New York Times bestselling author Karen White has no shortage of fans. A southern girl at heart, she has built a reputation for creating a sense of place in her southern-based novels and a unique ability to describe powerful character relationships. With the November release of the third book in her Charleston series, The Strangers on Montagu Street, White doesn’t disappoint. In fact, many are calling this her best book yet.
It all started with The House on Tradd Street, in which White introduced her heroine Melanie Middleton, a real estate agent in Charleston, South Carolina. Fans developed an immediate affection for Melanie and were drawn into her turbulent relationship with Jack Trenholm, a charming author with a tendency to make a mess of things (which makes me smile).
Jack and Melanie’s on-again off-again relationship had simmered to a stall by the end of the second book, The Girl on Legare Street. Now, Jack is engaged to marry Melanie’s cousin (sigh), but that doesn’t stop the chemistry from heating up again in this third book…much to readers’ delight.
While romance keeps the pages turning, the main storyline involves Jack’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Nola. She shows up unexpectedly after the death of her mother and, for a variety of reasons, moves in with Melanie.
Melanie’s character is one we love to root for, but her most interesting quality is her ability to communicate with dead people. Yes, this is not just a love story. It’s a love story with ghosts! Sound cliché? It sure could be, but with White (a master wordsmith) at the helm, the novel is crafted with near perfect pacing and supreme structure to keep us wanting more, and more, and more…even after the last word is read.
Nothing about this story feels contrived, even when Melanie is contacted by Nola’s deceased mother. In The Strangers on Montagu Street, Karen White has given us an old Victorian house in historic Charleston, an off-limits love interest who is trying to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter, a strong-spirited heroine with a fear of what she needs most in the world, and a can’t-turn-the-pages-fast-enough suspense/romance/soak your feet in a bubble bath and exhale kind of escape. What more could a reader want?
While White promises to bring us a fourth book in this series, most fans are hoping it never ends. These characters provide just the perfect dose of imperfect quirkiness and hopeful aspirations to keep even the most jaded reader inspired. Spooky, sensual, suspenseful…simply put, this is a book you’ll read and pass immediately to a friend because it’s just too good not to share!