Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure (Tara Holloway Series #1)

Overall, I thought this was a very entertaining book. More cozy than romance, but with significant Romance traits (the sex scenes were more graphic than your standard cozy).


I found myself skimming once in awhile, even though I liked the characters and enjoyed the writing, so I’m going to chalk that up to trying to read during the busy holiday season.


I’ll definitely be ordering the next book in the series to see what happens next.

Hard Magic (Paranormal Scene Investigations Series #1)

A bit of a slow starter, as it seemed to take almost a third of the book to set the scene and introduce the characters. But after that, I found it to be a very fast paced, exciting plot with a genuinely likeable protagonist. While the ending is fitting with the premise of the series: finding out the facts of a paranormal incident, not catching the killer, it still left me feeling a bit like the story didn’t really end – or at least not in a satisfying manner. Still, I’ll look for the second one, as I am interested in the characters enough to want to know what happens next.

Second Grave on the Left (Grim Reaper #2)

Second Grave on the LeftSecond Grave on the Left
by Darynda Jones
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9780312360818
Series: Charlie Davidson #2
Publication Date: August 4, 2011
Pages: 307
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

When Charley and Cookie, her best friend slash receptionist, have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally.) has left his corporeal body because he's being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can't let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they'll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty.

2021 Update:  I didn’t say much first go-around, but the second book, along with the standard mystery plots – because she always has a couple going on at once – introduced more of what will be the overall series arc.   Charlie starts to learn about her background and role as grim reaper and that she plays a larger part in Jones’ version of the end time prophesies.

Knowing where the series was going made it easier to understand some of the nuances of this second book, and it made the relationship between Charlie and Reyes a lot more understandable.

Original Thoughts: Great book! I love the writing and Charley is a great character. The plots are all interesting and nicely intertwined. The secondary characters are all really well written and you like the ones your supposed to like.

I really hope this is the beginning of a continuing series.

First Grave on the Right (Grim Reaper #1)

First Grave on the RightFirst Grave on the Right
by Darynda Jones
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9780312662752
Series: Charlie Davidson #1
Publication Date: February 4, 2011
Pages: 309
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

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.

Well, based on the blurb I read, this is not the book I expected it to be. But it’s MUCH better.

While Charlie is a smart mouth with a bad attitude, the book is far more mature than it’s ‘chick-lit’ blurb description would lead you to believe. Or at least the one I read. Great humour, a few sincere moments and very good plot lines kept me reading this book until I was finished.

Luckily I was smart enough to buy the second one at the same time, so I can get right to reading it.  Instant gratification.  Oh yeah…

Footsteps in the Dark

What a great, fun read! I was almost late for dinner out with friends because I didn’t want to put it down until I reached the end. Great British humour throughout the story, really well blended with the mystery, the setting, the atmosphere. The ghost story was really done well too. I found this to be just an excellent cozy mystery in every sense of the word.

Ghost of a Chance (Chintz and China Mystery Series #1)

There are really two stories in this book: one strictly paranormal and one involving the murder mystery. I really liked the paranormal one – just spooky enough to make me wonder if I shouldn’t have avoided reading it right before bed. The murder mystery part, I’m not sure – it was a bit psychotic for my personal tastes – a bit too darkish. And I really didn’t care for her romantic interest in this book. Overall, I’m not sure if I’ll read another or not – I really liked her and her friends, but I’ll have to take a peek at further books to see if she sticks with this love interest or finds another before deciding.

Smokin’ Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel (Stephanie Plum Novels)

Ok – I figured out the bad guy right off the bat – but I still really enjoyed this entry in the series – probably because there was more quality Ranger time. I don’t care, really, who she ends up with – or even if she should make a choice – I just know I do like her encounters with Ranger!  Eighteen should be interesting and at least we don’t have to wait a whole year for it.