• First Grave on the Right

  • Charley Davidson, Book 1
  • By: Darynda Jones
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (10,022 ratings)

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First Grave on the Right  By  cover art

First Grave on the Right

By: Darynda Jones
Narrated by: Lorelei King
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Publisher's Summary

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.

Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense. The audio includes a sneak peak of Second Grave on the Left.

Keep chilled: spend some more time with Charley Davidson.
©2011 Darynda Jones (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

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What listeners say about First Grave on the Right

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    5,420
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    2,693
  • 3 Stars
    1,193
  • 2 Stars
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Performance
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    5,654
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    732
  • 2 Stars
    197
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Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    4,714
  • 4 Stars
    2,271
  • 3 Stars
    1,087
  • 2 Stars
    382
  • 1 Stars
    289

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great choice for Stephanie, Lorelai or Buffy fans!

I love this narrator’s work on the Stephanie Plum series by one of my favorite authors, Janet Evanovich, so I decided to give this book a try. I was not disappointed. I hear so many books compared to the Evanovich series and I have yet to find one that really lives up to that…until this one. I usually roll my eyes when I hear that comparison in a review.

At first I thought Charley’s “Stephanie-like” wit, spunk, strength, intelligence and personality were just my perception since I associate this wonderful narrator’s voice so strongly with the Evanovich series, but I’m pleased to say that it’s a combination of the narrator and the author. In an interview at the end of the 2nd book, the author states that she tried to model Charley after Stephanie Plum, Lorelai Gilmore, and Buffy the Vampire slayer and I think that’s the perfect characterization of this series. She completely succeeded in that and she mixes just enough romance into the plot to be fun, without turning it into a sappy mess that hides the plot.

I also love that she came up with such an interesting “birthright/job” for Charley. I won’t give it away, but I will say that while the role isn’t something new, it is portrayed with some really unique and cool characteristics. I'd never imagined wanting to be friends with someone who does what she does, but Charley would be an awesome best friend and she's really likeable.

I read all types of books, but I’ve been hooked on the paranormal genre lately and frankly I get tired of the same old vampires, werewolves and other supernatural characters. After awhile they get so predictable with the same powers and flaws, which make the books less interesting to me. I’ll read them, but many don’t wow me or surprise me like this series did. There are enough familiar things to interest those not yet as jaded as I am, but thankfully there are also wonderful surprises!

This book is fun and interesting, but not too heavy. The first book is great and the next two just get better! I was so entertained that I got through all three in less than a week. As is typical with a great series, the story gets better and more interesting with each new book. I just couldn’t walk away. My only complaint is that there are only three books so far!

67 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Love'd it

This is a Stephanie Plum as the Grim Reaper instead of Bounty Hunter. Since I love those books I also enjoyed this one.
The similarities are numerous -
2 mysterious male love interests
loyal side kick/friend
constant ability to get hurt-in trouble-almost killed-etc..
Smart Mouth
Lorelei King
Loved it - will wait for follow up, the book ending set up perfectly for the next installment

52 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this audiobook!

My review: For a few years, I’ve been fascinated with paranormal TV shows and movies. Until this, I’d never delved into a paranormal audiobook. First Grave on the Right is Darynda Jones’ first novel that hit a home run in my book. Jones covered all the bases by adding paranormal twists, sultry romance and humor.

This novel, the first in a series, centers around Charlotte “Charley” Davidson who works as a part-time private investigator with her Uncle Bob and against her will and better judgement, a full-time Grim Reaper. She doesn’t wear a cape or carry a scythe, but she does see dead people. Everywhere. For instance, Mr. Wong hangs out in a corner of her apartment and Aunt Lil, a toothless elderly woman wonders around the kitchen and “makes” coffee. Normally, Charley helps the deceased “go into the light” but sometimes things get complicated when they stick around and wear out their welcome.

As the story progresses, we follow Charley as she investigates the death of three lawyers who have came to her for help and she ends up risking her life over and over. Charley is miraculously saved numerous times by “Bad”, an Entity who has followed her since birth and tends to show up when her life is endangered. Then there’s Reyes… a boy she saw beaten by his father when she was younger. It’s really intense to see how the plot thickens and boils together when we learn the truth about Reyes, “Bad” and everyone in between.

