Title: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson, #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Imprint of Macmillan)
Date Published: October 30th, 2012
Sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.
In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans.
I love Charley Davidson — the series and the woman. She’s fantastic and has so many wonderful qualities. She’s funny, quick-witted, charming, caring, and even though I love the romance, the series really doesn’t depend on it because she stands very strong on her own. As a character she has depth and is written so well. She’s really my favorite thing about the series and even if the small bits of romance were taken out of the books, I would still read them for sure.
What’s great about this series is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. While the mystery and crime solving is usually pretty good (i.e. not predictable), the story as a whole is lighthearted and just a nice change from all the “serious” paranormal books out there. It’s not a goofy kind of humor, but Charley’s sarcasm and wittiness give it a fun vibe and I just love it.
In this fourth installment Charley has another case to solve, but she’s also dealing with the aftermath of what happened at the end of book three. It takes her some time to heal and while I don’t think she’s even fully healed (emotionally) by the end of this book, I think Darynda Jones did a good job of gradually bringing her back out of the mess her inner (at outer) self has been stuck in.
This book also gave us a lot more Reyes! Yay! If you’re one of those fans who has been itching for more Reyes and Charley time, then you definitely get some of that in this book. But don’t expect a full-out paranormal romance because that’s not what these books are. They’re definitely urban fantasy and focus more on the story and Charley, but the romance bits are a nice little treat when they do come around.
Overall I really enjoyed this one like always. I’ve come to expect a really good read whenever I sit down with the books in this series and so I’m looking forward to the next one. If you’re a fan of a heroine with a sarcastic and fun humor, crime solving mystery stories, all mixed into a paranormal package, then I’d definitely give this series a shot. It hasn’t let me down yet and I really don’t expect it to anytime soon.