Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet Review
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Read by Lorelei King

It isn’t easy being the grim reaper. Just ask Charlotte “Charley” Davidson, the star of author Darynda Jones’s quirky paranormal mystery series. As the portal to The Great Beyond, poor Charley is constantly harassed by the departed—day and night. She’s also hunted by darker creatures who continue their attack in her latest adventure, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet.

In the two months since she was attacked and nearly tortured to death (in Third Grave Dead Ahead), private investigator and grim reaper Charley Davidson has stayed locked up in her apartment, trying to drown her sorrows in home shopping purchases. But when a new client comes to her for help, Charley finally finds a reason to venture out.

After she leaves the apartment, though, Charley discovers that she was much safer when she was hiding in her apartment. Reyes Farrow—a.k.a. the son of Satan and the lust of Charley’s life—has been busy battling the demons who have been sent to control Charley and her powers. But the dark ones now have a new trick up their sleeve.

With each new Charley Davidson novel, Jones seems to juggle more and more storylines. This time, she carries a number of ongoing storylines, including Charley’s strained relationship with her dad (who’s determined to force her into a new line of work), the gradual recovery after her near-death experience, and the continuing battle against the demons who are out to get her. Jones also takes on a new case and a couple of mysteries surrounding an arsonist and a gang of bank robbers—all the while questioning whether Reyes is really in love with Charley or if he’s secretly helping the other side.

When you stop to take account of all of the various storylines running through this fourth installment in the series, it’s a little overwhelming. Yet, somehow, Jones does such a good job of weaving everything together that it doesn’t feel as complicated as you might expect. On their own, some of the stories may feel a bit weak; the mystery, for example, is just a small part of the book. Together, though, they make for a fun—and often funny—adventure.

In fact, the deeper Jones gets into the series, the less of a mystery series it becomes. There’s still a mystery to be solved—and it’s an interesting one, too—but there’s so much more to this story than just a simple whodunit. Really, it’s more about the characters than anything else—and the more you get to know them, the more eager you’ll be to follow their ongoing stories. Though Charley’s increasing propensity for naming inanimate objects may be getting a little out of hand, she’s a likable heroine. She’s a feisty chick with some very special abilities—most of which she doesn’t even understand yet—but she’s also vulnerable and human.

Once again, though, Charley’s latest adventure seems to be lacking in the quirky departed characters that once haunted the series—a complaint that’s starting to make me sound like a broken record. But readers will appreciate some of the story’s unexpected twists.

Of course, if you haven’t read any of the earlier books in the series, you’ll want to start from the beginning—with First Grave on the Right. But if you’re already a fan of the series, you’ll definitely enjoy the ongoing action, comedy, and drama of Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet.

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