First Grave On The Right by Darynda Jones
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Charlotte “Charley” Jean Davidson reminded me of a dude with breasts, a Meatloaf if you will, but with a rockin’ bod. Sorry Meatloaf. She has more attitude than a trust fund baby tooling around Albuquerque in a Lamborghini, stolen police siren, and Jimmy Choos. She even manages to name her womanly parts, and as far as I know, most women don’t bother. When you’re a guy, though, you can just name your penis Spike and be done with it. But coming up with four names certainly proves more of a challenge. If you’re curious, her breasts are Danger and Will Robinson, and her ovaries are Beam Me Up and Scotty. And if you don’t find that funny, or even slightly amusing, you probably won’t enjoy this novel.
Her voice sucked me in faster than you can say hoo-hah, as I rumbled along for one epic ride. I love great beginnings, and this novel certainly meets the criteria. FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT opens with these two lines: “I’d been having the same dream for the past month—the one where a dark stranger materialized out of smoke and shadows to play doctor with me. I was starting to wonder if repetitive exposure to nightly hallucinations resulting in earth-shattering climaxes could have any long-term side effects.”
Maybe being pulled out of a dream like the one above helps explain why she doesn’t like mornings, and I couldn’t do a better job of describing her complete and utter dislike of daybreak than Charley: “While I normally weighed around 125…ish, for some unexplainable reason, between the hours of partially awake and fully awake, I weighed a solid 470.”
Other than the voice, though, this novel managed to keep me entertained with antidotes accompanying the beginning of each chapter grabbing my attention. Whether a personal quote, bumper sticker, or t-shirt, with references to the dead and ADD and bright, shiny objects, it certainly added a little extra to the amusing tone confined within the constraints of this novel. Oh, and I can’t forget about the names and character nicknames that pop up over the course of this comical tale there’s Strawberry Shortcake and Bobby Socks and Patty Cakes Strip Clubs and Cookie Kowalski and Ubie and a car named Misery.
The mystery may not have overwhelmed me with its complexity, but with Charley by my side, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. While I had never contemplated having sex with a spirit before, were such a thing possible, I might have to reevaluate my Fantasy Sex Wish List. All in all, though, this particular concept sounds more intriguing to me than getting it on with vampires or werewolves.
Charley’s voice carried me above the usual fray and made my mystery/fantasy jaunt worth the journey.