That’s what twenty-three years in the magical backwater of Vancouver will get you — a completely skewed sense of reality. Because when the dead werewolves started showing up, it all unraveled … except for the cupcake part. That’s a universal truth. – Goodreads description
Meghan Ciana Doidge is not only a total sweetheart, but she’s a local author whose books are set right in my own back yard. After chatting with her by email, she sent me a review copy of the first book in her Dowser series.
I enjoyed Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic. It was a light, entertaining read that definitely kept me up well past my bedtime. It’s the story of a half-witch named Jade who owns a cupcake bakery (where the cupcakes are all seductively named – Sin in a Cup, Thrill in a Cup, Sex in a Cup, Sunshine in a Cup… you get the idea) in one of Vancouver’s swankier neighbourhoods.
As the story unfolds, Jade is drawn deeper into the magical underworld of the city than she’s ever ventured before – and inconveniently when her grandmother (a very powerful witch) is out of town. As the story progresses, Jade begins to realize two things: 1) her magical knowledge is seriously inadequate, and 2) there’s much more to her own magical ability than her grandmother ever let on.
Unfortunately, it is the presence of magical trinkets she crafted at the sites of a few supernatural murder scenes that brings her to the attention of a very old and powerful vampire and a local pack of shapeshifters. Before she knows it, she’s embroiled in helping them solve the mystery of which witch (sorry, couldn’t resist) is behind these stomach-turning crimes and facing danger on a daily basis.
I liked most of the characters in the book – particularly a spunky, green-haired werewolf named Kandy. Likewise the mythology and supernatural workings of Doidge’s world were unique. There were a few things I could criticize: the plot was a bit thin in places; the early book focuses more on the setting, Jade’s outfits, her attraction to the male characters and her slightly annoying inner monologue than I’d like; and the early presentation of the supernatural laws governing Jade’s magic felt a bit inconsistent. But as the story progressed the focus shifted to the plot, the magical elements solidified and the story moved forward at an increasingly suspenseful pace.
I can’t say this book is topping my all-time favourites list, but I’m glad I got a chance to experience it, and I really enjoyed spending time in Doidge’s Vancouver – which was simultaneously incredibly familiar and completely foreign.
And I’ll say one more thing for this book – it gave me a wicked cupcake craving!
Book Title: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic
Author: Meghan Ciana Doidge
Edition: Review Copy (Epub)
Published by: Old Man in the Crosswalk Productions
Released: June 21, 2013
Genre: Fiction, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Mystery
Date Read: October 30-November 13, 2013
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