"Theme Music"

Orphaned as a baby after the slaughter of her family by her father, Dixie Wheeler longs for the family she never knew. Dixie was found by her eldest brother’s friend Rory in a blood-soaked kitchen, Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” blaring on the stereo; Dixie lost her family and got the nickname “Baby Blue” before she could even remember.

Growing up with her father’s sister and husband, her well meaning Aunt Celia tried to protect Dixie from her past as best as she could, but the death of her own daughter and her absentee husband left her aunt ill equipped for Dixie’s incessant questioning.

Twenty-five years after the massacre, Baby Blue wants answers. When she learns that her childhood home is for sale, Dixie sets out to return to the site where Baby Blue was born with the hope of discovering the missing pieces to the puzzle of her family history. Risking everything—her relationships with her long-term boyfriend Garrett and Aunt Celia, her sanity and her life—she moves into the house where it all began and recreates the backdrop of the home where the sudden, grim attack on her family occurred.

Among the musty chairs and boxes, Dixie discovers the police file from the murders hidden in an old desk and tracks down the detective who worked the case. What she learns from him shakes the very foundation of her existence. Unexpectedly reconnecting with Rory, she learns more details that shed new light on the day that changed Baby Blue’s life forever. Engulfed by her pursuit for the truth, Dixie is tormented by the ghosts of the past as she rushes to find the truth once and for all and to discover if it is the house that is haunted…or her mind.

“Theme Music” is clever and suspenseful, peppered throughout with Vandelly’s dark sense of humor, an impressive debut. We should all look forward to what this author has in store for us next.

The book’s publisher, Dutton, has created a Spotify playlist inspired by this novel. If you are looking for a fully immersive experience, I highly suggest checking out the theme music for “Theme Music.”