Book Review: “Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic” by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Title: Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic (Dowsers #1)
Author: Meghan Ciana Doidge
Genre: Urban fantasy/cosy mystery
Intended audience: Adult
Date Read: 01/01/2022 – 02/01/2022


I’m not having a lot of luck with urban fantasies lately. Anyone who knows me I will snap up anything that features both baking and magic, but this one really needed a good edit to make it stand out.

There were a lot of things that weren’t really explained very well, and other times where the main character explains too much at a bad time, halting the plot and making the reader forget what was actually happening. Several times, the narration would say something like “Now that I knew how to…” or “so that was why…” and I had no idea where the revelation had come from.

They mystery itself was actually decent enough. I didn’t mind reading the ins and outs of the characters pursuing their leads. The villain was fairly obvious but when it came down to it, I couldn’t quite understand their reasoning, and I’m still not sure what actually transpired at the end. Maybe that’s explained in later books, but I’m not interested enough to continue the series.

I think my favourite character was the vampire Kett. He was the one who seemed to have the most interesting personality, and who seemed like the most fully-formed of the side characters. While there were more werewolves on the scene than vampires, the most interesting one of them ends up dead early on and I never particularly warmed to any of the others.

One more thing to note: a key element of the story is that Jade thought she was half-human, half-witch, but the human aspect may not be correct (she never knew her father). When she finally does get her mother and grandmother to open up at the end of the book, they tell her her father was someone her mother hooked up with while backpacking through Australia and taking part in an “aboriginal fertility ceremony”. Yikes. I’m not an Indigenous Australian, but I would still encourage this Canadian author to not throw around terms like that in the name of humour or a quirky plot point.

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