A high school music festival goes awry when a young prodigy disappears from a hotel room that was the site of a famous murder/suicide fifteen years earlier—in this “deliciously dark confection of a novel, and one of the most thoroughly enjoyable books I’ve read in years" (Celeste Ng).
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).
About the Author
KATE RACCULIA is the author of the novels This Must Be the Place and Bellweather Rhapsody, winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award. She received her MFA from Emerson College and now works for the Bethlehem Area Public Library in Pennsylvania. You can find her at www.kateracculia.com or @kateracculia.
"Delightfully odd...Racculia, clearly a fan of Agatha Christie, stuffs the Bellweather with a fine cast of misfits and dreamers and foes...The pleasures of this great yarn are not just its full heart but its clever head.A" —Entertainment Weekly, Grade: A "Warm, entertaining and thoughtful, and a glorious celebration of music...Fans of Racculia’s first book, This Must Be the Place, will recognize her quirky style and her great affection for her oddball characters." —Minneapolis Star-Tribune "A rollicking story...Racculia’s exuberant voice inspires laugh-out loud moments while also bringing to life broken people who find solace in each other’s heartaches...[Bellweather Rhapsody] hits all of the right notes for a darkly awesome summer read." —Wisconsin State Journal "An entertaining and enthralling yarn...This is the stuff that dreams and nightmares are made of: what one is willing to go through – or not go through – when you’re infused with a dazzling talent." —PopMatters "Bellweather Rhapsody is 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 "Witty and smartly moving, Kate Racculia's Bellweather Rhapsody offers a heart-thumping mystery of music and murder, wherein the past repeats itself, and in doing so becomes malleable again: just as an orchestral score can be rearranged to new effect, so an unsolved crime sometimes returns to shock and surprise anew—and in both cases the outcomes are as unpredictable as they are suspenseful." —Matt Bell, author of In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods "[A] deft mix of horror, high school drama, locked-door mystery (or, rather, locked-hotel mystery), twin-seeking-twin closeness, adult (and teen!) romance, and some truly adult violence and guilt. At its heart, Bellweather Rhapsody as about talent: what it means to have it, what it means to lose it (if that’s possible), how on earth you’re supposed to wield a magic you can barely understand before you’re even old enough to drive, and what kind of adult you might turn out to be if you fail." —Book Riot "This rich brew of a novel from Racculia (This Must Be the Place) mixes together murder, music, and eccentric humor. In 1982, in Clinton’s Kill, N.Y., a new bride murdered her husband, then killed herself, shortly after checking into Room 712 of the Bellweather Hotel. In 1997, high school drama queen Alice Hatmaker checks into the same room to perform at the statewide music festival, along with her talented twin brother, Rabbit. Alice’s roommate is virtuoso flautist Jill Faccelli, whose overbearing mother, Viola Fabian, runs the festival. As a snow storm looms, Alice finds Jill hanged in one of the rooms. But when she returns with help, the body is missing, replaced by a note reading, “NOW SHE IS MINE.” Only Minnie Graves, who witnessed the original murder-suicide when she was 10 and has returned to the hotel as a young woman to confront her demons, believes Alice’s story. Together, she and Alice try to find out what happened to Jill. Racculia thus sets the stage for a novel of dueling wills, marked by textured characterization a —