Saturday, December 23, 2017

Book Review: The House on Tradd Street by Kate White

The House on Tradd Street
Author: Karen White
Series: Tradd Street (Book 1)
Publication: Berkley (Nov. 4, 2008)

Description: The brilliant, chilling debut of Karen White's New York Times bestselling Tradd Street series, featuring a Charleston real estate agent who loves old houses—and the secret histories inside them.

Practical Melanie Middleton hates to admit she can see ghosts. But she's going to have to accept it. An old man she recently met has died, leaving her his historic Tradd Street home, complete with housekeeper, dog—and a family of ghosts anxious to tell her their secrets.

Enter Jack Trenholm, a gorgeous writer obsessed with unsolved mysteries. He has reason to believe that diamonds from the Confederate Treasury are hidden in the house. So he turns the charm on with Melanie, only to discover he's the smitten one...

It turns out Jack's search has caught the attention of a malevolent ghost. Now, Jack and Melanie must unravel a mystery of passion, heartbreak—and even murder.

My Thoughts: When Melanie Middleton inherits a historic Tradd Street home from a man she met only once, she has to solve the mystery of the man's mother's disappearance which eerily parallels her own abandonment by her mother. Melanie vehemently denies that she sees ghosts but that doesn't stop her from seeing them.

As she begins to restore the home, with the assistance of Jack Trenholm who is a writer in need of a book idea, her best friend Sophie who is a quirky college professor whose specialty is old Charleston homes, and Chad who is one of her clients looking for a house.

Trying to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Louisa Vanderhorst leads to another mystery. A Vanderhorst ancestor might have hidden some Confederate diamonds somewhere in the house. Melanie could use the diamonds to help restore the house but a descendant of the man Louisa was supposed to have run off with - Marc Longo - is also on the hunt for the diamonds.

Besides ghosts, this book has tangled family relationships. Melanie's father, who turned to alcohol when Melanie's mother left, has been named the trustee of the money left to Melanie to restore the home. Melanie has long since learned that he could not be depended on. Also Melanie's mother has been trying to contact her but Melanie has written her out of her life.

This was an excellent and spooky mystery with a great setting and intriguing characters.

Favorite Quote:
I looked at the windows again, trying to see them with her eyes. But where she saw a work of art and painstaking skill, I saw only an old window that would probably cost a small fortune to repair if it ever got broken. I wanted, for a brief moment, to see the beauty of it, but I hadn't been able to see the beauty in anything since I was seven years old.
I bought this one March 4, 2014. You can buy your copy here.

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