Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Love at First Read

Do you ever have that feeling? You know the one. Where you just know that this is love. No, I'm not talking about love at first sight (What? Are you living in a romance novel?); I'm talking about love at first read. That most magical of experiences where you took a chance on a book and start reading it and just know that this is the book for you.

I was walking through the public library the other day not really looking to check out any fiction books (I have approximately 18000 books in my TBR pile) when I saw a new arrival that struck me. The cover had a woman (sans head [not like her head cut off...just the picture didn't go all the way to her head]) in a flowy red dress, red Chuck Taylors, and holding a scythe. Hello, perfect book cover for me! Also, the book was called "Third Grave Dead Ahead". So far we have a woman in a dress and Converse shoes, holding a weapon and the words grave and dead are in the title. We are right up my alley. So I take a closer look and alas, it is the third book of a series.

I ran back to the mystery section and low and behold, the library had books 1 and 2 (which is surprising as my library tends to have say...books 2-18, but not book 1, or books 1, 2, and 5). I grabbed book 1, First Grave on the Right (by Darynda Jones, who has the most amazing first name ever), which has a women's foot with the most amazing skull sandals that I hope are real, affordable, and at a store near me. The cover grabbed me, so I took a look at the inside cover, which I don't especially like to do with mysteries (part of the fun is trying to figure out who is going to get killed!). The book is about a woman who is the grim reaper, sees dead people, tries to get said dead people to go into the light, has erotic dreams that may or may not be completely dreams, and is being followed by some dark...thing. Yeah. Sold. I'm checking this book out.

Now, I've had the book sitting in my house since Saturday. I was not feeling any great pull to start reading it and was slightly hesitant to think I would actually like it since the blurb on the cover includes the word "heartfelt" which is one of the buzzwords that turns me off. However, I finished what I was reading last night and have been swinging slightly more toward mysteries instead of romance again, so I figured why not. I started reading it at lunch. From paragraph 1, I was in love. Dark stranger infiltrating dreams? Earth shattering orgasms mentioned in the 2nd sentence? Paragraph 2 including "creative employment of lederhosen"? Yes OMG YES PLEASE! This is my love. Love at first sight! Oh my gosh LOVE!

Now, to be fair, I have only read three chapters. Everything could fall apart after this. But at the moment, this is my book. It is so right up my alley. First, you have a strong, feisty, fun, funny protagonist who is a grim reaper. You have her uncle, who is a police detective who gets his "anonymous tips" for solving murders from her, who gets them from the victims themselves. You have the PI who has been told about her "gift" to see dead people but really doesn't believe her and as such, acts like a bit of an asshole. Which she accepts and just kind of deals with. I'm figuring there is going to be some love triangle type thing between hottie PI guy (Garrett), the grim reaper (Charley Davidson), and her nighttime dream dude, who is probably someone from her past who isn't quite human, but not dead either. And then on top of all that she is trying to solve the murder of three people who are following her around. And there is the intrigue of the blurry dark thing that she keeps seeing out of the corner of her eye. And to make everything better, the dialogue is like a Joss Whedon show...not really how people talk, but how everyone wishes they talk. So far, I am reminded of a mix between Dead Like Me and Stephanie Plum, but with a bit of Buffy thrown in, too. My biggest problem now is what I'm going to do in a week when I have finished all three books and have to wait until the Fall for the newest one to come out.

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