Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White

It's safe to say I'm a HUGE Karen White fan, and especially of her Tradd Street series. I eagerly await the next in the series, and dang it all-- I found out there's going to be just one more in the series. I'm glad, because this one ends with a bit of a cliffhanger that absolutely must be resolved. 

I don't want to give a lot away, since this is the sixth in the series. But the basics of the series I can certainly share: Melanie is a real estate agent in her hometown of Charleston. She sells a lot of old historic homes, and she loathes them, mostly because she can see and hear the dead. A town with the history of Charleston has spirits everywhere, and Melanie isn't a fan of her talent, inherited from her opera singing mother. 

Melanie's home on Tradd Street was inherited from an old man who enjoyed Melanie's company, and knew of her talents. He was convinced his home would be safe in her hands. And through this series, it is safe in her hands after she reluctantly takes ownership and begins restoration work. Of course, there are spirits, both helpful and malevolent hanging around, and Melanie has to solve the historical mysteries before someone gets hurt. Through it all is Jack Trenholm, a dashingly handsome author of historical novels, who is intrigued with Melanie's home and the possibility of writing a new novel based on the history of her home. Jack is, of course, interested in Melanie, too. The attraction between the two moves through all six of the books, and I guess I'm not giving anything away when you see that by this novel, they're happily married, with toddler twins. But the course of love and marriage doesn't run smooth, mostly because Melanie's upbringing left her with some trust issues. Those trust issues drive the plot toward an ending that had me anxious for Melanie, and completely irritated at her, too. 

This sixth novel finds Melanie again dealing with some really unhappy spirits who seem to have been stirred up by the excavation of an old cistern in her back yard. She sees a man with no eyes, a bloody shirt, and some pretty serious anger issues hanging around upstairs, and she just knows trouble is around the corner. Juggling her family, her job, her marriage, and her insecurities, along with the latest threat from Marc Longo, a total jerk who is out to take Melanie's home away from her...well, it's all a big pot that will boil over, with unexpected consequences. 

I rarely, if ever, finish a series. They tend to "jump the shark" about half-way through and I lose interest. This is one series I will read until the end. I absolutely love it. Melanie has come a long way, but she still has moments of annoyance that make me want to shake her! I love the full cast of characters--her parents, her sister, her friends, and yes, even her enemy Marc. Jack is pretty yummy, too. I love the blend of history and paranormal, and of course Charleston is on my list of places to visit. It all combines to make a series that will remain one of my favorites. I don't know how I'm going to wait for the final book in the series! 

And yes, I would recommend reading the series in order, because so much of what happens develops over time, and it will make more sense if you follow the books in order--especially to see the developing relationship between Melanie and Jack, and Melanie and her mother. 

Rating 5/6 for an interesting historical plot about a Revolutionary War spy ring, ghosts, clues, and a race to put it all together. A satisfying addition to the Tradd Street series. Loved it! 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

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