Fifteen years ago, a murder/suicide in room 712 rocked the grand old Bellweather Hotel and the young bridesmaid who witnessed it. Now hundreds of high school musicians, including quiet bassoonist Rabbit Hatmaker and his brassy diva twin, Alice, have gathered in its cavernous, crumbling halls for the annual Statewide festival; the grown-up bridesmaid has returned to face her demons; and a snowstorm is forecast that will trap everyone on the grounds. Then one of the orchestra’s stars disappears—from room 712. Is it a prank, or has murder struck the Bellweather once again?
The search for answers entwines a hilariously eccentric cast of characters—conductors and caretakers, failures and stars, teenagers on the verge and adults trapped in memories. For everyone has come to the Bellweather with a secret, and everyone is haunted.
Full of knowing nods to the shivery pleasures of suspense and the transporting power of music, this is a wholly winning new novel from a writer lauded as “charming” (Los Angeles Times), “witty” (O, The Oprah Magazine), and “whimsical” (People).
©2014 Kate Racculia (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
"For its darkness and its glee, I loved this novel." (Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore)
There were good moments and some plot twists that really were surprising, but there were also long passages of character rumination that diluted any suspense. It seemed like the author wasn't sure if this were a thriller/suspense novel or a character drama. It felt like an uneasy mix of both.
A little bit anti climatic.
She was a little bit strident with the character of Alice, but she absolutely NAILED the wicked Viola.
It could be a good movie if the suspense aspect of the story was the focus.
As a professional musician, I enjoyed reading a story, and a mystery, that was centered in my universe. The writing is energetic, character-driven, and well-constructed, with believable dialogue and internal subtexts. My high school age musician nephew will especially love it! Kate Racculia captures the spirit of a subject that is obviously hard to write about but that fires us up and even drives our actions. Jessica Almasy's performance delineates the various characters very well (she modulates her voice to sound like a high schooler one moment and an older man the next) and was brightly paced. I highly recommend this entertaining book.
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