Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plane for eternity –which is exactly the amount of time it takes to make a person stark, raving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently it is. Bummer.
She’s missed her daughter. She’s missed Reyes. She’s missed Cookie and Garrett and Uncle Bob. But now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine for a broken heart? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.
I am not okay…. days after finishing the finale to this AMAZING adventure I am still not okay. As fantastic and thrilling as the series has been I will miss the hilarious power couple that is Charley Davidson and Reyes Alexander Farrow. Hopefully that is not truly the end as we do have Beep prophesy to deal with, a spin-off series perhaps?
The ending to the previous book, The Trouble with Twelfth Grave, was a doozy specifically not knowing how the series will pick up as our beloved rule breaker Charley is cast off into alternate dimension in punishment. As the series revolves around her there is no way to truly exile her and that’s what we get when she comes back into tender loving and angry arms of her husband.
However, things are not great in Charley-verse because the god glass that kept the hell dimension is now overtaking the city and people are experiencing “strange effects” because of it. That being the shadow monsters are possessing people. Time is seriously running out to save the world from the spreading of the hell dimension worldwide and the gang must put on their thinking caps to stop it. If that is not a serious enough matter to deal with, Charley in her typical Charley fashion picks up a case. Girlfriend still doesn’t understand the concept of spreading yourself too thin to put out all the fires in the natural/supernatural worlds. While coffee surely helps her, her ever watchful husband, and her hilarious entourage must make plans to save the world.
In the end we get many of our questions answered and even answers to the questions we didn’t even know we had. Big revelations and heartbreaks is all the rage in this book. Darynda Jones finished off the series and does it justice, but again I am still not ready to say good-bye… but we must… we must give Charley and Reyes the happy ending that they deserve. Adieu… for now?
A FUN FACT FOR EACH OF THE CHARLEY BOOKS:
First Grave on the Right
- The concept for First Grave came about while Darynda was working as a sign language interpreter in her hometown. She stole many of the names from students at the schools where she worked, including Reyes, Garrett, and Amber. As far as Darynda knows, they have all forgiven her for her thievery.
Second Grave on the Left
- Uncle Bob is a combination of two people: Darynda’s oldest brother, Luther, and the principal at the high school where she worked for several years.
Third Grave Dead Ahead
- This was originally titled Third Grave Straight Ahead, but Darynda’s web designer, Liz Bemis, asked her to change the name to Dead Ahead. Firstly, it fit the content better, and secondly, Liz got tired of spelling the word Straight wrong while updating the website. Dead is much easier to type.
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
- Quentin Rutherford makes his first appearance in this book. While his first name was stolen from Darynda’s little brother and his last name stolen from yet another Jr. High student, Quentin is physically sculpted from her oldest son, Jerrdan, a bona fide blond-haired, blue-eyed devil with a sparkling smile that melts even the staunchest of hearts. And, like Quentin Rutherford, he was born Deaf. Not that he let it stop him for a second.
Fifth Grave Past the Light
- This book was fun to write! Darynda was trying to come up with something truly creepy to throw into the book, and she figured what would be creepier than having an apartment full of departed women crawling up the walls, skittering across the ceiling, and huddling in the corners? Also, it is one of the hotter books, so that was fun, too. Because, you know, Reyes.
Sixth Grave on the Edge
- Darynda really wanted to open this one on a humorous note. She wanted to have Charley on a stakeout with a departed elderly man, who also happens to be naked, riding shotgun. Which begs the question: Are we really stuck in (or out of) whatever we are wearing when we die for all eternity? ‘Cause that would suck.
Seventh Grave and No Body
- Osh’ekiel was originally supposed to be in one book only. And he was supposed to be a very bad guy. But Darynda fell in love with him while writing the book and decided to redeem him and give him a bigger role. Just how big his role would become didn’t come to Darynda until plotting Eighth Grave. He has been one of her favorite characters since she wrote that first scene with him.
Eighth Grave After Dark
- Darynda wanted to really turn the tables on Charley and force her to have to stay in one place, thus the sacred ground of the convent came into play. It was fun and challenging to write a “locked room” mystery, so to speak, but that’s why she loves writing so much.
The Dirt on Ninth Grave
- One of Darynda’s favorite books in the series, she looked forward to writing this book ever since she came up with the concept while plotting Sixth Grave. Part of what makes a romance so fun is the falling-in-love part, and she wanted Charley to fall in love with Reyes all over again. This book was doubly fun because the audience knows all the characters’ backstories, and they get to watch in anticipation as Charley slowly unravels the mysteries of her past, while seeing her fall head-over-heels for the same guy all over again.
The Curse of Tenth Grave
- This book had one of those too-close-for-comfort calls. Right before Tenth Grave went to print, after going through editors and copyeditors and readers of all shapes and sizes, a savvy proofreader let Darynda in on a little secret: A Sherpa is part of a culture, not an occupation. Thanks to this razor-sharp reader, Darynda narrowly escaped insulting an entire culture in one fell swoop. Aka, her worst nightmare. Her gratitude is unending.
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
- Darynda dreamed of going to Scotland for so long, she finally decided to just put it in one of her books. She had Charley accidently materialize in the magical country, only to find out weeks after finishing the book that she would finally get to go there herself. In person. For realsies. It was even more magical than she’d imagined it would be, and she can’t wait to go back.
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave
- This book has one of Darynda’s favorite epiphanies EVER!!! She thought, what if someone out there in the universe, a child perhaps, knows everything about Reyes and Charley? Everything starting from their supernatural heritage to their human identities? And what if that person wrote a book about them? Or a series of books? Say, perhaps, a set of children’s books and Garrett just happens to stumble upon them while doing research? How fun would that be? And the international bestselling children’s book (fictionally speaking) The First Star was born.
Summoned to Thirteenth Grave
- By far the hardest story in the series to write, penning the last Charley book was a bittersweet experience. But Darynda knew she had to go big or go home, so what better way to go out with a bang than to end the world as we know it by starting the zombie apocalypse? Because that’s what writers do. We start apocalypses.