Although you may not recognize the name Darynda Jones, any book fan will almost certainly recognize the notable books that she created.
Darynda Jones is the writer of the much-acclaimed and highly favored book series the Charley Davidson Paranormal Mystery Series.
The very first entry into the Charley Davidson series, “The First Grave On The Right” was awarded both the Golden Heart and the RITA soon after publication, showing the pure talent of this author.
Jones has since become a New York Times best-selling author and has also been featured on many USA Today lists of best-selling authors.
While the Charley Davidson Paranormal Mystery Series is what Jones is most known for, this’s not all she has written.
If you’re looking for something by the same author, you should try the seductive Sunshine Vicram Mystery Series.
If you love Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson book series and are looking for something similar, then you’ll enjoy the works of Jeaniene Frost and Karen Marie Moning.
Books By Darynda Jones
Before we get on with the recommendations, let’s take a mini dive into Darynda Jones’ work by looking at her two most popular series.
This is the most popular series written by Jones and is probably what a lot of fans know her for.
Written across 13 books and 4 short stories, the series follows the titular “Charley”, a part-time investigator who hides a strange secret.
In a paranormal romantic suspense series set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Charlotte “Charley” Davidson assists the local law enforcement in murder cases by secretly using her ability to communicate with the deceased.
And how can she do this you may be asking? The secret to her success is that Charley’s real full-time job is working as the Grim Reaper.
Charley’s primary responsibility is to assist the departed in making their transition to the afterlife.
Charley has an advantage as a result of this, as she is frequently able to speak with victims and contribute to the resolution of their cases.
This series isn’t all doom, gloom, and death though, as Charley is very funny, some things are beyond her knowledge or comprehension, and the majority of what she does is done on the spur of the moment.
With the help of her best friend Cookie, Charley must navigate life as she tries to hide her secret skills and her double life, help the police department with cases, and guide the dead to the afterlife.
Beloved author Darynda Jones brings her typical charm and wit to a snarky, sassy, and wickedly hilarious small-town mystery series that follows Sunshine Vicram, a reluctant police chief in New Mexico.
This series has everything that readers of Darynda Jones adore, including a witty and relatable main heroine, a cast of crazy minor characters, a lovely community, and a traditional whodunit at the center of it all.
All of the works written by Darynda Jones feature similar themes and are all written in a YA style, making them an excellent choice for younger, teenage readers.
Themes of her work include mystery, thriller, urban fantasy, and death, and are sprinkled with mystical elements throughout.
Authors Like Darynda Jones
Jeaniene Frost is the author of the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series, and the impending Broken Destiny series.
Her books have been bestsellers not only in the New York Times but also in USA Today and internationally.
Like Jones, Jeaniene Frost has written an extensive book series, with this one made up of 7 books and a few short stories that help in world-building.
Also known as the Cat And Bones series, the books follow Catherine, also known as “Cat,” a 22-year-old Ohio farm girl.
Though she looks like your typical young adult, she’s the product of an attack committed by a recently transformed vampire on her human mother, which eventually leads to her death.
Cat spends her teenage years tracking down and slaying predatory vampires in neighborhood taverns so that she might avenge the death of her mother.
One night, she comes face to face with Bones, a powerful master vampire, who cons her into helping him kill other vampires during his hunts.
Catherine Crawfield is going for the undead with a vengeance because she harbors the hope that one of these scumbags is her father, who she believes is responsible for destroying her mother’s life.
Then, a vampire bounty hunter named Bones kidnaps her and coerces her into joining forces with him in an unholy alliance.
Cat makes a deal with the attractive night stalker that she will train with him until her combat reflexes become as sharp as his fangs if he will help her find her father.
She can’t believe she isn’t going to end up as his meal; are there even such things as good vampires?
In a short amount of time, Bones will persuade her that being half-dead doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative thing.
However, before she can take pleasure in her newly acquired fame as a badass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are being chased by a bunch of assassins.
Now, Cat will need to pick a camp to fight for… And Bones is turning out to be every bit as alluring as any other man who has a beating heart.
- Lots of action
- Organic relationships grow between Cat and Bones
- Has Buffy The Vampire Slayer vibes which may appeal to some people
- The side characters don’t get much development
- A time jump between books 1 and 2 of the Night Huntress Series makes it a bit confusing to get back into
- Minimal mythology
Themes: YA, romance, death, fantasy, paranormal, and urban fantasy.
Karen Marie Moning
Author Karen Marie Moning hails from the United States, and many of her books have been featured on the bestseller list of The New York Times, and one of them, Shadowfever, has climbed to the top spot on many different national best-seller lists.
Best known for her Fever Series (although she also wrote the highly acclaimed Highlander Series), this collection of 11 novels lead her to be nominated for many Romance Writers of America RITA awards and she was the recipient of that organization’s annual RITA award for Best Paranormal Romance.
To begin, this series takes place in the same world as Moning’s Highlander series, although you don’t need to have read this to understand the world built in the Fever series.
You’ll get some fun Easter eggs if you’ve read Highlander, but if not it shouldn’t negatively affect your reading experience here.
The life of MacKayla “Mac” Lane is fulfilling. She is a completely typical example of a lady living in the twenty-first century; she has wonderful friends, a respectable career, and a car that only needs repairs around once every two weeks.
But then everything changes when her sister is brutally killed and the only clue to her murder is a cryptic message left on Mac’s mobile phone, Mac decides to travel to Ireland in the hopes of finding some answers.
She is drawn into a mysterious realm where nothing is as it seems and where both good and evil wear the same treacherous mask because she’s on a mission to discover who killed her sister.
Soon after, she’s confronted with a problem that is much more difficult to solve: surviving long enough to figure out how to control an ability that she had no idea she had – a gift that enables her to see beyond our world and into the perilous realm of the fae.
- Well-rounded and well-written characters
- Very mystical
- Accurate to those mystical elements (eg takes a lot from Irish folklore and tales)
- Excellent world-building
- 4th wall break – very often the main character will talk directly to the reader. Though an interesting writing style it can get annoying quickly
- The main character is a bit of a Mary Sue in that she’s perfect at everything instantly, and seems to have plot armor, so nothing bad can happen to her.
Themes: Mystical, fantasy, YA, dark, gory, romance, and action
If you love any of the book series written by Darynda Jones, then you should give the novels written by Jeaniene Frost and Karen Marie Moning a try.
]Both of these authors have written in a similar style and used a lot of the same themes as Jones, but each focuses on a different mystical and fantasy element that keeps these themes fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Genre Does Darynda Jones Write In?
Darynda Jones typically writes in the YA and paranormal genres, but her books can also very easily fit into romance and mystical genres.
How Many Sunshine Vicram Books Are There?
There are 3 books in this series, with the final in the trilogy called “A Bad Day For A Hangover”.
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