Welcome to my library! We are all readers looking for the next fabulous book. In my search I have found many books that will just knock your socks off. Books that I have to share. So come on in and look around. Pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable; gently flip open the pages, the magic is about to begin.

My intentions for this blog are:

1) To have monthly author spotlights in which I will write about the authors themselves and give several reviews of their different books.

2) Biweekly book reviews. I will review one book but also discuss similar books of the same topic. Because one book is never enough.

3) Newbie writer alert will review books of new unheard writers whose work deserves to be heard.

4) I will endeavor to talk about Canadian writers and titles.

Book Hunt section where people can ask about books they would like to read and get suggestions. If you have read a great book that you want to share with someone else, please feel free to leave your comments.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Need Something Funny for February, The Charlie Davidson Series by Darynda Jones

“If I couldn't be a good example, I'd just have to be a horrible warning.”
Darynda Jones, First Grave on the Right 

Need a good laugh? Are you feeling the February blaws coming on?  Wiarton Willie the ground hog from Ontario did not see his shadow and now predicted an early spring. Thank goodnes, I thought we here in Ottawa would getting freezing rain and ice storms from now until June!!  But february is so long for such a short month.  Well I have the cure for you.  Last fall I discovered a new writer by the name of Darynda Jones from New Mexico who writes the Charlie Davidson Series.  It is a paranormal mystery series and is hilarious.  The writing is quick and snappy, full of comedic situations and witty come backs.  It is everything I ever wanted to say but much smarter.  A fan club has started on Goodreads, where you can find like minded people quoting Charlie.  Jones has created such catchy phrases that people naturally want to repeat these clever quips and I can see how they may even be adopted into every day speech, much like Seinfield in the 80’s- high talkers, man hands, double dipping. 
Yes, I am now a member,"because that’s how I roll."

Genre: Paranormal Mystery/Romance
Depth: Quick read. Light and VERY funny
Topic: Private investigator who specializes in clients who are dead, solves crimes
Book complexity: Story told form primary character Charley first person
Writing style: Quick and snappy
Rating: 4 stars. Great Books
Received from: Library

Book Review: The First Grave on the Right

Hilarious! This book should come with a warning label on its cover: CAUTION DO NOT READ IN PUBLIC! Because this is a laugh out loud book. And, not just the barely audible polite tee hee hee under your breath kind of laugh; but, the kind of laugh that is very loud, screaming, stomach aching, eyes tearing, choking, nose running, you should be wearing rubber pants... you get the picture. I mistakenly took this book to the doctor's office, not the place you normally find laughter and good cheer. Well... let's just say that the other patients determined my medical condition was more mental that physical!

Charley Davidson sees dead people a la Sixth Sense. But Charley is different from your garden variety ghost seeing person, she is the Grim Reaper. Her ghosts are far more interactive shall we say. Very touchy, feely. As in she can touch them, and, they can touch her. She has been able to converse freely with this other dimension all her life. Her father and uncle, both policemen, have capitalized on Charley's talent since she was a small girl, involving her in their murder investigations, and, subsequently reaping the glory and envy of their fellow officers. Because, when all you have to do ask is the victim, 'who killed you?' the search for the killer can wrap up pretty quick!

Charley is now running her own private investigator agency out of the top floor of her now retired father's bar. Her job is to convince these recently murdered ghosts to go into the light. In order to send them on their way to their own personal heaven, she must first solve their murders. And, she accomplishes this all very well, thank you very much.  Although, not always in the most coordinated elegant fashion. The best thing about Charley is that she is so real in both her human vulnerabilities and her quirky mannerisms.

Admittedly, Charley has some help from a rag tag team of both the quick and the dead. Cookie, her office manager, neighbour, best friend and self assigned therapist, keeps Charley going physically and mentally. A young boy ghost, Angel, definitely an oxymoron, runs secret investigations for Charley, while the ghost of a psychiatric patient, having all the names of the dead scrolled over the defunct hospital walls, acts as an informer from the beyond. Uncle Bob is her police contact in the real world and has his hands full keeping Charley out of trouble, on top of his normal job of solving murders. And, finally, there is this dark entity that Charley calls The Bad, who has swooped in and saved her life three times; helpful but terrifying.

The current case concerns the mysterious murders of three lawyers.  The case is more complicated than usual since not one of the lawyers saw who committed their murders.  And, being lawyers there is a long list of suspects; some of them very nasty characters, indeed.

 Charley is normally well in control of these ghosts, but the problem is something...some kind of entity, has infiltrated her dreams every night for the last month. Some kind of hot, mind blowing sexy, very touchy entity. Well, when this entity begins to infiltrate Charley's wide awake day time, something has to be done. As she begins to investigate her own dreams entity, Charley will be lead into memories of her own past and her own personal shocking reality.

A diabolically funny paranormal mystery debut, but, anything that can make you laugh this hard, has to be good for your soul.    

Book Review: Second Grave on the Left

All the usual suspects return for the second very funny wise talking installment of the Charlie Davidson Series with the addition of a few demons, a ghost of a dead homeless guy, a missing woman whose friends have a habit of turning up dead, FBI agents, talkative mobsters and, oh ya, Charlie recently found out that her boyfriend is the son of Satan.  All in a normal days work for Charlie Davidson Grim Reaper PI.

