Melanie Middleton, a successful real estate agent, lives in a stark, new condominium in Charleston, South Carolina, a few short miles away from the old majestic homes located south of Broad in the historic district. She specializes in the sale of these historic homes, yet personally, she hates everything they represent. She doesn't understand the fascination people have with them and thinks the cost of keeping up such homes is a waste of money. As a child, Melanie lived in one of those homes with her mother until she walked out of Melanie's life at the age of eight, leaving her with some bad memories and a lot of hurt. It was her grandmother's house and also where Melanie first experienced seeing people that others didn't see. People from long ago times who have been dead for decades. Melanie doesn't like to talk about her ability to see dead people and she tries to pretend they aren't there. These ghosts play a big part in why she dislikes the old homes that have made Charleston so famous with the tourists. She usually just ignores the ghosts and they leave her alone. But when Melanie inherits the house at 55 Tradd Street from a man she met only once, she can't ignore them any longer. There are mysteries involving the house and the previous owners and because of a promise Melanie made, she feels an obligation to find out what really happened even if it means opening some doors to her own past that she has locked out of her mind for years. To complicate matters, there are other people who are also interested in the house for far more selfish reasons and they will do almost anything to get what they want.
THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET by Karen White is a book I've had my eye on for awhile. The cover was always drawing me to the book and the fact that I love stories about houses made it even more irresistible. There is more than one mystery going on this story. As soon as I started reading, I knew this was going to be a book I would enjoy. Having never read one of Ms. White's books, I didn't know what to expect. What I found was a writing style that flowed from page to page with drama, suspense, a bit of romance and humor all mixed in. The most surprising element was the humorous side of some of the characters that I wasn't expecting. It made me chuckle and endeared those characters to me more and more.
The paranormal parts of the book were perfectly integrated and were not over the top or far fetched in any way. They were subtle and added a great element to this story. If you don't normally read books that feature ghosts and are not sure if you'd like them or not, this is a perfect book to test out the waters. I, myself, don't read many paranormal books and I was completely satisfied with this book.
Another plus is the interesting cast of characters. Some are quirky, some are funny and some are not, so there is a wide range of people that make it interesting without having too many to keep straight.
The second book in this series is THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET, which was released last November. I'm picking it up from the library tomorrow. Because I enjoyed her writing so much, there are other books by Karen White that I have moved up on my TBR list. You can check out her website for more on her books, all the latest news and how to get Karen to participate in your book club, along with other useful information.
Author: Karen White
Publisher: NAL Trade
Published: November 2008
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars