December Read of the Month: “Return to Tradd Street,” by Karen White

Karen White

Karen White

Reviewed by Lynn Braxton

When Charleston Realtor Melanie Middleton inherits an historic house from a benefactor she met only once, Charlestonians wonder what coercion she employed to gain the property, not realizing that Melanie has a pronounced dislike for old houses, branding the crumbling ruins as money pits. To make matters worse, and 55 Tradd Street even more unpalatable in her eyes, she quickly discovers Nevin Vanderhorst’s bequest to her is populated with a host of unfriendly spirits.

Fortunately, Melanie is armed with the perfect weapon to drive these unwanted occupants from her house, a family with a history of psychic abilities, the strongest being her own mother, former opera diva Ginnette Prioleau, and General Lee, a possessive little canine of unidentifiable origins, also left to her by Nevin Vanderhorst. And, all of this is just for starters.

In the midst of her efforts to wrest Tradd Street from her ghostly detractors, Melanie finds herself, at 40 and single, pregnant by local author, Jack Trenholm, a man she is pretty sure doesn’t love her; the unexpected appearance of Jack’s teenage daughter, Nola, a gifted musician with goth tendencies; and, predictably, New Yorkers George and Irene Gilbert, the “real” heirs to the house at 55 Tradd Street.

Readers can follow Melanie’s tumultuous journey as she discovers she is coming to love the old house and prepares to fight for it, the birth of twins, and ultimately, the surprising resolution to her love-hate relationship with Jack Trenholm.

Karen WhIte writes a plausible, entertaining, and easy-to-read story in this, the fourth book in her Tradd Street series. Her familiarity with the locale, customs, and history of Charleston is skillfully woven throughout the fabric of this story.

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