This audiobook was recently released on February 1, 2011, a great day being that it was my 28th birthday, so it had to be good, right?! The writing is so clever and Jones has led us into a wonderful series. Charley is interesting, funny and intelligent. I can’t wait for the next novel, Second Grave on the Left to hit the market.

Narrator Review: Lorelei King has a lovely voice and definitely does this book justice. She gives Charley a youthful voice that fits her character beautifully.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite

All the wonderful reviews were the incentive to buy the book and I loved the TV series "Dead Like Me", so I was hyped to really enjoy it. I'm still trying, but halfway through and sometimes it is all I can do NOT to turn it off and move on to another book. It tries too hard to be clever, and comes off like a cheap supernatural romance novel. Maybe I will love it by the end, but somehow........I doubt it.

43 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Kept me laughing..

I was nervous at first about this book but took the leap and am happy I did.

This book kept me laughing and guessing the whole way through. I don't want to give anything away I would just like to say that I was VERY pleased with the book, can't wait for the next one and you REALLY should give it a try!

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Missing: Character and Plot Development

I love the narrator, but that is the only good thing about this book. I am at a loss to understand all of the positive reviews. While some of the elements of a good story are here, they are not woven together into anything remotely resembling a plot. It is almost like the author wrote a series of short passages that someone later pieced together. Coupled with the lack of character development, this makes it almost impossible to care about the assorted individuals and events presented. So, unless you have a credit to burn, I???d pass on this one.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

What a great start!

Loved, absolutely and unabashedly delighted in, the first 3/4 or so. The last part ended up being a 'tie up the ends and make a POINT' although not quite proselytizing and while it helped to have it knotted up, it wasn't nearly as fun as the first bit. That having been said, the book was absolutely worth reading. Characterization was balanced and they did mostly what one would expect of them given the set-up. The plot line moved along nicely; it seems to me to be a set up for a series, but still it ENDED rather than being a 'tune in next week' sort of story line. Lots of laughs without being fatuous. And I find myself occasionally bringing up parts of the book and working on why the author included it or what she meant or ... well, you get my drift, so enough meat to leave me going 'hmmm'.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Over the line

I'll start with the good... The narration is excellent, as many of us have come to expect from this narrator. The writing is funny. The main storyline is interesting.
Now for the rest... Look, I'm not exactly a bra-burning feminist. I like the heroes of my trash to be a little He-man- me Tarzan, you Janeish. But there's a pretty solid line between liking a hero who's a little dominant and having a heroine who's obsessed with a man with whom her only interaction was his threatening to rape her and then sneaking into her dreams and- in fact for him, while in dreams for her- having sex with her. That is over the line. It's creepy and disturbing and frankly a little gross. No. Bad.
Also, the funny writing gets old after a while. Yes, it's clever, but cleverness in every line gets boring and old and in the way of progress in the plot and any kind of actual character development. Maybe there could be something that would justify Charlie's obsession, but we never really find out because she's more interested in zinging one liners at us to in any way be self-aware enough to look into her own emotions. She acts and she talks, but she doesn't appear to think. Charlie would make an excellent secondary character, but I need more from a main character. I need to care if she lives or dies at least, and I don't get that from Charlie.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

One hungry author!

The story might have been OK if the author wasn't so fixated on food and sex. In short I can only assume that the author was on a doozy of a diet when she wrote this ... far too many detailed descriptions of EVERY meal she took throughout the story... from the menu at top notch restaurants to grabbing a a bag of pretzels we had to hear about every morsel ... added to which we also heard how the 'heroine' was prone to stealing her friends' food off their plates too!
Then we had to endure the phantom sex, and the adolescent fantasies of all the main female characters ... so maybe it wasn't just food she was missing out on when she wrote this!

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Danger Will Robinson

Loved it!! Here's another example of leaving a book on my wish list way too long. This is a humorous, sexy, action packed listen that has me already planning on getting the whole series. I have a feeling this series is going to make the Top 10 of my favorite paranormal series.

20 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Claire
  • 04-02-16

Cheeky quirky laugh

A great start to a funny book series. A story about an overzealous PI with supernatural abilities who bites off way more than she can handle. I enjoyed the listen, but I don't feel like the story was made better by listening in audio, so I read the rest of the books. It's worth a listen though, if you can get it on sale.