Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic sounds like a cosy supernatural who dun it? And it is. although that does depend if you have read a lot of these kinds of books or not.
The story focuses on Jade, a baker who runs a fairly successful bakery in Vancover – I am so happy this doesn’t take place in America or England – and is half witch. Although like one of the characters in Practical Magic – and I am talking about the movie more than the book – Jade doesn’t do magic, at least not on her own. Her sister Selina, on the other hand does and usually coerces Jade into helping her.
The plot revolves around a series of supernatural murders, all involving a local werewolf pack and an investigation is underway, with Jade being focused on by a vampire who senses something off about her.
The story is fun, although there is no real twist in it for the reader, you figure out pretty early on who the villain of the whole piece is, but that is probably the point, showing us how much Jade would look else where rather than deal with what is in front of her, without joining all the dots that lead her to the one who caused all this trouble, so take from that what you will.
Character wise, it’s not the best.
Jade is very much a goody goody type, although she would rather focus on her baking than have a relationship with a man, and everyone seems to love her. However I have an inkling about this, so it might not be a complete lack of character but something else. She’s also not fully explored as a character, I feel like the author hasn’t completely set her characteristics down, is she witty, a smart arse? Or is she charming, disarming? Or is she rather dull with not much humour about her but sometimes has a good sarcastic line or two?
Selina, her sister, seems to be the opposite of her, perhaps not the complete opposite but she’s more out there, a wild child, more willing to have fun than to just stick to what she knows. However we don’t get too much from Selina, apart from scraps when she is around Jade, which is being sarcastic, underhanded and at times childish.
The sisters bond is something that could have been focused on more in this book, as it was something that was brought to the front of it to start with in regards to the plot. Had the author brought more attention to the bond the pair shared, there might have been more empathy towards the pair, but as it was it was lacking. Also, do many people call their siblings ‘Sister?’ or ‘Brother’? instead of their name? That was another thing that go to me in this book, it happened too often to feel natural, but perhaps it is a Canadian thing?
The other supernatural characters weren’t fully fleshed out either, but they were minor characters, although they are going to reappear in the next book, so hopefully they have more character to them.
Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic isn’t terrible and it is well worth the read, but there are a few failings within this novel, and although the general idea is good, the execution just didn’t pan out too well.