MaryJanice Davidson gives vampire queen Betsy Taylor a Christmas to remember in this fourth funny outing in her bestselling Undead series. This time, Betsy’s holiday cup runneth over. For starters, Betsy’s mother has finally erected Betsy’s tombstone in the local cemetery. A psycho nut job serial killer is targeting tall, thin blondes in the Twin Cities: women who look like Betsy. Her vampire mate, Eric Sinclair, is balking at wedding planning and at the modern notion of communication, while her hateful stepmother has just had a baby. Of course, it’s time for the irrepressible Betsy to launch an advice column for vampires trying to cope and to team up with a freshly killed ghost to track down her murderer. But why does her sister, Laura, keep taking out that sword? As usual, Betsy floats triumphantly in a sea of chaos, helped and hindered by the usual madcap cast of vampires and humans.
I read the first book of this series, Undead and Unwed, back in 2009 and have been reading my way through the series off and on. Starting off fun and unique, the series is a cross between Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series and Molly Harper’s Naked Werewolf series, with a vampire twist. I really enjoyed reading 1-3 but this one just didn’t live up to my expectations.
The story does not advance at all with this installment. It’s more of a review of the first 3 books and should have been more appropriately numbered 3.5. There’s no plot whatsoever and no growth to the characters at all and, although Betsy is still the humorous self-absorbed character I know and love from the previous installments, her plight was considerably too blah to make this one worth reading.
I’m not sure why some authors feel they need to constantly reintroduce their characters in every series installment. By book 4 I feel like I have invested enough in this series not to be dumbed down by repetition. If great authors of intricate stories like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series don’t see a reason to repeat everything that has happened in past installments, certainly a light series like this doesn’t have to.
Unfortunately, I think I’ve already read the best this series has to offer and don’t intend to continue.
I encourage reading books 1-3 though. This really started out as a fun series with a unique take on vampires, a steamy love interest and some mystery solving on the side.