As In Search of the Rose Notes opens, sixteen years have past since the event that shapes this novel. Nora, through whose eyes we follow the story, has just heard from Charlotte for the first time since the girls left for college. Charlotte has contacted Nora to let her know that a skeleton has been found that is believed to be Rose, their long missing babysitter. Nora returns to the town she grew up in and stays with Charlotte during the re-opened investigation.
Sixteen years earlier, Nora lived with her single mother on the same street with her classmate Charlotte. Since Nora and Charlottes’ mothers worked together and the girls were best friends, Charlotte’s family hired Rose, a local teenager to watch the girls after school each day. Their after school activities follow the expected path of snacks, homework and television, until the girls discovered a set of Time-Life books on various supernatural subjects in Charlotte’s older brother’s closet. From then on, the world of hypnotic states, dream interpretation, Ouiji boards and communicating with ghosts consume the girls time.
One evening after Charlotte’s father came home, Rose walked Nora home as usual, and continued up the hill to her house-or so everyone thought. Rose not only didn’t arrive home that evening, she was not seen again. Charlotte and Nora decide to investigate by using the Time-Life books.