THE VAMPIRE KNITTING CLUB
SERIES: The Vampire Knitting Club, #1
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Vampires who knit
A troublemaking witch
Who killed Granny — and is she really dead?
At a crossroads between a cringe-worthy past (Todd the Toad) and an uncertain future (she’s not exactly homeless, but it’s close), Lucy Swift travels to Oxford to visit her grandmother. With Gran’s undying love to count on and Cardinal Woolsey’s, Gran’s knitting shop, to keep her busy, Lucy can catch her breath and figure out what she’s going to do.
Except it turns out that Gran is the undying. Or at least, the undead. But there’s a death certificate. And a will, leaving the knitting shop to Lucy. And a lot of people going in and out who never use the door—including Gran, who is just as loving as ever, and prone to knitting sweaters at warp speed, late at night. What exactly is going on?
When Lucy discovers that Gran did not die peacefully in her sleep, but was murdered, she has to bring the killer to justice without tipping off the law that there’s no body in the grave. Between a hot 600-year-old vampire and a dishy detective inspector, both of whom always seem to be there for her, Lucy finds her life getting more complicated than a triple cable cardigan.
The only one who seems to know what’s going on is her cat … or is it … her familiar?
Has the new TV adaption of A Discovery of Witches got you in the mood for Oxford vampires and American witches? How about a slightly cozier take?
I really loved this book. It was pretty much a safe bet from the premise alone. I love both craft-based cozies and paranormal mysteries so I snapped this one straight up.
I think there’s a reason Oxford often shows up in these kind of mystery stories. It has that really cozy, really quaint, quirky feeling to the location that works so well for setting out all these slightly unusual and unique characters.
I really loved the entire cast: especially the protagonist, Lucy. I thought she was a great lead — inquisitive and brave, without coming across as reckless or unthinking. The Oxford shop owners — like the not-quite twin sisters who run the tearoom, and who I thought were brilliant — and the members of the vampire knitting circle were wonderful supporting characters. Having the ‘ordinary’ (if weird) locals along with the vamps, gives such great opportunities for the series to develop and bring in really quirky, unusual personalities and backstories.
There seems to be a bit of a love triangle being set up, and while I like both male characters in the triangle — and I could really see it going either way — I’m not sure either I’m convinced of either as a love interest. I’d really just like it if it ended up that Rafe took on a sort of father-figure roll towards Lucy. After all he’s like 400, and it will be a nice change to the girl (young woman) falling in love with the ancient creature of the night.
I thought the mystery was well done, there were a couple of red herrings, and I don’t think I guessed the killer until the very last moment.
I do feel like the selling of the shop storyline should have been a bit more finalised, but that was a minor nitpick.
Overall, this is a really strong story, with a really vivid setting and well thought-out characters. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next books in this series.