Charley Davidson’s Crime-Solving Tips (Supernatural Abilities Required)

In celebration of Darynda Jones's newest Charley Davidson mystery, Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (available January 24, 2017), we sat down with Charley herself and asked her for some crime-solving advice. Fair warning: some supernatural abilities are required. 

A lot of people think that because I’m a private investigator who also happens to be the grim reaper, solving cases must be insanely easy. They could not be more wrong. It’s one thing to know whodunit. It’s another to prove it.

But I thought, for the sake of education, I’d break down my normal procedure when solving a crime. Some of my resources might not be as easily accessible to you as they are to me, but hopefully this will help in a general grand-scheme kind of way.

1. First, I drink coffee. A lot of coffee. Then, I get all the info I can from the person/people who hired me. I ask them everything I can think of. Sometimes people have more information than they think they do, and ferreting out that info is part of the job. (Also, as the grim reaper, I can tell when someone is lying or if they feel guilty. This lets me assess their part, if any, in the crime. It’s amazing how many people will hire a PI when they are guilty just to make it look like they are concerned and willing to do whatever it takes to solve said crime.)

2. Next, I drink more coffee. Then, I talk to witnesses, friends, and family of those involved. (Again, human lie detector. I often find the guilty party before the investigation has really begun.)

3. If I still haven’t shaken anything loose, I drink more coffee and talk to dead people. If the case is about a murder or a missing person believed dead, I can sometimes summon the victim and just politely ask him or her who had a hand in their demise. But the departed usually move on to the next plane, a plane to which I have no access. Thus, even for me, solving cases involves good old-fashioned investigative work. And luck.

4. So, my next step (besides drinking more coffee) is to call in my crack team, which consists of my fashion-challenged assistant Cookie, my skip tracer friend Swopes, my departed thirteen-year-old investigator Angel—Angel can go places no living person can and he will often get clues from overheard conversations, etc.—and another friend who can do things others can’t, a former slave demon named Osh’ekiel. Osh for short.

5. By this point, I’ve had a crap ton of coffee, but some salient clue has usually surfaced and we can work off that. This is often the part where my surly husband, one Mr. Reyes Alexander Farrow, insists that what I’m doing is too dangerous and asks me why I’m risking life and limb for a perfect stranger. I remind him nobody is perfect. Gawd, I love clichés. And coffee. Mostly coffee.

6. So, by now I am super caffeinated and fairly confident I know all the most important aspects of the case, aka the whos and whys and wheres. Next, I have to prove them. This is where I drink more coffee and call in my curmudgeonly uncle Bob, a detective for the Albuquerque Police Department. We set up some kind of sting to get the guilty party to cop to his or her actions. The whole production involves a concentrated effort of my entire team and a lot of luck. No, seriously, luck plays a HUGE role in my life.

7. The guilty party is caught, and I can go on to my next important life decision. Like Mexican or Italian. Being the only grim reaper this side of eternity takes a lot out of a girl. Sustenance is key.

Okay, if you are a PI or thinking about becoming a PI, this how-to might not be the perfect match, but if there's one thing we can agree on it's this: coffee is always an idea!
 

Comment below for a chance to win a copy of Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones!

To enter, make sure you're a registered member of the site and simply leave a comment below.

TIP: Since only comments from registered users will be tabulated, if your user name appears in red above your comment—STOP—go log in, then try commenting again. If your user name appears in black above your comment, You’re In!

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight Comment Sweepstakes: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  A purchase does not improve your chances of winning.  Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry.  To enter, complete the “Post a Comment” entry at https://www.criminalelement.com/stories/2017/01/charley-davidson-crime-solving-tips beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) January 17, 2017. Sweepstakes ends 2:59 p.m. ET January 24, 2017. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

 

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Darynda JonesNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author, won a Golden Heart and a RITA for her manuscript First Grave on the Right. A born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Comments

  1. theresa norris

    Coffee seems to be very important.

  2. Barry Hamilton

    Send it to me!

  3. Deborah Colgrove

    I can’t wait to read the results of all that hard labor and coffee.

  4. bill norris

    Sounds awesome, I’d love to check into it more.

  5. Laurent Latulippe

    Sounds like a fun read.

  6. Juanita Foster

    I love all of Charley’s adventures and would proudly wear the t-shirts.

  7. Juanita Foster

    I love all of Charley’s adventures and would proudly wear the t-shirts.

  8. Gwen Ellington

    I, too, live on coffee!

  9. Gloria Drake

    Love the paranormal.

  10. Shirla

    The way Charlie spells out her detection methods is what I have observed in listening to her books on tape. She should be floating away with the amount of coffee she inhales. Love the stories.

  11. Misch Brannock

    Love love her books…how neat to have the chance to win one

  12. Susanne Troop

    I think I have read one of her books before! Love to read!

  13. Susanne Troop

    I think I have read one of her books before! Love to read!

  14. Tamra Phelps

    You know, I haven’t read any Charley Davidson yet but it sounds good. I like a little humor in my death books!

