never ends(which I enjoy), but there’s something real off with this book in the series.  The mystery with trying to find Mimi takes place here and there throughout the book, but seems to take a back seat to the back seat meandering between Charley and Reyes. Which, again, given that I totally buy into this matchup in the book, not a bad thing, normally, but I don’t feel like the plot should be sacrificed for paranormal hanky panky(para-panky?). Throw in the cute bail bondsman Garrett, and you just feel like it is a re-tread of the great paranormal love triangle(I hope New Order never writes that song!). And again, once that mystery is solved, you just feel like it should not have taken the whole book to get to it. A lot of para-panky and great dialogue does not a strong niche mystery make.

I hope book 3 is better. I did enjoy this, but it didn’t capture me like the first. A book like this, I could normally whiz through in a few days,  but it took four days. I had to keep setting it down and picking it up. When you have insomnia, not cool. I had to start four other books to entertain me enough to try to sleep. So- overall, I did like it, but not as much as the first book, and not enough to give it more than 3 stars.

~ by generationgbooks on December 16, 2012.

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