Book Review: Mina and the Undead by Amy McCaw

NEW ORLEANS FANG FEST, 1995. MINA’S HAVING A SUMMER TO DIE FOR.

17-year-old Mina, from England, arrives in New Orleans to visit her estranged sister, Libby. After growing up in Whitby, the town that inspired Dracula, Mina loves nothing more than a creepy horror movie.

She can’t wait to explore the city’s darkest secrets – vampire tours, seedy bars, spooky cemeteries, disturbing local myths…

And it gets even better when Mina lands a part-time job at a horror movie mansion and meets Jared, Libby’s gorgeous housemate, co-worker and fellow horror enthusiast.

But the perfect summer bliss is broken when, while exploring the mansion, Mina stumbles upon the body of a girl with puncture marks on her neck, clutching a lock of hair that suspiciously resembles Libby’s…

Someone is replicating New Orleans’ most brutal supernatural killings. Mina must discover the truth and prove her sister’s innocence before she becomes the victim of another myth.

What I Thought:

Mina and the Undead was the perfect horror book for me, as I am a bit of wimp! Yes, there are vampires, the macabre and spooky New Orleans, but the 90s nostalgia really came through for me and it was that that I was happy to focus on.

Mina was great as a stranger in New Orleans, as we were able to see all the touristy sights that she would have seen, but as she was also accompanied by Libby and her friends, who were already at home in the city, there was a sense of familiarity.

As someone who had their formative years in this period, the pop culture references were very welcome and Amy McCaw used them respectfully – there was nothing that was ‘just filler’ and every reference had a point to make!

The mystery plot was excellently put together and certainly had me guessing right until the big reveal. It was very skillfully done and it will be interesting to see what Mina gets up to next.

Luckily, you won’t have to wait that long for the second book in this series, as Mina and the Slayers is out in September.

Mina and the Undead is published by UCLan.

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.

Please note: I was sent a copy of this book via Netgalley for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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