  15. Agnes Marshall

    Love to read/start reading her books.

  16. Pat Murphy

    Coffee and a mystery. What could be better.

  17. Susan Blaisdell

    The coffee inspiration works for me!

  18. Jana

    I love Charley. And Reyes, Cookie, & the whole team – just not coffee.

  19. zarah

    I passed this cover the other day on Goodreads and it got my attention. Glad for the extra info.

  20. Russ Cross

    Sounds very interesting. I would love to read this!

  21. Vernon Luckert

    Looks like a good read. I like to have a cup of hot black coffee when I read!

  22. Patrick Murphy

    I am not a coffee drinker, but would still like to read this.

  23. jeanne sheats

    Coffee is a necessity lol. Thanks!

  24. T Alexander

    Sounds like an interesting read, though I am not a coffee drinker 😉

  25. Diane Chenier

    Coffee and shower no morning is complete without either

  26. Susan Wilkinson

    Thanks so much, my sister and I enjoy the series. She can drink the coffee, I’m a tea person.

  27. Peter W. Horton Jr.

    I love coffee! Yes!

  28. Joanne Mielczarski

    Thanks – I can use some crime-solving tips!

  29. Margot Core

    Before today I have never heard of this series, but now I’m interested! I agree; coffee is always an idea!

  30. Karl Stenger

    I would love to read the book.

  31. julie hedrick

    I would like to read this book. 🙂

  32. MaryDeb

    I am up to 4th Grave Beneath My Feet! Great escape books!

  33. Tricha Leary

    I have read 2 books in this series and they are fantastic

  34. Gayle Jackobs

    I have read only one of this series and love it, would love to read this one, thanks.

  35. Kim Fox

    These are very valuable tips, especially about the need for coffee! Can’t wait to read the next book! Wonderful series!

  36. Daniel Morrell

    sounds interesting

  37. Chi Shannon

    I’d love a good thrill 🙂

  38. Nellbell

    Love, love, love this series

  39. Janelle Harold

    Love this series and highly recommend to all my friends

  40. John Smith

    I’ve been looking for some shiny silver boots like those on the cover, but where can I buy a gold lame jumpsuit???

  41. Melinda Schrader

    Great article! Can’t wait for the new book

  42. Norma Ferrari

    Such a great series. The Chaper headings always make me laugh. I even write them down in my notebook so I can read them aloud to others and laugh some more. Currently reading number eight. Looking forward to reading the newest “Eleventh Grave in Moonlight”.

  43. Norma

    Such a great series. The Chaper headings always make me laugh. I even write them down in my notebook so I can read them aloud to others and laugh some more. Currently reading number eight. Looking forward to reading the newest “Eleventh Grave in Moonlight”.

  44. Veronica Sandberg

    sounds like a great read

  45. Jeana Keller

    Very flashy cover!

  46. Jennifer VonBartheld

    So excited. Definitely one of my favorite series!!

  47. denise smart

    Love the fact she lives on coffee … as i do, love this character and have been a fan since you began…

  48. Pat Dupuy

    I love these books! And I do love an entertaining smartass.

  49. Ellen

    This sounds different and I like different.

  50. Phoenix Vie

    Looks entertaining.

  51. Phoenix Vie

    Looks entertaining.

  52. Deb Philippon

    I haven’t read these books yet, but they sound like a very entertaining read. Count me in and wish me luck!

  53. Debra Schwartz

    With enough coffee and Reyes I don’t think I’d even worry about solving any crimes.

  54. Jessica Bennett

    I love this series so much! <3

  55. Karen de Gennaro

    Love the books!

  56. librarypops

    I love coffee, but I am not sure anyone could survive that much on a regular basis, but solve on!

  57. Jim Belcher

    I love coffee, but I am not sure anyone could survive that much on a regular basis, but solve on!

  58. elainehroberson

    A great series. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  59. Tanya Jenkins

    I LOVE every one of these books!

  60. Karen Terry

    I am begining to love supernatural thrillers.

  61. Kinsey White

    I stumbled upon the Charley Davidson series one day while I was at the library. I checked out 1 and 2 and kept going back until one day when I went back for number 5, someone had checked it out 6 months before and never returned it. I almost died. So naturally, that same day, I went online and bought all the books, ten had not been released yet. So I preordered number ten and finished reading what books I did have of the series until my newest book arrived. Now, I have been waiting since June of 2016 for number Eleven. If there is one thing I have learned reading this series, I cannot get enough. I have even read the in between books (Glow, Shimmer, For I have Sinned). I have read the entire series (1-10) twice since 10 came out waiting for Eleven to come out haha! I LOVE Darynda. She is an excellent author and I’m positive that Charley was based off of Darynda’s own personality because if you have ever talked to her, you’d think you were talking to Charley herself haha

  62. Mark Bailey

    I love a book that keeps you reading. This sounds like a great read.

  63. Jean Dickinson

    I’d love to be “introduced” to Darynda Jones’ supernatural crime solving tips in latest “Eleventh Grave in Moonlight”.

