Review: Fifth Grave Past the Light

Fifth Grave Past the Light, the highly anticipated (by me and some of the other Wenches) fifth book in Darynda Jones’s wickedly funny, dark, action-packed, and very sexy Charley Davidson urban fantasy series is finally here!!

I am always a bit reluctant to start a new book in any series that I love. I know it’s the beginning of the end―before I know it, I’ll be sorry that the book has ended, and I’ll have a long wait on my hands...

Fifth Grave Past the Light was all I had hoped it would be and more! It was a deliciously delightful experience and, though yes, I am sad to be waiting again for the next book, after the jump I’ll tell you a little about why I loved this book.

A few words about the series for those of you who are not familiar with the story.

Charley Davidson is the Grim Reaper. Dead people who didn’t cross for various reasons can cross through her “into the light”. Charley helps them to get the closure they need in order to pass to the other side, whether it is to find out how they died or help them with those they left behind.

Charley learns throughout the series, slowly and sometimes painfully, more about her powers and abilities. Her growth is slow; I feel that makes her more believable.

Charley’s other role is being a Private Investigator. She is hired to solve domestic disputes, mysteries, and murders with the help of her utterly delicious bff/receptionist/neighbor, Cookie Kowalski, and her uncle, Detective Robert Davidson, better known as uncle Bob or Ubie, and a bunch of great secondary characters, some dead and some alive (including a charming, but dead, huge Rottweiler), all very well portrayed.

Charley is wonderfully sassy and sarcastic, and yet has the biggest heart! She tries to protect everyone she cares about, even if it brings her more troubles. That huge heart of hers is shown beautifully in the short story
For I have Sinned
, (Charley Davidson 1.5), written from the dead woman’s POV. “I looked over at the woman I was talking to. She lay huddled in her bed, a Bugs Bunny comforter pulled up until only defiant strands of chestnut hair were visible. And she was still half asleep if her lack of response to my predicament was any indication.”

What’s not to love about a heroine who names her body parts, her car, and her sofa?

Now, dear readers! Here comes Charley’s love interest: Reyes, aka the sex god. He is one of the Hottest Alfas I’ve ever read about. The relationship between Charley and Reyes goes way back, has a lot of mystery involved, is very complicated, and is (OMG) so steamy and sizzling hot!!!

“Reyes was nothing short of an enigma. So primal and ethereal. So fierce and well, pissed. But damn those biceps.” Third Grave Dead Ahead

This urban fantasy series is full of fun, laughter, adventure, great subplots, witty dialogs, and a lot of coffee. Mr. Coffee is one of the important characters of the story, supporting Charley in her darkest moments. “I’m not 100 percent certain, but I think my cup of coffee just said ‘You’re my bitch’.” Fifth Grave Past the Light

Ms. Jones created great characters and gave them clever storylines; the plot is kind of a rollercoaster. One moment I’m laughing, in the next I’m on the edge of my seat, and then some tears roll down my face.

Oh! And before I forget, I must mention the awesome one liners at the beginning of most chapters, the canny T-shirt comments. Just one example, though it is very difficult to choose: “Life is short. Buy the shoes.” Fifth Grave Past the Light

Fifth Grave past the Light is even more wonderful and hilarious than the four previous books in the series. It exceeded my expectations. It has more of everything! Charley’s powers develop further, and many more ghosts appear at her apartment. We find new information about the characters and more directions in which to go—some alarming, some confusing, and all very interesting.

There are more sex scenes in this one book than in all four previous books combined. Here’s a little tease with one of the tamest conversations between Charley and Reyes.

“Is that what you think? That I follow you around to keep your ass out of trouble?”
“If so, you’re not very good at your job.” A huge smile spread across his face.
“True enough. So what’s eating you? Because, sadly, it’s not me.”

Charley has to solve two cases: one is a mass murder case, and she must find the arsonist who started setting fire to buildings at the end of the fourth book. While working on these cases, she is hired by a suspicious wife to check on her cheating husband, not knowing what really awaits her in that direction.

Charley and Reyes take their relationship to the next level. She even uses the key he gave her for his apartment. Again, it’s a story full of suspense and all kinds of emotions: joy, sadness, lust, name it!

I enjoyed this book so much, I give it a whole bunch of stars and a big thumbs up. In fact, I love this whole hilarious, clever series so much, I wish I could undo my reading and start it all over again afresh.

So, I hope this short shout out persuades you to grab this series and enjoy it at least as much as I did. Every book is a delight, and the fifth one is my very favorite so far.

This Wench rated it:


  1. Naomi, I just finished Fifth Grave last night, and I agree with you COMPLETELY on everything you've said about the latest Charley installment. This is, by far, my favorite in the series so far, I love the development of all the plots and I especially love the development in Charley and Reyes's relationship. Can.not.wait to see how that develops! Bravo, Ms. Jones! You've outdone yourself!


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