Third Grave Dead Ahead  - Darynda Jones So, I've become a bit numb to the word "series" since it is so often used nowadays. For this reason alone, I was subconsciously waiting for that tipping point. You know the one...(most basic example, House of Night series). It's the point where even though you loved the books in the beginning, it just became to be too much to continue on with the series, even if you desperately want to know what happened to the characters because really, they weren't all that bad, right? However, with the very adult and funny as hell Charley Davidson series, I'm thinking that if it does evidently have a tipping point, it was not in this installment. Hah, if half of the YA authors could be as talented as Darynda Jones, I wouldn't have three shelves full of books that I'm still trying to get rid of. It just seems that publishing houses are maximizing on the word "series", and I don't know about you guys, but it is becoming such a huge turn off.

Anyway, we were all heartbroken when Reyes didn't want Charley to see him at the prison. I mean really, who wouldn't be? But of course, Charley being the cool cat she is, completely ignores this--or tries to--and throws herself into another case of a missing woman. Really, they're selling those like hot cakes. After meeting Dr. Nathan Yost, her would-be client and the missing woman's husband, dick Charley immediately knows that he's guilty. It's what he's guilty of that soon becomes confusing and a bit too tangled for her to just be rid of the case so soon. Alas, what more could possibly add to her troubles except being carjacked by an escaped convict who also claims to be the son of Satan and innocent of killing his cruel kidnapper of a father?

Charley is still the sassy, smart mouth that we all know and love, but Ms. Jones decided to bestow some just development on our girl that really made her shine. More of her beacon-light shown through as we got more of an insight into the supernatural world that overlooks her reality. I'm looking forward to the "powers" she supposedly possesses because the glimpse I got in Third Grave Dead Ahead was abso-freaking-lutely awesome. Reyes, of course, is always a bonus in these books. Even though they love each other but don't ever say it, I got the feeling that the romance took a back seat in this book and let the other sub-plots dominate. Not to say there weren't any Yummy, Sexy Times, but throughout the majority of the novel, I liked the fact that Charley was able to show more of her bad-assness and crime-fighting, mystery-solving skill.

Once again, I must applaud the rest of the cast of characters because really, they just add to Charley's charm. All the men that we know and love, like Garret Swopes and Reyes, and all the new men we are introduced to, like the bikers, are all so...delectable. Cookie, with her spunky mama-bearness; Uncle Bob for his resiliency when it comes to putting up with his adorably, misunderstood niece; Mr. Wong for his consistency of doing nothing. I love them all.

And that ending. Oh God, it wasn't till I got to the last chapter that I started bawling. I knew it was coming but why, oh why did it have to be him? For the sake of not revealing too much--and because it's wonderful to watch you squirm--I'm going to end it here. Parting with a mention that Ms. Jones can do no wrong.


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