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The House On Tradd Street    by Karen White order for
House On Tradd Street
by Karen White
Order:  USA  Can
New American Library, 2008 (2008)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Melanie Middleton is a successful real estate agent in Charleston, South Carolina. Her specialty is old historic homes, even though they don't appeal to her personally. She prefers the sleek modern lines like the condo she lives in. Old homes often have ghosts that not everyone can see, though Melanie can. She has inherited this sixth sense from her mother and grandmother and tries hard not to acknowledge it.

She has been called to an old home on Tradd Street thinking the owner was going to list it on the market. The owner, Nevin Vanderhorst, is from a prominent, wealthy family. Arriving at the house Melanie can see it is in a state of disrepair. Charming Mr. Vanderhorst informs Melanie of their connection. His father and her grandfather were law partners years ago. He talks of the past, revealing family secrets and listens intently to Melanie's input. She leaves without the listing, but she knows for certain the house has ghosts. She saw a young woman and young boy on the outside swing when she walked through the gate. Nevin asked if she had seen them.

Days later Melanie learns that Nevin Vanderhorst has passed away and has left his entire estate to her. This includes the house On Tradd Street and enough money for the restoration. The will stipulates she must live in the house for one year before she sells it. At first Melanie cannot even imagine living there, knowing of the ghosts. After letting the idea take hold she realizes that she must help put Nevin Vanderhorst to rest and try to unravel the mystery surrounding his mother's disappearance when he was a child.

Jack Trenholm, a handsome young author, living in Charleston, is writing a book on unsolved mysteries. He has heard rumours of the Vanderhorst home being haunted and wants to write about it. He befriends Melanie, soon earns her trust and gains access to the house. There is immediate electricity between the two but they each are trying to act professional. With the help of friends, and Melanie's father, they begin the house restoration. Melanie moves in and strange things start happening. Jack moves in as a roommate to keep watch over Melanie and the antiques. They discover old photo albums and letters in their search for the truth, but someone or something wants to keep them away from it. As they continue their quest, they soon discover it involves heartbreak, passion, and even murder.

The House On Tradd Street has it all, mystery, romance, and the paranormal including ghosts with quirky personalities. For me this is White's best work and I am looking forward to the sequel.

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