  64. Jean Dickinson

    I’d love to be “introduced” to Darynda Jones’ supernatural crime solving tips in latest “Eleventh Grave in Moonlight”.

  65. Saundra K. Warren

    I have the first ten so I need this one too!!!

  66. Michele Beyke

    I have loved Charley from the first snark! Can’t wait to see what she’s up to next.

  67. Michele Beyke

    I have loved Charley from the first snark! Can’t wait to see what she’s up to next.

  68. Victoria Sloboda

    I’m a mocha lover just like Charley. Love her :)!

  69. Jane Schwarz

    I have enjoyed your series very much and am still working my way up the number count. Love your take on coffee but I would never be able to handle the urn full she drinks. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT.

  70. Christiana Newton

    It would be an amazing birthday gift to receive a copy of Eleventh Grave in Moonlight. (My birthday is January 25th.) However; either way, I am very excited to have my favorite coffee-loving grim reaper back in action.

  71. Carl

    This is definitely right up my alley. Bring on the coffee and thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  72. Heather Brown

    I can’t wait for this next installment!! My favorite series!!

  73. Lisa Garrett

    Love this series.

  74. Patrice Gottfried

    Would love to read this!

  75. Christal Mormann

    looks great

  76. Linda A

    More than figuring out a mystery, I wish I had the mind to be able to write a mystery.

  77. Carolyn

    I love the Charley Davidson series, well written and often hilarious. I am always on the lookout for the next book in the series.

  78. M L

    Coffee, more coffee and a great book. What else could an avid reader of Darynda Jones ask for

  79. M Lee

    Coffee, more coffee and a great book. What else could an avid reader of Darynda Jones ask for

  80. lasvegasnv

    okay

  81. Genre Minx Book Reviews

    I am soooo looking forward to this book! A fantastic series!

  82. Minx Genre Minx Book Reviews

    I am soooo looking forward to this book!

  83. L

    With coffee, all things are possible!

  84. JAMES LYNAM

    Love to read with a good cup of coffee.

  85. Andrew Gordon

    looks great

  86. alyce poalillo

    I love the supernatural component here.

  87. Sandra Slack

    I would love this book, I like the paranormal angle.

  88. ZS Seastrunk

    Oh this sounds scary. Meaning I would love it!

  89. Paula Strickland

    I can still remember reading the first book in this series.

  90. James Joyce

    I like lots of coffee!

  91. susan beamon

    While I don’t drink coffee, I still can get overcaffeinated too. I do enjoy the series and sure would love a copy of the new book.

  92. HESTER MAYO

    Thanks!!

  93. Ann Muth

    nice

  94. Alison Almquist

    I want to read this one.

  95. Penny Snyder

    Would love to read this!!~

  96. david basile

    Coffee

  97. Susan Smoaks

    thanks for the change to win

  98. johnna smith

    I have never read this author or series. Have been seeing a lot of promos on her lately and I must say, I HAVE to try her out!! Thank you for the chance to win a print copy of her newest title

  99. Lori Walker

    Want!

  100. Kayce Crews

    The author and I both share a love for coffee.

  101. Kim Keithline

    sounds great sign me up

  102. Amanda Dean

    I love this series. I’ts my favorite. I want my very own Reyes

  103. Alison Almquist

    I like it all.

  104. luc durazo

    win

  105. dalep

    I enjoy both the books and the tv series, though the tv character is not sytled in keeping with my idea of Agatha Raisin.

  106. Paula Strickland

    I would love to win this!

  107. Carl White

    [b]Hhmmm, coffee, I find that crack works much better for solving crimes.[/b]

  108. Annette Estell

    I love coffee, too! I drink it right up until I go to bed.

  109. Annette Estell

    I love coffee, too! I drink it right up until I go to bed.

  110. Buddy Garrett

    It sounds very interesting. Thanks.

  111. Lily Kwan

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  112. Roger Deming

    great stuff

  113. Philip Lawrence

    Coffee addiction makes for a great book!

  114. Denise Sachs

    This would be fun to read.

  115. Heather Cowley

    Steps 1 through 3 covered. Need crack team!

  116. Daniel Vice

    I would like this

  117. Susan Smith

    Sounds like a good book.

  118. Jerry Marquardt

    Thanks for trowing the Charley Davidson’s Crime-Solving Tips (Supernatural Abilities Required) Sweepstakes.

  119. Darlene Goodman

    Charley makes me laugh! Thanks for the chance to win.

  120. Linda Peters

    sounds like a good winter read, thanks

  121. Linda Peters

    sounds like a good winter read, thanks

  122. JAMES LYNAM

    A good mystery & an Irish Coffee is all I need to be HAPPY.

  123. Rita Anderson

    How did Darynda Jones escape my radar? Funny, witty and paranormal. OK, now I’m hooked. I’ll be ordering the first book in the series and play catch-up.

  124. Mark Bailey

    A quiet place with a coffee and a great book. What could be better

Comments are closed.