Review: The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones

The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson (# 9)
Release Date: January 12, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 326
Source: book provided by the publisher for review



In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she’s more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.

But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn’t help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she’s lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.


Review: I have to start my review by pointing out that I’ve only read two books of this now nine book series. I started with book eight (Eighth Grave After Dark) and when I finished that book, I told myself I need to go back and start the series from the beginning. But I got distracted and when I was asked to review The Dirt on Ninth Grave, I was excited since book eight ended with a cliff hanger. But at the same time, I was a little apprehensive because I hadn’t caught up on the back story. In all honesty, I probably would have liked this story even more if I had read the entire series. The book can “kinda” stand alone. However, I really wouldn’t recommend jumping in with this story or you’d likely be lost.

Charley has amnesia (going by the name of Janey) and is in a small New York town working in a diner. Her friends and family are showing up in town, but she doesn’t recognize any of them and they’re determined to let her find her own way. She’s learning tidbits about herself, like how she can see dead people and that she can’t help but help others and get involved in their problems.

I think one of Ms Jones’s trademarks is her humor. There were so many laugh out loud moments. Seriously… she’s in a town called Sleepy Hollow and Charley is chased down the street by a ghost version of a headless horseman. Charley’s internal musings and observations and just how she goes about life just makes me chuckle and shake my head. As a warning, sometimes the humor is a little crude.

All the supporting characters from prior books in the series make appearances, but most aren’t as featured as normal due to Charley’s condition. In some ways, the reader gets to meet them again through Charley’s observations. As a relative newcomer to the series, a times I was confused as to who people were… but then again, that’s how Charley was feeling so why shouldn’t I feel the same way?

All in all, I enjoyed this book and once again I feel the strong need to go to the beginning of the series. But I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I may be off the mark since I haven’t read all the books, but I get the feeling that this series just took a major turn and I’m curious as to what’s going to happen next.