cover image The Hitchcock Hotel

The Hitchcock Hotel

Stephanie Wrobel. Berkley, $29 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-54711-3

Wrobel’s diverting if somewhat lethargic latest (after This Might Hurt) introduces Hitchcock aficionado Alfred Smettle, owner of the eponymous hotel, a bed-and-breakfast (complete with a crow-filled aviary) in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. To celebrate the first anniversary of the hotel’s grand opening, Alfred invites five friends from his university film club for a four-day stay. Few members of the group—which includes security specialist TJ, entrepreneur Samira, hedge fund manager Grace, recently disgraced restaurateur Zoe, and luxury clothing heir Julius—have remained close in the 16 years since they graduated, but each has their own private reason for accepting Alfred’s invitation. The group’s mild interest in reuniting turns to unease as the weekend wears on and buried secrets from their university days rise to the surface, calling into question why, exactly, Alfred has summoned them. Eventually, somebody dies. Wrobel front-loads the narrative with too much exposition, but once the secrets are out, she delivers a fun third act. Hitchcock fans will delight in the copious easter eggs, but others will find this unremarkable. Agent: Madeleine Milburn, Madeleine Milburn Agency. (Sept.)