Sleeping with the Fishes by M. Davidson

You would not believe the sheer number of books that I’ve read that have vampires and weres as the main characters. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good story with my ‘go to’ paranormals, but I figured it might be interesting to read a story that didn’t involve them. That’s where Sleeping with the Fishes by MaryJanice Davidson comes in.

Fred is not your ordinary mermaid. She’s not blonde. She’s not buxom. And she’s definitely not perky. In fact, Fred can be downright cranky. And it doesn’t help matters that her hair is blue.

While volunteering at the New England Aquarium, Fred learns that there are weird levels of toxins in the local seawater. A gorgeous marine biologist wants her help investigating. So does her merperson ruler, the High Prince of the Black Sea. You’d think it would be easy for a mermaid to get to the bottom of things. Think again.

When I first imagined a book about mermaids, I automatically went strait to an image of Ariel in ‘my little mermaid’. I imagined a world were the mermaids are elegant, graceful creatures who have a connection to the fish that surround them. Maybe that was some little girl fantasy of mine, but it goes without saying that with her green hair, lanky build, and cranky demeanor, Dr. Fredrika ‘Fred’ Bimm is no traditional Disney princess. She is a marine biologist who just happens to have been a mermaid her entire life.

Volunteering at the New England Aquarium (NEA) where she is in charge of the up-keep of Main Tank One, Fred learns of a mysterious toxin that is being dumped into the Boston Harbor and it’s at the NEA where Dr. Thomas Pearson and Prince Artur of the Black Sea join Fred in her quest to find and stop the perpetrator. These three make a great love triangle. Fred is clueless most of the time, and it adds to the hilarity in watching Thomas and Artur try to woo her.  In fact, the banter between all of the characters was the main attraction to Sleeping with the Fishes – whether it was between Fred and her parents or Jonas (Fred’s best friend) and Fred’s boss.

Actually, I didn’t realize it until after I read Sleeping with the Fishes, but MaryJanice Davidson has a popular Undead series that I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time now. If this book is anything to go by I’m definitely moving Undead and Unwed up on my TBR. The characters in this book were equal parts stereotypical and unique. In that they seemed to be normal individuals who had a very funny outlook on everything that was going on around them. The writing style created a story that had me laughing out loud in its absurdity at times. Anybody who is looking for a good laugh shouldn’t hesitate to check this one out. As for me, I’m going to go on to the next in the series Swimming Without a Net.

Read Order:
Sleeping with the Fishes
Swimming Without a Net
Fish Out of Water

Also reviewed by:
Jackie’s review on Literary Escapism
The Good the Bad and The Bookish
Ms. Bibliophile


  1. Great review Jennifer! The Fred the mermaid series is one of my favorites. And if you’re enjoying them too, then you must read the Queen Betsy books ASAP. I love MJD’s sense of humor. :-)

  2. Great review! I love this series! I actually love everything MJD has written so far… her Undead series is hilarious and she has a couple other series that are amazing as well =)

  3. I am looking forward to reading these after I am caught up on 2 more Undead books. You will love them, they are like Sex and the City with vampires and so funny.

  4. Thanks ladies! This was a really great read for me. I can’t wait to catch up with MJD’s Undead series. ?

  5. I liked the mermaid series by MJD. I am a fan of hers anyway and have read most of what she writes. Her Betsy series, the Wyndham werewolves and Mermaid series are my favorites.

    I have friends that can’t read the Betsy series because they can’t get over her being ditzy. I think they are just a great, fun, quick read and I enjoy them after I’ve read something dark and heavy. The same with the Mermaid books.

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