Old Secrets lead to Murder
At a secret society in Oxford’s Cardinal College, privileged young men from important families get drunk and rowdy and cause trouble. It’s been going on for centuries, but when someone dies, it looks like more than boys behaving badly. It’s up to Lucy and her undead knitters to solve the crime.
Although this wasn’t my favorite book in the series, this was another fun volume of The Vampire Knitting Club. This time Lucy finds herself working a side job for William, Rafe’s butler, as he’s opened a catering business on the side and needs a couple of people to help out with a local event at a private manor house for an exclusive club.
Like other recent entries of the series, the murder happens some way into the book and before that there is a good bit of set up with introducing new characters and a whole lot of background information about this society. Once again, didn’t mind this as it really expands the world that Lucy is living in and fleshes it out more. We do get some returning characters–the usual suspects are there of course but also an acquaintance Lucy had made from a prior case reappears here. I really appreciated that Miles made an appearance here again as it gives the setting a feeling of ‘it’s a small world’. It also helped in the long run since fans of the book would be familiar with the character and Lucy’s acquaintance with him when she needs help later in solving the mystery. This made for a really nice shortcut in some of the storytelling but it also provided some growth for a side character I didn’t expect to pop up again.
Anyway, the murder in this one isn’t easy to solve despite having a narrow pool of suspects. I liked the way Lucy went about investigating it and then hatching out a plan to expose the killer (the elaborate ruse reminded me of some later episodes of The Mentalist). Of course since you only see bits and pieces of what Lucy’s doing you don’t really appreciate the lengths she went to until the end. I also loved that Lucy has become such a great investigator that she kind of had this one in hand all on her own. Not that she didn’t employ other’s help but that she directed things herself. She’s becoming quite the detective at this point.
As for the usual over-arching story lines and elements of the series, we did get to see a bit of the vampires although maybe not as much as I’d like, the knitting shop made an appearance of course but there wasn’t much actual knitting, Lucy only used a bit of her magic but she does appear to be improving again, and then there’s Rafe. Oh Rafe. This was the part that really felt off to me. Throughout several of the books Lucy has remarked upon Rafe being old fashioned and a bit overbearing, a bit of a control freak, etc. But it’s also always been really obvious to the reader that she has feelings for him. In this one he seemed more of a bother to her than anything. I didn’t really get the sense that she’s still falling for him and her doubts about them having any sort of future together came creeping up again. That being said, Rafe very much seems to want to be with her. It’s become a bit of an odd relationship if I’m being honest but I’m still looking forward to see how things progress for Lucy and everyone else.
Overall, another quick, fun read even though I wish there was more humor and light-hearted moments in this one (and maybe more time with the vampires). These books are perfect if you need to take your mind off of the world for a bit. 3.5/5 stars.