Wacky. If there was a word to sum up Charley (Charlotte) Davidson in Darynda Jones’ debut novel; First Grave on the Right, wacky would be right up there. Fun would be another and perhaps unsurprisingly, bittersweet.
Charley is a bit different from everyone else in that she’s a grim reaper. In fact, to her knowledge, she’s the only grim reaper. Not that she wears black robes and wields a scythe. As the reaper she helps the dead, which only she can see cross over to the other side.
However, being the reaper doesn’t pay the bills so as her main job and so she’s also a private investigator using her supernatural ability to assist the Albuquerque police, specifically her detective uncle in solving crimes.
The wackiness comes from scenes where she is relating to another private detective how she has named her breasts; ‘Danger’ and ‘Will Robinson’. She’s named her ovaries as well, but apparently they’re sensitive!
Fun comes from the situations she sometimes finds herself in and how she handles them as well as her thoughts on something as this is told in first person perspective.
And bittersweet because being the grim reaper means that people have died including those that I really wish hadn’t. One of the best emotional scenes was from Charley’s childhood when she didn’t have the experience of relaying what she knows about the dead without scaring people like her stepmother.
Charley is a wonderful heroine and aside from her special gifts of being the grim reaper, of remembering everything since being born as well as the ability to understand every language ever spoken, is perfectly normal if a little distracted from time to…ooh! Shiny!
I didn’t manage to solve the puzzle surrounding Charley’s romantic interest, Reyes, until it was laid out by Charley itself. Throughout the book, I was there with her wondering who and what was he.
Fortunately, I’m late to the series and there are more books in the series that I can’t wait to read!