About the Book
Mina is staying with her sister in New Orleans for Fang Fest 1995. She’s thrilled to land a job in a horror movie mansion, reconnecting with her sister while they scare the tourists. When Mina stumbles upon a body at work, she’s dragged into a murder investigation. Someone is replicating New Orleans’ darkest myths, and Mina must discover the truth before she becomes the latest victim.
About the Author
Amy McCaw is a YA writer and blogger. She’s the author of Mina and the Undead, a YA murder mystery set in 1995 New Orleans.
Her main interests are books, movies and the macabre, and her debut novel has elements of all of these. If Amy’s not at a book event or reading, she can usually be found scribbling away in her writing room, surrounded by movie memorabilia and an out-of-control signed books collection. Unsurprisingly, she’s a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and has gone to conventions to meet James Marsters more times than she cares to admit.
Amy also loves travelling and has a particular affinity for America. She’s visited 29 states, 13 Man Vs Food restaurants and many bookish locations, including the cities where Twilight, Interview with a Vampire and Vampire Diaries were set.
If you want to talk with Amy about books or 90s movies, you can find her on Twitter.
Twitter – @yaundermyskin
Blog – www.yaundermyskin.co.uk
Website – http://www.amymccaw.co.uk
Represented by: Sandra Sawicka
What I Thought
All I had to hear was vampires and the 90s and I was so here for this book. One of the books I remember loving from my teens was The Secret Vampire by LJ Ross so I definitely channelled my past teenager when settling down to read this.
As someone who has always been fascinated by the idea of, but never actually made it to New Orleans, I loved the fact that this is where it was set. We get to see it through Mina’s tourist eyes as well as via the people she is visiting who have been there a while.
I love the fact that at its core this is a story about two sisters who have been estranged and I enjoyed the dynamic between Mina and Libby.
It has a strong cast of supporting characters with Della, Jared, Lucas and Mansion of the Macabre boss Thandie each providing a valuable contribution to the story.
There was a good game of spot the influence to play but the fact that it was set in the 90s made it feel relevant rather than gimmicky. Some of my favourites, Buffy, Lost Boys and Interview with a Vampire make an appearance and I’m sure there is lots I’ll have missed that demand a second read through.
During the first read you will be busy trying to find the clues to the unfolding mystery. Who, or what, is killing people in the style of New Orleans myths and will Mina or one of her new friends be next? There’s also a familial mystery to solve too and the two overlap in surprising ways.
I was slightly sad that the myth with the vampires and the convent didn’t lead to shoehorning the ‘Show him your/you’re cross’ joke.
This is a gentle introduction to horror with enough pace and tension to keep you racing through but not too much blood and gore to make you need to put the book in the fridge.
At the launch event where author Amy was interviewed by YA horror author Dawn Kurtagich, Amy did say she has more of Mina’s story to tell. So do me a favour and now it’s out go get yourself a copy.
A huge thanks to uclan publishing and Amy for the gifted e-copy for the purposes of an honest review. I picked my print copy up from my local bookshop yesterday and I love the VHS look of it. Cover design by Becky Chilcott, and yes I did try to remove the ‘label’ on the back 🤦♀️😂.
Do check out what the rest of #TeamMina thought by following the hashtag and go and take the character quiz on Amy’s website to find out which character you’d be. I think we should fangs Katherine Korr who perfectly sums the book up in the quote below.
So I’ve made my first completed read of 2014 a kids’ book from 1987 that I found at my parents. Don’t remember reading it before though.
This is the story of Augusta, otherwise known as Gruesome Gussie, and her cat Bloodsocks. Gruesome is a vampire who is allergic to blood, it makes her sick and she comes out in silver spots. Because of her refusal to drink blood her vampire family banish her from their graveyard. She moves to another town where they make her move into a council house and sign on the dole (seems easy apart from the paperwork in 1987?!).
Her best friend becomes a skinhead youth called Leotard and she has to adapt by wearing pink! There is a sub plot where Bloodsocks and other neighbourhood pets are petnapped, and her vampire family find her again.
All in all this is an entertaining little read with some fun illustrations by Steven Appleby. Would recommend for bedtime reading with little ones.