First Grave on the right and this book are the first two books in Darynda Jones' Charley Davidson series. There are five so far, the next three being Third Grave Dead Ahead (2012), Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (2012), and Fifth Grave Past the Light (2013). I'll check and see if the library has the other three. If so, I might pick them up, but I'm not too concerned.
Charley Davidson is a reaper. Well, she's “the” Reaper. There's only one at a time. (“And to each generation, a slayer is born...” well, not quite like that, heh.) As the Reaper, she sees dead people, can talk to them, and can touch them. They can pass through her into the beyond - what she realizes at some point is, actually, heaven. She appears like a bright light to ghosts all over the place, so they usually show up at her door, or out in the street, or in her bathroom, looking to pass to the great beyond. She has a few other minor powers, like understanding every language, to help her with this task.
The books largely revolve around her solving murders (her father and uncle are both with the Albuquerque Police Department and often ask her help, since being able to ask the deceased “so hey, who killed you?” is actually quite helpful.)
There are complications, as there always are. Charley's comes in the form of Reyes Alexander Farrow. Reyes is a smoking hot convict (who may or may not be guilty of killing his own father) but who is DEFINITELY more than he seems.
The books are decent, for fluffy paranormal romance. My main beef with them comes from two glaring editorial errors. The police station is almost certainly not a “melting potty.” I'm pretty sure the author meant “melting pot,” unless they were going with some really weird imagery! That error could be chalked up to a typo, but the one that actually made me yell at the book was the quote heading up Chapter Two of Second Grave on the Left:
“Don't cross the streams. Never cross the streams.” - Bumper Sticker.
...bumper Sticker? BUMPER STICKER?! That's from Ghostbusters! Misattributing a rather famous quote (it is rather famous, right? It's not just because I'm a geek?) is a cardinal sin in my book.
So I'm not sure how to feel about these books. My strongest emotion is the indignation at not properly attributing the Ghostbusters quote. Other than that, the story flows well, and fast (I read both books in one afternoon). The characters are interesting and the concept is interesting. The sex is pretty hot, and I like that Charley is portrayed as promiscuous but without slut-shaming her for being so. (Though for her always saying she likes sex, and talking about guys and SAYING she's promiscuous, we only ever see her have sex with one dude in the first two books.)
I think my final verdict is they're worth reading if you're looking for something fluffy, but I wouldn't go out of my way to pick them up.
You can find all my reviews at Goddess in the Stacks.