Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts
A dying billionaire sends one woman and a cast of dreamers and rivals on a citywide treasure hunt in this irresistible novel by the author of Bellweather Rhapsody.
Tuesday Mooney is a loner. She keeps to herself, begrudgingly socializes, and spends much of her time watching old Twin Peaks and X-Files DVDs. But when Vincent Pryce, Boston’s most eccentric billionaire, dies, leaving behind an epic treasure hunt through the city with clues inspired by his hero Edgar Allan Poe, Tuesday’s real life adventure begins.
Puzzle-loving Tuesday searches for clue after clue, joined by a ragtag crew: a wisecracking friend, an adoring teen neighbor, and a handsome, cagey young heir. The hunt tests their mettle, and with other teams from around the city also vying for the promised prize—a share of Pryce’s immense wealth—they must move quickly. Pryce’s clues can’t be cracked with sharp wit alone; the searchers must summon the courage to face painful ghosts from their pasts (some more vividly than others), and discover their most guarded desires and dreams.
A deliciously funny ode to imagination, overflowing with love letters to art—from The Westing Game to Madonna to the Knights of the Round Table—Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts is the perfect read for thrill seekers, wanderers, word lovers, and anyone looking for an escape to the extraordinary.
"Rarely does a novel so suffused with death radiate as much life as this spirited—in every sense of the word—genre-bending adventure from Racculia (Bellweather Rhapsody). The games begin for volunteer Tuesday Mooney at Boston General Hospital’s annual fund-raising gala when, uncharacteristically, the self-possessed loner finds herself flirting with a handsome guest who introduces himself as Nathaniel Arches, of the Brahmin megabucks clan. Then Vincent Pryce—not the Vincent Price but an eccentric, cape-draped elderly billionaire famed for his love of the macabre—collapses. In his subsequently published self-penned obituary, he invites the city to play an elaborate treasure hunt with clues inspired by his hero, Edgar Allan Poe, for a chunk of his fortune. The challenge galvanizes a host of contestants, including Tuesday, for whom the dark side has held a fascination ever since her childhood in Salem, Mass., and the never-solved disappearance of her best friend, Abby Hobbes. As suspenseful as the adrenaline-pumping race will prove, testing competitors in ways they never anticipated, the author, like Vincent, has a deeper design in mind, which only becomes apparent with the book’s immensely satisfying final bombshells. Racculia should win many new fans with this inspired effort." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A motley crew of Bostonians seeks an eccentric millionaire's fortune in an epic, citywide treasure hunt that kicks off after his untimely death.
Tuesday Mooney is the best prospect researcher on Boston General Hospital's fundraising team, a "bizarro know-it-all tall girl" with the aura of a grown-up Wednesday Addams. Despite her reputation as a formidable, reclusive "woman in black," Tuesday nurtures a few friendships, albeit at arm’s length. There's Dex Howard, a karaoke-obsessed financier perpetually unlucky in love; Tuesday's neighbor Dorry Bones, a motherless Somerville teen in desperate need of a role model; and Abby Hobbes, a Ouija board–wielding classmate who disappeared during Tuesday's teenage years—and who just so happens to be haunting her in adulthood. When cape-wearing Poe fanatic Vincent Pryce keels over at a hospital charity auction midbid, Tuesday uses all the skills—and hospital databases—at her disposal to win a portion of Pryce's incredible fortune. But will Tuesday's past, and her poor judgment, catch up with her before she can win? And will her partnership with the strange but charming tycoon Nathaniel Arches sink or buoy her chances of success? Racculia (Bellweather Rhapsody, 2014, etc.) returns with a roaring adventure novel that never loses sight of adulthood's woes: Characters lament their school loan balances and worry about selling out in their careers, struggle with intimacy, and occasionally stew in self-loathing. Even as the whimsical treasure hunt picks up its pace on Boston Common and in the tunnels of the T, Racculia ensures that real livelihoods—and lives—are at stake. The result is thrilling, romantic, and charming as all get out, a love letter to former witchy girls and compulsive dreamers that will make readers reassess what—and who—they value.
Spooky, witty, and observant, Racculia's novel of friendship and bigger-than-life aspirations is a treasure." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts is so much fun it should be criminal. A mystery hidden in a game, hidden in a romp around Boston, with intrigue, a little romance, and a ghost? Perfection. Racculia has a gift for both humor and creating deeply relatable oddballs. Genuinely funny, whip-smart, and at times profound, it is a novel that reminds us both of the pure joy of play, and the importance of finding people who matter." —Erika Swyler, bestselling author of The Book of Speculation, and Light From Other Stars
"In Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts, Kate Racculia has created a host of wonderful oddball and eccentric characters, not least Tuesday Mooney herself: smart, vivacious, and beguiling. I was swept up in her crazy treasure hunt through Boston, looking for ghosts—real and imagined. A book for the curious and spirited." —Claire Fuller, author of Bitter Orange, Swimming Lessons, and Our Endless Numbered Days
“Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts is a story like no other. This tale of a high-stakes scavenger hunt—and the complex inner lives of those competing—is witty, exciting, and absolutely riveting. Before you know it, you'll be playing the game right along with the characters, and with your full heart. I loved this.” —Kayla Rae Whitaker, author of The Animators
“Shirley Jackson by way of Henry James by way of The Westing Game—but pure hilariously wry and witty Kate Racculia. This book was so engrossing and so delightful that I actually yelped when it ended—I wish every book was as much pure fun as Tuesday Mooney.” —Amber Sparks, author of The Unfinished World
“Racculia has created a curiosity cabinet of a novel here—brimming with wonder and surprise, and populated by a charming, somewhat haunted, cast of outsiders. Clue by clue, page by page, Tuesday Mooney leads readers through an adventure that is bookish and spooky and compulsively fun!” —Matthew Sullivan, author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
“Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts is at once a quirky ghost story, an addictive adventure tale, a love letter to the city of Boston, and, at its center, a story about grieving, intimacy, and what it means to be a true friend. I loved every page of this smart, exuberant book, from its intriguing start to its heartfelt finish. An absolute joy to read.” —Louise Miller, author of The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living and The Late Bloomers’ Club