Reviewed by: Book Addict

Second Grave on the Left
by Darynda Jones

Published August 16, 2011 by St. Martin's Press

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 the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously?

After dragging Charley out the door and trying unsuccessfully to stuff her into a trunk—mostly ‘cause Charley pitches a fit—Cookie finally 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. After a brief investigation, Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. They head to the parking lot only to be accosted by a frantic husband with a gun. After some soothing words and a few deep breathing exercises, the husband, aka Warren Jacobs, hires Charley to find his wife. He 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?

For a complete review which may contain SPOILERS, please click 'Read More' below:
Second Grave on the Left is the second book in the Charley Davidson series. Charley is a sarcasm-loving, danger attracting, kiss ass Private Investigator. Oh yeah, and she's also the Grim Reaper. Having been a ghost magnet since she was little, nearly nothing phases her and her fears can be counted on one hand. With the help of her best friend/neighbor/assistant/plucky sidekick, she runs a P.I. business, assists the local police (including her uncle), and helps wandering souls cross over. As if that isn't enough to make her lock herself in her (ghost-free) bathroom with a super-sized cup of java, she has the added complication of being in love with Satan's son, Reyes.

When Cookie's  (that underpaid, super sleuth sidekick previously mentioned) friend goes missing after sending her a distress text, Charley is put on the case. All roads seem to lead back to the missing's high school days but things are not as they appear. Meanwhile, she must find where Reyes has hid his corporeal body before the demons torturing him can kill it, even if that IS what Reyes wants.

Second Grave on the Left is so jam-packed with action, I felt like I had run a 5K at least when I was done reading it.

Charley is the wittiest, most wise cracking heroine I have ever read. I frequently found myself laughing out loud, much to my dog's consternation. Her more than complicated life would crush a lesser woman, but Charley is the epitome of a strong, tough heroine. I love the character of her best friend Cookie, especially her absolute dependency on coffee just to live. (Reminds me of my sister.)

And then... there's Reyes. OH.MY.HOTNESS!! He is so mysterious that every time you think you have him figured out, he goes and changes it up. The Son of Satan has never been sexier!

It's a good thing Third Grave Dead Ahead just came out because Ms. Jones has left me craving more of Charley's crazy antics!

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