• Popcorn and Poltergeists

  • Vampire Knitting Club, Book 9
  • By: Nancy Warren
  • Narrated by: Sarah Zimmerman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (97 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Is there a murderous poltergeist on the loose?

When an Oxford caretaker is killed by a fall down the library stairs and a professor is attacked, rumors fly that it's the work of a poltergeist who's been causing havoc at the college.

The prof is a knitter, and a customer at Lucy Swift's shop, Cardinal Woolsey's. But Lucy thinks a very human killer is shifting the blame onto a ghost who can't defend itself, and she's determined to trap the real killer and get justice for the dead man.

However, danger lurks at the college where old secrets and new crimes collide. Vampire and old book expert Rafe Crosyer has been called in to value the college's literary collection, and he witnesses firsthand how angry the ghost really is.

Furious enough to kill? Or is there something else the tantrum-throwing spirit is trying to tell them?

And will they decipher the message before it's too late?

©2020 Nancy Warren (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Popcorn and Poltergeists

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Top Shelf Paranormal Cozy

This series continues to surprise me with the quality of the stories and depth of character development as well as world building. I listen to lots of supernatural cozy books and many are what I think of as 'candy cozies' easy, fun, but not much to them but still nice and entertaining. These books feel like a full course meal in a light lunch time. The stories and narration are incredibly engaging I feel really rooted in the world and with the characters, excited to see them develop, grow, and evolve as individuals as well as a collective. There seem to be more hints in this volume that things with Lucy's grandmother will need to change (though this is far from the main storyline). There is some fun development with William (Rafe's butler) and the Vampire Knitting Clubs teenager also gets a little more time in the story as well as some new folks that I am very excited to see developed further. I also enjoy the complicated relationship between Lucy and Rafe and how this volume in particular I felt displayed some other less romanticized sides of a centuries old wealthy vampire that is accustomed to being in control and being the leader. I will also say when reading cozy supernatural mysteries we must assume a suspension of belief. I often find myself bemoaning flimsy reasons for protagonists being involved in intimate aspects of cases and constantly endangering themselves and starting drama, but then I remember this is not a police procedural and the characters are talking to ghosts. We are clearly in the realm of unrealistic narrative and I remember that is exactly why I am here. Often in these stories the protagonist is never my favorite character but honestly Lucy is far from the most annoying cozy protagonist I have come across. Sarah spoils me with the fantastic narration of the different characters that now pulls me back into this world as soon as I hear her voice. I am looking forward to the next volume and I will soon try branching out into Nancy's other series 'Vampire Book Club' and 'The Great Witches Baking Show'.

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Frustrating

Popcorn and Poltergeists is book 9 of the Vampire Knitting Club series. This book frustrated me. Up until now, I have been binging this series and have listened to 10 of these books (including 8.5, the novella) and really enjoying the fun escape. Things changed with this book and I’m not sure if I want to continue binging or put it on hold for a bit. I’ll try not to rant, but Popcorn and Poltergeists both frustrated and disappointed me.

With each book in this series, I have been saying that the author really needs to find someone to proofread for her because there are a lot of errors and continuity issues from book to book, but this was the worst yet. In this book, we pretty much reread an entire scene from book 8. And the most frustrating part of it was that the particular scene made me angry the first time around so having to go through it yet again was not fun. The issue I have with the scene, is Lucy is Rafe’s friend with some romantic interest as well, yet she is speaking on things she does not understand and speaking against Rafe’s interest when it comes to his household staff; most specifically the house manager, William. William and his father and many grandfathers before him have always served Rafe. It is something they take great pride in doing and is a point of honor for them. They are treated very well and compensated very well. Lucy keeps trying to convince William that he should quit and leave Rafe’s home to venture out on his own and break the chain of his family service to Rafe. Even with William explaining to her that he has no interest in leaving Rafe, she thinks it is somehow demeaning and not a good life for him. That didn’t sit well with me. Lucy has gotten to know Rafe well and knows what a good and honorable man he is, yet she still thinks of him as a monster whenever convenient. It doesn’t really fit the narrative.

Another issue that I think has finally reached a boiling point for me is the fact that in all these books, we have yet to learn anything about the vampires beyond the fact that they are old and they drink blood from a blood bank. We also know that locks can’t keep them out and they can knit extremely fast. That is the extent. We don’t know about their special abilities or anything that makes them who they are. Based on the books, these vampires are nothing more than docile fast knitters who were born in another time. They are friendly, kind, and treat Lucy like family. So all that being said, why is it that the author keeps throwing in random snide remarks from Lucy’s thoughts about how they are dangerous, scary monsters. A human toddler is 10 times more dangerous and scarier than these vampires have shown to be. Also, whenever Lucy is doing something dangerous, she is comforted by the fact that Rafe will come running and protect her from anything bad. In this book, something bad did happen and Rafe didn’t protect her anymore than a random human would. I just don’t get it. Oh and her injury did not match up with the bed ridden recovery that she did. Most people are back up and around in a couple of days after dislocating a shoulder and in previous books she has had a witchy tea that speeds up healing and takes away the pain. What happened to that?

There is no character growth, no world growth, and no change from book to book. It’s almost like these are all written as standalone short stories from the same time-frame even though time is supposed to be passing. I had a vested interest in these characters, yet nothing is changing, and we aren’t learning anything new about them than whatever their initial introduction to the series is. Along those same lines of getting nothing vampirey from the vamps, and we are getting very little magic or witchcraft from the witch. It’s just disappointing to invest so much time in a series and have no growth.

On top of that, there isn’t continuity between books. For example, in book 1, Lucy is 27 but in book 6, she has her 26th birthday. In one of the books, Rafe is at least 600 years old, but in the next book, he is only 500 years old. The proofreading has always been an issue with things like occasionally there is an incorrect name used or the wrong pronoun or something gets repeated or a fact changed, but I always know what was meant so it doesn’t confuse me or make it so that I can’t continue. It is just getting tiresome.

I still have really enjoyed these fun little cozy mysteries until now so I’m not sure if I will finish them out now or move on to something else and circle back after I change things up. As of now, there are 4 more books available in the series. Obviously, since I am ranting, I still care and am very invested so we shall see how it goes.

The narrator is the same throughout the series and she does a great job.

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Poltergeists can have a strong sense of purpose.

I love hearing about Lucy, Rafe and the other characters. The knitting, camaraderie and sleuthing are all wonderful aspects and depth.
I’m anxious for the next book in series.

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5 stars

Popcorn and Polter6 is a fun paranormal cozy mystery with engaging characters and an entertaining plot. I look forward to the next book in this series.

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ANOTHER WINNER

THANK YOU, NANCY WARREN, FOR ANOTHER ENJOYABLE READ. LUCY, RAFE, AND ALL THE OTHER WONDERFUL CHARACTERS JUST GET BETTER WITH EVERY OUTING. I CANNOT WAIT FOR THEIR NEXT ADVENTURE.

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  • Angela
  • 01-20-21

Yay! 🍿🍿

I was in love by the end of chapter 1. All the knitting and literature references were wonderful! I wasn't really sure who the culprit was by the reveal but I had some accurate suspicions.