Thursday, April 30, 2009

Review – “Undead and Unworthy” by MaryJanice Davidson

Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor - newly married and living in the suburbs - rules the night in this seventh book from MaryJanice Davidson's New York Times best-selling series. Already busy dealing with a pesky ghost, Betsy must rise to the occasion when a pack of formerly feral vamps comes calling.
Undead and Unworthy is the seventh book in this series of humorous vampire shenanigans. Queen Betsy is her usual opinionated and ribald self. The theme this time around is a little darker than previously, with Betsy and her friends under assault from the former vampire fiends who have regained their awareness. They blame Betsy for their condition and want revenge. There is a lot of running around and ass-kicking happening. And of course a few of Betsy’s trademark high octane bouts in the sack with Eric. A new and unwelcome ghost also manifests in the mansion. Betsy is having sex with Eric on the office desk when her dead mother-in-law appears, in a scene that is an absolute howler.

Queen Betsy is unique. Yes there are other fashionista, snarky paranormal characters out there but MaryJanice Davidson’s Queen Betsy is always worth the price of admission. Admittedly, I read these just to hear what comes out of Betsy Taylor’s mouth next, which more often than not leaves me smiling regardless of the merits of the plot.

I listened to the audio version of this book and found narrator Nancy Wu’s interpretation of Betsy quite to my liking. Try out the sample below (but beware it is not office friendly). Undead and Unworthy is a quick read and perfect for a guilty pleasure interlude or for the beach. The books are fairly brief so you may want to wait for the paperback edition out this fall in this fiscally difficult time. This series is among the best of comedic Vamplit fiction. Best read in order. Go ahead and give it a try. You know you want to. The next book in the series Undead and Unwelcome is due for release June 24, 2009.

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASE Official MaryJanice Davidson Website

Interview and excerpt at Romantic Times.

Listen to an audio sample.

Penguin Group (USA)
Published: June 2008
ISBN #: 9780425221624
Format: Hardcover/Audio
Pages: 304

Betsy Taylor Series:

  1. Undead and Unwed (2004)
  2. Undead and Unemployed (2004)
  3. Undead and Unappreciated (2005)
  4. Undead and Unreturnable (2005)
  5. Undead and Unpopular (2006)
  6. Undead and Uneasy (2007)
  7. Undead and Unworthy (2008)
  8. Undead and Unwelcome (June 2009)


  1. Excellent review! I can't wait to read it, and a second release for the summer! Too Sweet!

    Dottie :)

  2. So you haven't read the book then? I have to say, when I read this, I did not like it at all. I am of the firm belief that it all depends on which cover you have or lack thereof. The new covers for this series are hideous and they have affected my enjoyment of this series tremendously.

  3. Thanks Dottie. I find the hardcovers a little pricey which is why I only got around to this title now (it came out last year). I got a deal on the audio book from Audible. The June book is hardcover too.
    * * * * * * * *
    Hey Jackie. Nope I didn't read the physical book but did listen to the full unabridged text. The books are fairly weighted with dialogue which makes them a good choice for audio.

    I read your review and I can't say I disagree on any particular point. The last few books are not as strongly plotted as the earlier ones and many of the scenes do seem situational and not central to moving the plot along. It's just that I am fan of Betsy in the way you can be a fan of a favourite comedian or group of performers like Monty Python or SNL. Even if it is made up of little more than skits I still enjoy it. For me the key is Betsy and her antics and plot is way down the list in terms of what I look for in these books.

    The new covers aren't as warm or approachable as the old ones but frankly while I might chose one book over another on the strength of its cover, a bad cover also won't dissuade me from buying a book. In the Romantic Times interview with MJD about her covers she had this to say about the change - ""There are so many cute cartoon covers with cute cartoon blondes. Mine weren't standing out anymore."

  4. I love this series! I'll definitely be looking for the next release this summer

  5. Thanks for the link to the audio sample. That was fun. I gave up on the series after I read Undead and Unreturnable. I still found it funny and entertaining, but the idea of waiting for the paperback after the hardcover release turned me off - the books are too short and simple to purchase in hardcover. The audio sample reminded me how funny I think Betsy is so I may buy the mass market books i've missed and start catching up. Need a good laugh.


  6. I've missed the last three books (I believe) of this series. One day I'll re-read them and then read these lol. Gosh I wish there weren't so many good books out there! NOT!

  7. TexasRed maybe if I'm lucky the publisher will send me a copy :)

    Laura I had forgotten about the this book because I too was waiting for the pb release, so when the audio book was on sale I snapped it up.

    Lady_tink perish the thought at fewer books.


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