03 May 2011

I'm Not Dead Yet...

just in case any of my miniscule readership was wondering. During the radio (or really, blog) silence of the past several months, I have been teaching writing, working at a children's bookstore, moving, and job hunting, all while I contemplate the next step in my life. Yeah, still haven't figured that one out.

Also during this long silence, I have been reading. A lot. An awful lot. All sorts of interesting things- food lit, mysteries, romance, biography, fantasy. I have revisisted old favorites, and I have discovered new favorites. One such new favorite has inspired me to actually write a review. Yes, I am that excited about this new author. Who knows, I may start to do this on a regular basis.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

This debut novel by Darynda Jones came into my life just after I had finished reading, and loving, the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, and that mood definitely colored my enjoyment of this book. It has some of the same flair and funny, with a supernatural twist. You see, Charley Davidson is the grim reaper - she sees, and talks to, dead people. This is great for a private investigator, and for helping out her cop father and uncle. It's not so great for her public image to talk to people no one else can see.

The elements that Charley has in common with Stephanie Plum - law enforcement profession, family troubles, bad boy complications - gave the story a familiar launching point, and, at least for me, highly enjoyable one. But Jones really takes these elements and makes them her own. Charley deals with her troubles with an attitude and sense of humor that engaged me and made me want to know how it works out for her (and hope that it does work out). Her snark and sarcasm, two of my favorite things, kept the pace set at hilarious. It's true that the funny kept me engaged, but she deals with some seriously difficult issues - 'cause, ya know, dead people - and does it in a graceful and real way. Charley Davidson is definitely someone I think it would be cool to know, so if you read for character like I do, this is a character that is worth your time. While I admit that I am not really widely read in the paranormal genres, this does seem to be an original voice and entertaining adventure.

I will definitely be getting Second Grave on the Left when it comes out in August.

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