cover image Second Grave on the Left

Second Grave on the Left

Darynda Jones. St. Martin's, $22.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-36081-8

Jones perfectly balances humor and suspense in her tight second paranormal thriller featuring grim reaper, PI, and "all-around badass" Charley Davidson (after First Grave on the Right). In separate cases, smart-mouthed Charley pursues two missing persons by using a mix of ghostly informants, family police contacts, quick thinking, and just plain luck. The first, Mimi Jacobs, disappeared just as several of her old high school classmates met untimely deaths; the second, Charley's frustrating but sexy sometimes stalker and occasional lover, Reyes Farrow, who's literally the son of Satan, decided to permanently leave his body to demons and live in the immaterial realm. To complicate Charley's quest, Reyes has hidden his body so she can't find it. The fiery relationship between Charley and Reyes will satisfy paranormal romance fans, but it's the distinctive characters, dead and alive, and the almost constant laughs that will leave readers eager for the next installment. (Aug.)