cover image Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Darynda Jones. St. Martin’s, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-01446-7

Though PI and grim reaper Charlotte “Charley” Davidson’s fourth outing (after 2012’s Third Grave Dead Ahead) still features the paranormal mystery series’ trademark wry humor, it disappoints by settling into a narrative holding pattern. Having spent months recovering from post-torture traumatic stress with pajama-clad television home shopping, Charley regains a lease on life after being hired by Harper Lowell, whose wealthy family refuses to believe that, as she claims, someone is trying to kill her. Additional complications are added by Charley’s romantic tension with hunky “son of Satan” Reyes Farrow, whose recent involvement in illegal cage matches may be linked to a spate of demonic possessions. Jones relegates too many of her entertaining series regulars to brief cameos, while underplaying what initially promises to become an escalation of the war between heaven and hell over control of Charley. Fans can hope, however, that the sequel teased at this volume’s conclusion will restore the luster to a formerly strong series. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit. (Nov.)