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Jazzi Zanders, along with her cousin Jerod and her husband Ansel, is starting work on their new fixer-upper, a house that reminds her of an English manor in the small college town of Merlot, Indiana. It was originally owned by members of a prestigious family that passed it down through the generations until they sold it suddenly and moved away. Jazzi and the guys walked through most of the house when they inspected it for structure issues before they bought it but only looked at a few of the bedrooms upstairs. When they get possession of it and do a more thorough walk-through, Jazzi discovers the fifth bedroom hasn’t been touched in years. Its walls are still pink. Dust covers the pink canopy bed and clothes still hang in its closet. And there’s a hope chest. When they open it, it’s full of a young woman’s treasures—class pictures from grade school, ribbons and trophies, yearbooks and journals.
Jazzi calls the original owners to ask if they’d like the memories before they remove them, but Lorraine Hodgkill tells her the hope chest’s contents will only revive a painful memory and asks Jazzi to never call her again. Jazzi can’t make herself trash a young girl’s thoughts and dreams, so takes the chest home to look through it. And discovers that Jessica Hodgkill was pushed off her home’s balcony and killed in the middle of her high school graduation party. No one was ever blamed for her murder.
Jazzi would leave it at that, except that her best friend’s husband grew up in Merlot, and people suspected him of killing Jessica. Every time he returns home to visit his parents and family, people point and whisper. He asks Jazzi to look into Jessica’s death to prove he was innocent. Jazzi’s not sure how much she can help but agrees. She discovers there were more than a few people who didn’t wish Jessica well, including her own father, the Hodgkills' next door neighbor, and two of her classmates. To complicate matters, in the midst of renovating and investigating, Ansel is finishing their cottage’s basement to make a playroom. And he invites all of Jazzi’s family and friends to a Halloween party...