Oh, to be stuck in a gigantic and creepy old hotel with a bunch of teenage musicians, a murderer, and the bloody legend of room 712. Sounds like a dream come true, right? For lovers of Ellen Raskin (The Westing Game), classic murder mystery scenarios, and basically any creepy horror movie, Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia is for you, my friend.
Alice, a glorious 17-year-old singer with a personality fit for any diva, and her twin brother Rabbit, a quiet and contemplative bassoonist, are at the Bellweather Hotel, infamous for a 15-year-old murder involving newlyweds and the aforementioned room, for a weekend long Statewide Musical festival. While there are hundreds of teens tuning their instruments for the college recruiters that are rumored to attend the Sunday concert, one depressed adult chaperone, one rambunctious conductor, and one psychopathic head of the festival are facing off with each other as their past transgressions collide. When Alice’s 14-year-old violin prodigy roommate disappears and Alice swears up and down that she witnessed the girl’s demise, hell and hotel break loose.
I’m not sure how this one slipped under my radar; what with my obsessive use of the Goodreads website, and reading up and coming book reviews, it’s rare for me to just stumble upon an intriguing book while browsing the shelves. So, it’s safe to say that this was one of the happiest surprises of my book year! I adore a good mystery, and throw in punchy humor and quirky characters and I was all set for a day long reading marathon. With nods to infamous horror movies and mystery writers (shout out to Agatha Christie), Kate Racculia weaves and wends a story of murder, mystery, heart and soul that sucks you right in and takes you for a wild ride. This is a perfect read for the teen that loves to read adult books, the adult who loves to read teen books, and absolutely everyone in-between.
You can place a hold on the book in the Deerfield Public Library catalog (www.deerfieldlibrary.org) right now. If you have to wait, be sure to check out “You Might Also Like These…” at the bottom of the catalog page.
This review was previously published by the Deerfield Review.