Dr. Fredrika Bell is a marine biologist who lives in Boston and works at the New England Aquarium. She’s also a mermaid, but she’s nothing like the mermaids fairy tales are made of. Fred (don’t call her Rika) isn’t blond, she’s not sweet and mercurial, and she doesn’t have a lobster sidekick. To date, her most difficult task is that the fish in the tank she’s in charge of are on a hunger strike.
When the new water fellow, Dr. Thomas Pearson, arrives at the aquarium to investigate some unusual toxicity levels, Fred is assigned to be his partner. Add to the mix Prince Artur of the Black Sea, sent to Boston to warn the bipeds against polluting the seas, and Fred finds herself torn between two very different men, both of whom are very interested in “getting to know” her. Love triangle aside, the trio must work together to discover who or what is causing the pollution in the harbor and stop it before it spreads any further.
That’s not to say, however, that the book is without its faults. At times it seems as though Davidson is so intent on coming up with the dialogue that she’s so well known for that the plot of the story falls by the wayside. For as short as Fishes was, (ignore the publisher’s page count, there are really only 268 pages of story) there’s really no excuse for the slow pacing in spots. Likewise, the margins on the actual printed page are quite large, making it seem at first glance like there’s more story here than there actually is.
Whether or not a reader will like Sleeping with the Fishes will most likely depend on the reader’s previous encounters with Davidson’s work. Newcomers to Davidson, however, may appreciate the opportunity to discover Davidson with a new series.