by Darynda Jones
Series: Charlie Davidson #6
Publication Date: May 4, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Most girls might think twice before getting engaged to someone like Reyes Farrow—but Charley Davidson is not most girls. She's a private eye and grim reaper who's known to be a bit of a hell-raiser, especially after a few shots of caffeine. Her beloved Reyes may be the only begotten son of evil, but he's dark and sultry and deeply sexy and everything Charley could hope for. Really. But when the FBI file on Reyes' childhood happens to land into her lap, she can't help herself: She opens it...and then the real fun begins.
First, Charley finds a naked corpse riding shotgun in her car. Then, a man loses his soul in a card game. Throw in a Deaf boy who sees dead people, a woman running from mobsters, and a very suspicious Reyes, and things can't get any worse for Charley. Unless, of course, the Twelve Beasts of Hell are unleashed…
The covers of the Charlie Davidson series always have a quote on the front comparing them to Janet Evanovich’s books. It’s a particular pet peeve of mine, because it seems every other book with any humour in it at all has a Stephanie Plum comparison quote on it’s cover. And they are never anything like the Stephanie Plum books. However, if anyone comes close it’s Charlie Davidson. But she is oh, so much more. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Plum novels, they’re a hoot, but I think it’s a bit of a backhanded compliment to compare Charlie to Stephanie.
Charlie is a P.I. and the grim reaper –a portal to heaven. She’s in love with the son of Satan himself; created and sent to Earth for the sole purpose of destroying her. Only the son has his own agenda; he’s in love with Charlie and has been for centuries. She just barely juggles both jobs and in spite of herself, manages to make a difference.
I love these books and I loved Sixth Grave… Ms. Jones hasn’t yet written a bad book, imo. They are first and foremost entertaining; Charlie’s thoughts and dialogue are written as an almost continuous stream of jokes, but it’s not just about the funny. There is a lot of pain, a lot of violence, a lot of empathy, a lot of mythology, and some –not a lot– scorching love scenes (pun sort of intended). The series’ premise is steeped deeply in biblical mythology, and belief and faith are strong themes without bringing religion into it. I enjoy this part even more than I enjoy the humour. Sixth Grave just hit all the right buttons for me.
The only negative notes for me, and the reason it’s a 4 star instead of 5 is the repetition of a couple of pieces of information that felt more like someone forgot they’d already been mentioned than just refreshers, and the ending. The ending, although it feels like the inevitable evolution of the mythology Ms. Jones has created, has me worried.
Worried or not, I can’t wait for Seventh Grave’s release. Ms. Jones owns me at this point. If you like Urban Fantasy that straddles the PNR line (or crosses it – I could argue either way), can handle some non-gratuitous violence and love wise-cracking, kick-ass heroines who have the power and strength to save the world, you might enjoy these books and I highly recommend checking them out.