Complete series with 13 novels.
Genres: urban fantasy, paranormal romance
Spinoff: To Be Announced
1. First Grave on the Right
2. Second Grave on the Left
3. Third Grave Dead Ahead
4. Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
5. Fifth Grave Past the Light
6. Sixth Grave on the Edge
7. Seventh Grave and No Body
8. Eighth Grave After Dark
9. The Dirt on Ninth Grave
10. The Curse on Tenth Grave
11. Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
12. The Trouble with Twelfth Grave
13. Summoned to Thirteenth Grave
Charley Davidson is just another of those unfortunate urban fantasy series that started off strong, but lost itself due to too many books. They’re very fun, light books. They don’t take themselves seriously often. They know they are pretty comedic, and they run with it! But not every plotline is all fun and games, there are some dark plots, too. Some of them require trigger warnings. Each book has several investigations with our PI main character, Charley to solve – and most of them involve dead people.
Charley Davidson is just one of those characters that doesn’t take anything serious. She is a flighty sex risk. She also who knows who, and what, she is – and she isn’t going to let anyone forget it. That means that she goes around telling people she is the Grim Reaper and expects them to believe it. Charley surrounds herself with the people she loves because she loves to be around them, yet she also can hold a grudge against people like you wouldn’t believe. She is also ridiculously overpowered for the world she lives in. So really, she is just created to have fun.
The side characters are also fun. Her Uncle Bob, which she calls “Ubie” is a homicide detective who has worked with Charley for years, since she was a child. Then there is Cookie, her best friend, next door neighbor, and..secretary? As far as I can tell, Cookie is her legal name, not a nickname. Says a lot about her. Cookie has a teenage daughter named Amber. Both of them are just as ridiculous as Charley, but they aren’t the instigators, they just go along in Charley’s wake. There is a young deaf teenager, a tattoo artist who can see auras, a detective with his dead sister following him around, a ghost who writes names, and many more awesome characters surrounding Charley all series long.
Then there is Reyes Farrow, the dark entity that has been stalking Charley. Charley knows nothing about him in the beginning, not even his name. Slowly, Charley learns things about him. Reyes has been abused in his life – but he doesn’t want to take about it. Ever. He broods, but he mostly just loves Charley with all his soul.
The biggest problem in the series is that it just doesn’t end. It starts of so strong, and then it collapses on you. The series wasn’t anything serious, but then Darynda Jones started making things happen. There are prophecies. Which change at least 20 times within the course of about 7 books. There are players. Which change sides when they want to. The world building was simple: Charley is a Grim Reaper, Reyes is the son of Satan. I don’t even have a clue how many times those two labels alone changed, let alone the rest.
Just. Nothing in this series stays the same for any length of time. It is frustrating. It made me not care about literally anything going on because I could no longer trust in anything. I think if this series ended early on, it would still be a great series. As it is, it is just one of those series that I won’t remember highly.
It didn’t even have the decency to finish the story. The last book came out, and the story was pushed off into whatever spinoff Darynda Jones is going to make. Because nothing ever ends, it just mutates into something new to deal with.