Sunday, August 7, 2011

No Sophomore Slump For Charley Davidson and Darynda Jones!

Second Grave on the Left
Darynda Jones
August 2011
St. Martins

Product Description-When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been found murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message.

Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his 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. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Will Cookie ever get a true fashion sense? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel them as they do?

Once again I have to thank the folks at St. Martins Press for an advance look at Second Grave on the Left. Charley hits the ground running, juggling multiple cases in this outing: Cookie's missing friend, Reyes' missing body, demons, a 20 year old case of a missing girl, her father's odd behavior, and last but not least, the dead guy in Cookie's trunk. The action is fast and furious, and the humor never falters. Charley has abilities she never even imagined, and she needs all of them to get through the most chaotic week of her life. Never does she lose her ability for the quick verbal comeback though!

Most of the characters from First Grave on the Right are back, some good and some definitely bad. Reyes is alluring and enigmatic as always. I often don't get his motivations, but neither does Charley. This lack of understanding leads to a cliffhanger at the end of Second Grave but I trust we won't have to wait too long for Third Grave Dead Ahead. Darynda Jones deftly avoids "sophomore slump" in this second entry. Highly recommended!

Rating- 4 Scythes

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