Thursday, July 9, 2009

Review – “Undead and Unwelcome” by MaryJanice Davidson

Betsy Taylor has problems that only a vampire queen/suburban wife could possibly understand. Such as taking the body of her werewolf friend Antonia—who died in her service—to Cape Cod, where she's not sure if the Wyndham werewolves will welcome her with fangs or friendship. Meanwhile, her posse back in St. Paul is sending frantic e-mails alerting Betsy to her half-sister's increasingly erratic behavior. Looks like the devil's daughter is coming into her own—and raising hell.
Undead and Unwelcome is the eighth instalment of the Queen Betsy paranormal romance series. I love this character and I love this series. There are lots of snarky vampire heroines in paranormal but none quite like Betsy. She rarely fails to crack me up no matter how silly the plot or situation. That said I have to say that the laughs in Undead and Unwelcome are fewer and farther between. This book brings together her Undead series characters and her Wyndham werewolf series cast and should have offered some terrific cross-over chemistry. A couple of scenes including Betsy’s trip to the playground with the young daughter of the head of the werewolves and the reaction of the werewolves to Baby John offered some fine comedic moments, but otherwise the visit to Cape Cod mostly seemed to be going through the motions.

A secondary plotline involving Betsy’s half-sister Laura (the devils daughter) and her newest shenanigans is told through Marc’s perspective and is interspersed among the main chapters. I found that this tended to pull me out of the main story and stalled the momentum. There is also an awful lot of recapping of events from prior books that just seemed unnecessary and far fewer sexy and funny interludes between Betsy and Eric, which I miss. There is one terrific brawl with Betsy and some of Satan’s minions and I must say I always like the way the action sequences are described. For a self-absorbed fashionista, Betsy packs a mean punch.

Undead and Unwelcome has its moments and is likely to still please Queen Betsy’s fans, but I do hope that some of the darker plot directions that the past couple of books have taken us lighten up in the next adventure.

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASE Official MaryJanice Davidson Website

Read an excerpt.

Penguin Group (USA)
Published: June 2008
ISBN #: 9780425227732
Format: Hardcover/Audio
Pages: 282

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. Great review. I totally agree. I miss the fun from earlier books.

  2. Doug,

    Great review. I love this series. :) It doesn't have that same quirky feel as the earlier books - but still a great series.


  3. Hi Doug!

    I just picked this book up, and I was hoping for more fun. MJD can be great, so maybe the next book will go back to the original premise of the storyline, which I enjoyed immensely. This is the second review I've read that suggests the series is getting too dark.

    Dottie :)

  4. Queen Betsy will always be my favorite vampire chickie. The review reminds me that I need to get back to the series! Off a' shopping I go....

  5. Hi Leah I think it just takes the right storyline for Betsy to pick up. Maybe Eric and Betsy should go on an exotic Honeymoon.

    Agreed Michelle. Not about to give up on it yet.

    Dottie I absolutely agree. Dating myself but Betsy is like a Gidget or even a Lucille Ball character. Essentially a comedian. Enough with the dark stuff.

    Enjoy Vickie!


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