“Sleeping With the Fishes” by Mary Janice Davidson

Sleeping With The Fishes by Mary Janice Davidson

 A review by Vanessa.

Dr. Fredrika Bimm is an unusual employee of the New England Aquarium. Everyone thinks she has blue hair, even though she knows it’s really actually green. Her eyes are the color of Brussels sprouts. She is super cranky to everyone except her best friend Jonas. Oh, and she can talk to the fishes that she is responsible for feeding because she’s a mermaid. Only her parents and her best friend know that she is a human-mermaid half-breed and she much prefers it that way. After all, she has enough problems to deal with. Her mother’s apparent fling with a merman is not a new concept for her. She’s much more concerned about the fishes going on hunger strike, and the tall, dark, and handsomely intense new Dr. Thomas Pearson who has just arrived at the NEA. Fred is more than happy to keep her head down and do her work while avoiding her annoyingly efficient boss Dr. Barb. But things in Fred’s life get suddenly very complicated when Artur, the High Prince of the Black Sea shows up at her parents’ house.

He is a merman of course, and in his human form, he is incredibly tall and absolutely beautiful, with ruby red hair and eyes. He also happens to be annoyingly infuriating, as he has come to demand Fred’s help in figuring out who or what is polluting the waters of the Boston Harbor. Fred is not ready for the amorous attentions of the Prince. In an attempt to divert him, she decides to enlist the help of the new Dr. Thomas who has come to the NEA to research the same polluted water problem. When Thomas accidentally catches Fred in her mermaid form, he is all too happy to help out and act on some romantic intentions of his own. Despite Fred’s frequent protests, she suddenly has two male admirers on her hands. So Fred, Thomas, and Artur, with Jonas tagging along, embark on a mission to find out what is happening to Boston Harbor; while Fred tries to hold on to her secret, and her heart.

One of my favorite authors, Mary Janice Davidson, has laid out a wonderful and sharp-witted twist on the mermaid legend. Fred is so much more than the classically beautiful, curious, and innocent waif who wanders from the ocean in search of her handsome love. In fact, if anyone suggested that to her, she might likely slug them. She is sarcastic and highly flawed, but entirely likable and easy to root for. Her impatience and intolerance belie her incredibly loyal and protective nature, and her chagrin at the attention of two men somehow makes her charming. With a supporting cast of characters that never fail to entertain, the story swims along fantastically. Prince Artur is everything you would think that a magical merman prince should be, and Dr. Thomas is an interesting and mysterious wild card. Throw in the mysteries of the deep with mafia bad guys and demanding angelfish, and it’s no wonder why it’s almost impossible to put this book down. The worst thing I have to say about it is that it’s a short quick read. But then since it’s the first of an amazingly fun trilogy, I guess that’s not so bad.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars.

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