The House On Tradd Street by Karen White

About the book:

Practical-minded Charleston realtor Melanie Middleton hates to admit that she can see ghosts—even to herself. But now she’s going to have to accept it. Because an old man she met only days ago has died, leaving Melanie his historic Tradd Street home, complete with housekeeper, dog—and a family of ghosts anxious to tell her something…

Enter Jack Trenholm, a gorgeous writer obsessed with unsolved mysteries. He has reason to believe that some diamonds that went missing from the Confederate Treasury a century ago are hidden in Melanie’s new home. So he decides to turn the charm on with the new tenant, only to discover that he’s suddenly the smitten one...

But it turns out that Jack’s search has caught the attention of a possibly malevolent ghostly presence. Now, Jack and Melanie must unravel a mystery of passion, heartbreak, and even murder. And they must hurry, for an evil force—either dead or alive—lies in wait…

This is the first book of Karen White's that I have read, but I can tell you I am going to try and get my hand on her others - this was a fantastic story. This book is part romance, part ghost story, and part mystery, but is woven in a way as there is no way to distinguish between them.

I have never been to South Carolina - this is a part of the country that I have always wanted to visit, and after this read she has ignited that passion even more. The description of the architecture, and the home that Melanie inherits from Mr. Vanderhorst were superb, I felt as if I was standing inside and could view every minute detail. Unfortunately, Melanie is not so thrilled. It comes as a shock to her that this house has been left to her, after all she has just met the owner 2 days prior while trying to talk to him about selling - even though she is not particularly fond of old houses (she doesn't really like them at all), it is the type of real estate sale she specializes in.

Melanie is not only left the house, but the funds to start the renovations...and there are quite a few of them that need to take place. She can refuse to accept the home, but if she does accept it she has to live in it for at least a year before she decides to sell (if she does). Even though it is not her cup of tea, she decides to accept the house and see what happens.

In walks Jack Trenholm. Jack is a writer that suspects there is a treasure hidden in the house. He volunteers to help Melanie with the remodeling but his intentions are completely noble - he is hoping to uncover something in the process. Before he knows what has happened, his feelings for Melanie have become quite strong and the house falls to the background.

But, there is something in the house that isn't happy to have them there. A spirit...but of who? Mrs. Vanderhorst, whose disappeared many years before with no information as to what happened?

This is a great read and is sure to please!

About the author:

Karen White marries her passion for Charleston, the architecture of the area, and its history and legends in her new novel THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET, the story of a real estate agent who, though she specializes in homes in the city’s historic area, detests them. To do so, Karen had to conjure up and face a universal horror—renovation. Unlike her recent book, The Memory Of Water, for which she physically confronted her lifelong fear of deep water for the sake of research, this time out she enjoyed a metaphorical wallow in the joys associated with restoring a one hundred and fifty year old house and garden and let her characters deal with the pain.

White’s protagonists face everything from a leaky roof, old fountains, and cracked cornices to overgrown flowerbeds, paint chipped ceilings, disintegrating plaster and warped floorboards. For herself she saved the best. Her research included luxurious strolls on the streets of Charleston, sampling and choosing restaurants such as Magnolias, Gaulart & Malicelet, Cru Café, Blossom and Anson for her characters to enjoy. Rumor has it she also did a bit of shopping at RTW on King Street and spent an afternoon on the Battery visiting White Point Gardens. Relishing the architecture and choosing among Victorians, Federals, Colonial Revivals, Queen Anne, Dutch Colonials and others, along with the amazing range of colors and appointments, Karen eventually placed the house at the center of her story at “55 Tradd Street” in the downtown historic district and, inspired by an actual house on that street, imagined it as a Federal style single family home.

Italian and French by ancestry, a southerner and a story teller by birth, White has moved around quite a bit in her life. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she has also lived in Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana, Georgia, Venezuela and England, where she attended the American School in London. She returned to the states for college and graduated from New Orleans’ Tulane University. Hailing from a family with roots firmly set in Mississippi (the Delta and Biloxi), White notes that “searching for home brings me to the south again and again.” She and her family now live near Atlanta.

It was love at first sight when White first visited Charleston and South Carolina’s lowcountry in 1995. She says it was “inevitable” that she would set several novels in the area, as she did with 2005’s The Color of Light, which Booklist praises as “an accomplished novel about loss and renewal.” Three years later, she returned to the there with The Memory Of Water and, now, to Charleston with THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET. Her love of the southern coast shows no sign of abating. Her next novel, The Lost Hours (May 09) is set in and around Savannah.

Karen White’s work has appeared on the South East Independent Booksellers best sellers list. Her recent novel The Memory of Water, was the Borders Books and Atlanta & Company’s Book Club Selection for May, topped off at the end of the month with their live, television interview with Karen. The Memory of Water, which is well reviewed in Atlanta Magazine and an array of other print and online book media, and was adopted by numerous independent booksellers as a book club recommendation and as a featured title in their store. It’s been back to press five times since its March 2008 publication, the first time within its first four weeks on sale. It is one of NAL/Accent’s fastest selling titles.

Adding to the excitement of The Memory of Water’s March 2008 debut, was the resounding, continued recognition achieved by White’s 2007 novel Learning to Breathe. This spring Learning to Breathe was honored with a National Readers’ Choice Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Virginia Romance Writers HOLT Medallion. It was also named a finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s Award for Best Novel, the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence and the Georgia Author of the Year Award.

White credits years spent listening to adults visiting in her grandmother’s Mississippi kitchen, sharing stories and gossiping while she played under the table, with starting her on the road to telling her own tales. The deal was sealed in the seventh grade when she skipped school and read Gone With The Wind. She knew—just knew—she was destined to grow up to be either Scarlet O’Hara or a writer.

In addition to THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET, White’s previous novels include Learning to Breathe, Pieces of the Heart, and The Color of Light.

THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on November 3 and end on November 26. You can visit Karen's blog stops at in November to find out more about her latest book!As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner(s) will be announced on our main blog at on November 30!


Beth F said...

Great review. I'll have to check it out.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great review--I'm glad you enjoyed the book!

And please let your readers know that the sequel to THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET will be out in November, 2009. The title is THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET.

Liviania said...

I enjoyed this one too! My review of it is going to go up soon.

Cheryl said...

I absolutely loved this book! I can't wait until the sequel comes out!!!!


Literary Feline said...

I'm really looking forward to the next book. I enjoyed the time I spent in The House on Tradd Street.

Margay Leah Justice said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. Great review!