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The Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones

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  • First Grave on the Right
  • Second Grave on the Left,
  • Third Grave Dead Ahead,
  • Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
  • Fifth Grave Past The Light
  • Sixth Grave on the Edge
  • Seventh Grave and No Body
  • Eighth Grave after Dark
  • The Dirt on Ninth Grave, 
  • The Curse of Tenth Grave, 
  • Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, 
  • The Trouble with Twelfth Grave, 


(The thirteenth and final book is due to be released in January 2019)

As you are all probably aware, I have an inclination towards fantasy/paranormal themed books, so when I was made aware of the Charley Davidson Series of books I knew I had to have a little look!
This 12 book series (the final 13th book is due to be released in early 2019) has kept me occupied now for the past few months, yes I have lost sleep... a lot of sleep! This is due to the fact I have been thinking I’ll just see what happens next, only find I’ve done an all-nighter or close to it not going to bed before about 4/5am (something I wouldn’t recommend doing, but these books seemed to take over and I just had to read a bit more).
The general premise of the series revolves around Charley Davidson a young girl who works as a private investigator and helps out the local police department and in particular her uncle who is a cop in that police department with her unique talents.  She is a grim reaper, a portal to the afterlife, the dead come to her to cross over, or not as the case may be because if these people have died they give her information to find their killers before they cross – hence her rather spectacular record of solving homicides. Her family know she has unusual gifts but is unaware of the full extent of them.  Her stepmother is afraid of her and as such has rejected her all her life which as a result has made her relationship with her sister strained but she is incredibly close to her father something which also seems to piss off her stepmother somewhat. She is an extremely likeable quirky character who makes you smile and sometimes laugh out loud with some of the things she says and does.  As the books continue though we gradually find out that she is much more than what she appears to be.
We learn that she remembers her own birth, her mother was her first customer, so to speak as her mother died during childbirth and crossed through her, she also remembers a dark forbidding figure standing over her after she was born, as she grew up this figure always seemed to appear when she was in danger, when she was abducted by a paedophile as a small child he appeared and severed the spine of the paedophile but not leaving a mark on him, and at other times during her childhood he appeared when she was in danger, she nicknamed this figure ‘Big Bad’ and it was the only thing she was truly ever afraid of, but seeing the spirits of the departed will do that to you. It is a complicated story with a core of well written, interesting characters, it has many layers and the revelations keep coming as the books continue, and the story unfolds and builds.  Unlike many other long series of books, this one is consistently good and there isn’t a weak book in the series, yes some of the revelations are mind-blowingly incredulous but it is fantasy and this series more than lives up to that title.

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Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones 


I eagerly awaited the arrival of the final book in the Charley Davidson series, and yet I was concerned, this we have been told is the last one, which revolves around Charley - sarcastic and slightly batty PI, also Grim Reaper, a portal for the departed to cross over, not to mention other dimension goddess and her husband Reyes aka the evil god Rey'azikeen aka Son of Lucifer. (I think I mentioned in my previous review of the other 12 books the revelations that came out as the stories carried on were mind blowingly incredulous and that the series more than lived up to its fantasy genre expectations).


It is hard to review this book without giving away the story as it revolves around tying up all the loose ends and cleaning up a mess (an end of the world as we know it type mess) that Reyes and Charley created in a previous book.


So all I will say is it did not disappoint me, it had a nice pace throughout and all the loose ends were indeed tied up and questions answered.  There was a sub plot which focuses on Charley's 'job' as the grim reaper which although a distraction from the main story also fitted in nicely and reminded you of where these books began. There were a number of really stunningly heartbreaking moments, some mind blowing revelations - just when you thought you knew every character in the story and thought there could be no more revelations about a characters identity Ms Jones managed to do it and there were also a number of laugh out loud moments mainly surrounding Charley and her brilliant take on life and her sometimes sarcastic, sometimes downright off the wall commentary and one liners, it felt like an old friend as i was reading it, it had everything I was expecting and it delivered on everything I hoped would happen and still managed to surprise me with revelations I really didn't see coming. It did however end on a sort of cliffhanger so my theory of that is the next book Ms Jones is going to produce is probably going to revolve around the life of Reyes and Charley's daughter, who has a destiny mapped out before her like no other child.


In conclusion, a fitting end to a fabulous series of books and yes I would recommend this quirky, original, highly entertaining series.

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