In the Second Grave on the Left, Charlie has a few too many balls to juggle.  Well, three active cases and host of lively characters (well some of them are alive) keep the pace of the book quick and sharp.  Darynda Jones has a great snappy writing style that allows three storylines/ plots to merge into a hilarious perfect story.
To begin with Cookie’s friend Mimi has been missing for a week.  When Mimi texts Cookie in the middle of the night, Charlie and Cookie go rushing off to meet her only to find a scrawled message on the bathroom wall of the restaurant where they were to meet.  Following the clues leads to more and more recently deceased people.  As the body count rises, the clues point to a mysterious disappearance of a young 16 year old 20 years earlier. It becomes clear that all the people who last saw her alive are dying.  Mimi is on that list and in order to save her, Charlie must solve the 20 year old case.

Finding Mimi is becoming more complicated than Charlie originally assumed and now on top of this, Mobsters show up at her apartment at four thirty in the AM for intimate chats and cryptic FBI agents visit her office.  Other people are looking for Mimi but are they fair or fowl?  Even more annoying, someone has been following Charlie around town.  As much as Charlie is used to the dead following her around, this stalker is still amongst the living and it is creeping her out.

To add further complications to Charlie’s workload, the ghost of a dead homeless guy is found in the trunk of Cookie’s car.  Naturally, Charlie helpfully extracts him from his cozy locale, only to have him take up residence in her own apartment… bathroom…shower actually, where he likes to pop in mute and dazed just when Charlie is soapy.  Tracking down the previous owner of Cookie’s car leads to a few unexpected results.

Charlie is desperate to locate her boyfriend, Reyes, or at least his body.  Reyes Alexander Farrow convicted murderer, on the lam from prison and son of Satan, literally, and Charlie’s new boyfriend- opposites attract- is currently being held prisoner by demons hoping to entrap Charlie in order to hitch a free ride to heaven.  Reyes is being tortured by these demons and slowly dying. Reyes pops in and out telepathically but he refuses to give up the location of his body as he is afraid of the consequences for both Charlie personally and the universe in general.  Charlie is in a race against time and must discover her own powers to save Reyes and herself.   

Second Grave on the Left is a quick satisfying read that is both extremely funny and with enough suspense to keep it interesting.  While the majority of the storylines were resolved, Jones left the reader with a perfect little ending giving us just a taste of the next book to wet the appetite.    


Book Review: Third Grave Dead Ahead
Being Published on Feb 2!! 

Since I managed to srew up my ereader in little over a month (yes I do read instructions.  It said not to forget to eject the ereader.  What am I a moron would I get up with it still plugged into the computer and walk off!  Well apparently I was supposed to have clicked on a little box called eject, go figure.  Short story long my ereader needs to be factory reset which will wipe it clean like nothing happened but I also lose the book I am currently reading and one I want to review.)
So no new Charlie for a couple of weeks
I am 34 on the library list!

Preview from Goodreads
Charley Davidson—grim reaper extraordinaire, private investigator . . . meh—is practicing her profession under the influence, caffeine and copious amounts of it, due to an extreme desire to induce insomnia. Every time she closes her eyes, Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan, is there. Only thing is, he’s a tad peeved. She did bind him for all eternity, so it’s hard blame him. But 13 days without a wink is bound to bring out the crazy in a girl. So, when a man hires her to find his wife, Charley accepts the job with one goal in mind: Put the man behind bars, and not the wet kind. She can sense the guilt waft off him and vows to find the woman’s body and prove he’s a murderer.

In the meantime, Reyes is back in prison and none too happy about it . . . so Charley thinks, until she is carjacked by the dark-haired rake, who swears the very man he went to prison for killing is not only alive, but close by. And he wants Charley to find him.

While a visit to her old friend Rocket sheds no light on Reyes’s situation, Charley finds out the man’s wife is still alive and time is running out. Finding her before she dies would be a miracle, but she has to try. Together with the help of a fashion-impaired receptionist named Cookie, Charley sets out to bring the bad guys to justice. She just hopes Reyes is not one of them. And that she’s not hallucinating from her self-induced bout with insomnia.

Does that not make you want to read the book!!  For some strange reason I am craving coffee.

Books you may also like:

Paranormal Mystery

Phil Rickman- The Merrily Watkins Series
Begins with The Wine of Angels.  Merrily Watkins is a single mother and an Anglican parish priest pressured into becoming an exorcist solves mysteries in her small border town between England and Wales.  These are very spooky well written books.   Last month Diana Gabaldon put Phil Rickman on her methadone list (books she recommends to her fans.)  This is a big deal as her fans read what she recommends and good for him because with the quality of his books he should be better known.  There are so far 13 books in this series.  I highly recommend.

Tanya Huff- writer form Toronto wrote the Blood series about an woman ex-cop turned private investigator suffering from night blindness who meets a vampire and together they solve crimes in the GTA (greater Toronto Area for those people from elsewhere.)  The first book in the series is Blood Price.  The books were made in to a very popular TV series called Blood Ties.   

Historical Mystery with some humour
William Dietrich- The Ethan Gage series.  I love his style of writing and the main character is a hoot.  There is also a touch of the paranormal rippling through all the stories. First book in the series is Napoleon’s Pyramids, followed by The Rosetta Key, The Dakota Cipher and The Barbary Pirates.   I love this series.   


  1. Oh, I did love Tanya Huff's Blood series, and i certainly adore Darynda Jones. Makes me curious about the other things you've mentioned as well.
    My copy of Third Grave is on its way. I'm pretty excited about it.
    Maja @ The Nocturnal Library

    1. Hi Maja,
      The Phil Rickman books are very good paranormal mysteries, more serious and thought provoking. He is very popular over in England.
      The William Dietrich books are lighter and funnier with very good writing.