Mini Reviews: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy – Deadly Assessments, Cupcakes … Deadly Magic, Trinkets … Bloody Magic


In Deadly Assessments, Fred gets evaluated by a vampire from the Blood Council and gets into more dangerous situations while Krystal is away on business. In Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic, Jade, a half-witch, gets pulled into a serial murder investigation by shifters and a vampire who suspect she had something to do with the killings. In Trinkets, Treasures, and Other Bloody Magic, Jade and crew get invited to see the infamous, arcane Blackwell collection. Enjoy my mini reviews for these three paranormal/urban fantasy books!

Deadly Assessments by Drew Hayes

Book Review: Deadly Assessments (Fred the Vampire Accountant Book 5) by Drew Hayes | reading, books, book reviews, vampires, paranormal/urban fantasy
Title: Deadly Assessments
Author: Drew Hayes
Book Number: Book 5
Pages: 382
Rating: 3.5 stars

This series has been a really enjoyable one so far, and this book was no exception. The story was good, and the audio was great. These books are just absolutely perfect for audio, and Kirby Hayborne does an amazing job at bringing the characters to life. I was a little disappointed that Fred's friends weren't in this one as much though, since the friendships and found family are one of the best things about this series. Still, we did get to see Fred grow more as a vampire and learn more about using the powers he usually shuns, and that was interesting. And of course there were lots of supernaturals, a bit of humor, and some sweet moments to round it all out.

"Hell, a strong enough mage could've cloaked themselves and hidden in this room with us."

Asha's breathing picked up again, and I glanced around wildly, as though that would help.

Gotta love Fred. 😂


Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Book Review: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic (Dowser Book 1) by Meghan Ciana Doidge | books, reading, book reviews, paranormal/urban fantasy, witches, vampires, shifters
Title: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic
Series: Dowser
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 266
Rating: 4 stars

I think my favorite thing about this book was the really interesting magic system. The main character comes from a family of witches. She herself doesn't have much magic that she knows of, but she sort of attracts magical creatures, and she can taste magic. She also makes little trinkets out of objects she finds that have residual magic in them. There were also shifters and a vampire in this book, each with their own powers and flavors of magic. The MC was a bit on the airheaded side sometimes, but not so much as to be unlikeable. The other characters were interesting. There was a good plot with a good mystery---and don't let the cute cupcake cover or the fact that the MC is a baker fool you, this isn't a cozy mystery series; it's more intense and violent than I think cozies are and definitely what I'd consider urban fantasy. Overall, it was a solid start to a series that I enjoyed!

As for the audio, I wasn't quite as big of a fan. The narration was a little dramatic for my taste, every other syllable changing pitch and emphasis, and the male voices were so-so. That being said, I have these problems with many audiobooks, and having listened to multiple books in this series already, I've gotten used to the narration and have come to quite enjoy the audio.

*I've read this book multiple times. This review was written after my 2nd read.*

Reread Ratings:
3.5 Stars (1st Read - 2015)
4 Stars (2nd Read - 2018)


Trinkets, Treasures, and Other Bloody Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Book Review: Trinkets, Treasures, and Other Bloody Magic (Dowser Book 2) by Meghan Ciana Doidge | books, reading, book reviews, paranormal/urban fantasy, witches, vampires, shifters
Title: Trinkets, Treasures, and Other Bloody Magic
Series: Dowser
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 330
Rating: 4 stars

Good writing, a solid plot, and lots of supernatural characters I'm liking more and more as I get to know them. I enjoyed this sequel! This one also upped the intensity a bit, I think. And the reader even got to find out what Jade's other half is (the non-witch half). Overall another enjoyable book in this urban fantasy series!


Talk to me!

Have you read any of these paranormal/urban fantasy books?
Do you like seeing supernaturals learn more about using their abilities?
Do you pay attention to magic systems in books?
Have you ever had an audiobook annoy you at first but grow on you the more you listened?


Your Thoughts


14 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy – Deadly Assessments, Cupcakes … Deadly Magic, Trinkets … Bloody Magic

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  1. Greg

    Cupcakes sounds interesting, I like the idea of someone ATTRACTING paranormals- that’s a cool idea- and you’re right, with that cover I might have assumed it was more of a cozy series than it apparently is! And nice that Trinkets was even more intense!

  2. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    Oh wow, I never would have guessed, based on the cover, that the Cupcake series was a violent one, lol. I love the sound of this series though, very unique. I’m also glad to see you’re still enjoying the Vampire Accountant series. That one just sounds like so much fun to me.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I figured people might get the wrong idea from the cover lol. It’s a great series though, I’ve really been enjoying it! And the Fred series really is a lot of fun!

  3. Lily

    I love little pieces of treasure like these 😀 this looks like such a fun magical read. Witches are one of my favorite in books.

  4. verushka

    You know what? The Dowser series sounds like the perfect pick me up for when I am struggling with a reading slump. Those covers just make me smile!

  5. Lindsi

    I have a small obsession with cupcakes (eating them, making them, eating more of them), so I was immediately intrigued by the title and the covers! I’m happy to see the stories deliver, too. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book with a large variety of supernatural characters, so I’ll definitely be adding these to my TBR. Thanks for bringing them to my attention!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

  6. Olivia Roach

    Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic as well as it’s sequel intrigues me. As you said, what an interesting magic system! I also love the fact that she can taste magic. It kind of makes me think of the Paper Magician series. Although I think the books are just okay, I keep reading them and enjoying them because I’m loving the unique magic system and learning more about it. I also didn’t know you listened to audiobooks so its nice to hear some thoughts on the narration too! I do use audiobooks every now and again.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s a very good series! Tasting magic seems cool, right? Yeah, I really like the first Paper Magician and then the others weren’t quite as good for me, but I loved the magic system too. Yeah, I’ve found I like having an audiobook to listen to while cooking and doing other things, keeps my thoughts from wandering too much if I have something to focus on 🙂