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Early Review: Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

Eighth Grave After Dark  - Darynda Jones

Eighth Grave After Dark
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #8
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published on: May 19, 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: 304 pages, eARC
Provided by: NetGalley
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With twelve hellhounds after her, pregnant Charley Davidson takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can't get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. But after months of being cooped up there, Charley is ready to pop. Both metaphorically and literally since she is now roughly the size of a beached whale. Fortunately, a new case has captured her attention, one that involves a murder on the very grounds the team has taken shelter upon. A decades-old murder of the newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows is almost enough to pull her out of her doldrums.

Charley's been forbidden to step foot off the sacred grounds. While the angry hellhounds can't traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders. They have the entire team on edge, especially Reyes. And if Charley didn't know better, she would swear Reyes is getting sick. He grows hotter with every moment that passes, his heat scorching across her skin every time he's near, but naturally he swears he's fine.

While the team searches for clues on the Twelve, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they've accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. But the good feelings don't last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life….

Mystery Epic Amazeballs

 

This was the first time that I’ve read a CHARLEY DAVIDSON novel, so I was a little worried that the story just wouldn’t be the same without Lorelei King’s narration, and yes I did miss her sultry voice (audiobook’s been pre-ordered!), but I regret nothing. EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK was the installment that I’ve been craving since Darynda Jones began laying her trail of breadcrumbs in FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT. We get answers to oh so many questions, to the point that I’ll be hitting play on my iPhone the moment it shows up because one pass wasn’t nearly enough.

Lately this series has been on my ‘easy listening’ playlist thanks to it’s snarky humour, scorching romance, and the fact that it’s, for the most part, mindless entertainment. Well, that all changes with this latest addition; Charley’s working a case—from the confines of a convent no less—and her latest problematic spooks aren’t stalking her in order to cross over. Oh, and she’s eight months preggo. AND, the prophesy is not even close to being done with her yet. I typed up a list of must-remember events, and I have sixteen bullet points. SIXTEEN!

I found that the author waited a touch too long to fill readers in on what’s what; it seemed like she saved every single reveal for this installment, and as much as I loved finally getting to open Pandora’s Box, it was a bit much to take in all at once. Practically every page had an ah-ha moment, but as gratifying as the discoveries were, this novel wasn’t nearly as funny as some of the previous volumes, so while it was a strong addition in many respects, it didn’t deliver in all areas. Still, the Mr. Wong mystery was solved, that’s all that matters.

Jones definitely hit all of the right notes where my favourite characters were concerned. Cookie & Ubie are sneaking up on Charley & Reyes, and I’m really diggin’ Osh too. I even started to like Denise, Davidson’s witch of a stepmom, which was weird, but I’m so over her now. I was however disappointed that there’s still drama between the lead couple; they persist on doing stuff behind each other’s backs. I mean, it’s looking like their kid might be Earth’s only hope, so maybe they should get their act together because the fate of humanity quite possibly hangs in the balance. Just a thought.

EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK was a critical book in the CHARLEY DAVIDSON series, and despite my minor quibbles, I will be downloading the audio on Tuesday, and spending the next nine hours with Darynda Jones and Lorelei King for a repeat performance!

 

Charley Davidson Series:

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