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).
"A deliciously dark confection of a novel, and one of the most thoroughly enjoyable books I've read in years."
- Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere
"Funny and exuberant, twisty and captivating. Racculia tells the truth here, about art and life and the many trajectories that talent can take. She's also written the most resonant descriptions of music—how it really works in the head and the heart—that I've ever read. For its darkness and its glee, I loved this novel."
- Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and Sourdough
“As much as this is a tale of youth and ambition — and, in the case of the students' messy adult mentors, regret and rage — it is at its core a humdinger of a mystery. Just what exactly is the curse of room 712? The pleasures of this great yarn are not just its full heart but its clever head.”
- Karen Valby, Entertainment Weekly
“Racculia [...] delivers an experience worth rhapsodizing about as a group of teenagers and their adult chaperones descend upon a hotel in the Catskills for a statewide music festival. [...] Racculia’s droll wit and keen understanding of human nature propel a story that’s rich in distinctive characters and wholly engaging. A gem.”
- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)