Released: October 2019
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A handsome stranger. A dead billionaire. A citywide treasure hunt. Tuesday Mooney’s life is about to change…forevermore.
From the publisher:
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 adventure finally 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 vivid than others) and discover their most guarded desires and dreams.
Now, despite what the title and blurb would have you believe, there wasn’t a whole lot of scavenger hunting going on and there was only one ghost Tuesday was in communication with. Her relationship with that “ghost” was pretty interesting and heartbreaking, though, and is probably the pairing I enjoyed the most. In addition to Tuesday, the book is written from the point of view of several other characters, with all their lives coming together under the bizarre last will and testament of the enigmatic billionaire Vincent Pryce (not that Vincent Price).
Going into this book, I was really excited- the descriptions and cover were amazing. However, I was disappointed to discover that around about the 60% mark I was losing interest and seriously struggling to finish the book. It’s not that it was poorly written or the story was boring, it just wasn’t the book I thought I would be reading. It was less scavenger hunt caper and more constant internal monologues from the various characters on why they were being so crappy to each other during the hunt. There were a few too many 1%’ers bounding around for my taste, too.
While compelling, most of the characters were pretty stereotypical. The “cool and aloof goth who likes eclectic music,” the “flamboyant gay BFF,” and the “rich and troubled dreamboat” to name a few. I did like most of the characters, especially the gay BFF Dex, it just felt a bit like “The Breakfast Club does Edgar Allen Poe.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that! The characters all worked well with one another for the most part. Plus, I seriously want a Dex in my life.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about Tuesday Mooney. There were some amazing aesthetics throughout the story and it had intriguing enough characters to keep me reading, but I’m not entirely sure what the author was aiming for. It was a vastly different novel than it was described as, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad one.
Maybe I wasn’t the best audience for this book, but it just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be about. The cover, title, and blurb made it out to be a macabre scavenger hunt with a main character who communes with spirits. What it ended up being was more a character driven novel about the various inter-connected people taking part in the hunt.
If I had known that going in, I probably would have enjoyed the book more. Instead, I found myself growing bored with all the internal struggles of the characters and was impatiently waiting for the hunt to get back on. I probably could have done without the love interests, too. They felt like they were thrown in just for the sake of it.
Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts was definitely an interesting and well written book, with a lot of delightful Gothic and spooky influences. The trivia within it was utterly fascinating as well. It was just a lot different than I had expected the story to be which is probably why I wasn’t over the “moon” about it like many other reviewers. In the right hands with the right expectations, though, I think this book will be a winner.
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3 thoughts on “Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia”
I’m sorry it wasn’t for you Jocelyn! It definitely stinks when we expect one sort of book and get another. I hope your next read is more to your taste. (And I also need a Dex in my life!)
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I know, I want to do his version of karaoke 😂
It’s good to know what you’re getting into with a book – so I’m sorry the summary was misleading. I would have felt the same as you, I’m sure. The story that it SOUNDS like it’s going to be is a bit more interesting to me than what seems to have actually been written.
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