Undead and Unwed

By MaryJanice Davidson

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Berkley Sensation, 2004

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, paranormal, romance, vampire, chick lit, humorous stories

Series: The Undead SeriesBetsy; 1

ISBN: 071831006998

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 255 (277 including an excerpt from Charlaine Harris’ Dead to the World)

Setting: Twin Cities, MN (Minneapolis & St. Paul)

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Betsy Taylor’s last day alive wasn’t much fun – she was laid off from her job as a secretary before being hit by a car.  However, waking from death in a cheap pink suit and her stepmother’s cast off shoes was pure hell.  Betsy has no idea how she became undead, but she does know that she wants to live her death the same way she lived her life.   This is a problem because the other vamps in town just won’t leave her alone; they’re either bowing down to her or trying to torture her.  As Betsy is dragged into a world filled with vampire politics, prophecies, and history, there is one thing she’s sure of: she’ll be wearing designer shoes.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Quick pace – lots of dialogue and action

Characterization: Told in first person through Betsy; important secondary characters include both human friends – Jessica and Marc – and vampire associates – Tina and Sinclair.

Frame: Light hearted and fluffy.  Betsy is a special vampire – she doesn’t need to drink blood very often and is pretty queasy about the whole thing.  Compared to other vampire books, there is very little violence and much more jesting.

Story line: A humorous and entertaining read about a woman who “lives” more in her first week of death, than in her twenty some years of life prior to this.

Subject headings:

From PCPL:

Vampires — Fiction.

Love stories, American.

Parapsychology — Fiction.

Humorous fiction

Similar authors:

Katie MacAlister – Aisling Grey, Guardian series

Kimberly Raye – Dead End Dating series

Michele Bardsley – Broken Heart, Oklahoma series

Erin McCarthy – Vegas Vampires series

Personal notes: While I found this book to be funny at first, I tired of Betsy’s shallowness before the end.  I gave the story a try because I read that it was similar to the Sookie Stackhouse series.  I have to disagree with this assessment.  Yes, it is a vampire book and the main characters are both women in their twenties and that’s about where the similarities end.  My main problem with this book is that I could not relate to the main character at all.  I don’t care about designer clothes or fashion choices, which is where Betsy Taylor’s main interests lie.

Other (diversity, themes, websites): Diversity – vampires, gay doctor, Black woman, lesbian vampire

Mary Janice Davidson’s website

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One thought on “Undead and Unwed

  1. I agree with you completely on Betsy’s character. Now although I did like the book. I thought it was fun to read at times but Betsy is a very shallow person. I sometimes liked the other characters in the book a lot more.
    I found Sookie Stackhouse series had more depth and interesting characters that you could relate to.
    I thought to try another series with MaryJanice Davidson to see if it was different. I tried Hello Gorgeous! and although it is an interesting idea with a girl becoming a cyborg I found myself not really enjoying the book. Again it was a shallow type of character and again she is a ditz. In that case I prefer Betsy character to this cyborg girl. Vampires for me are more interesting than cyborgs.

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