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The House on Tradd Street Paperback – November 4, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Tradd Street (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Trade (November 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451225090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451225092
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this engaging novel from Southern novelist White (The Memory of Water), buttoned-up real estate agent Melanie Middleton, lover of order and all things modern, inherits an old house in Charleston, S.C., from a virtual stranger. Melanie can't help seeing the house as a big white elephant, especially regarding the terms; according to the will, Melanie's required to live in the house for a year, restoring it to its former glory, before she can sell so much as a piece of china. But as the house draws the attention (and ulterior motives) of a colorful group of locals, particularly GQ-handsome journalist Jack Trenholm, Melanie finds she has plenty of volunteers to help out. White skillfully balances her tale at the meeting point of romance, mystery and ghost story. The supernatural elements are not played for scares, but instead refine and reveal Melanie's true character; Melanie and Jack flirt with sparkling, snarky energy, but White also digs deeper, giving Melanie a tragic past that's handled with compassion and realism. A fun and satisfying read, this series kickoff should hook a wide audience. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

After playing hooky one day in the seventh grade to read Gone With the Wind, Karen White knew she wanted to be a writer—or become Scarlett O'Hara. In spite of these aspirations, Karen pursued a degree in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, after leaving the business world, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a writer and wrote her first book. In the Shadow of the Moon was published in August, 2000. This book was nominated for the prestigious RITA award in 2001 in two separate categories. Her books have since been nominated for numerous national contests including another RITA, the Georgia Author of the Year Award and in 2008 won the National Readers’ Choice Award for Learning to Breathe.

Karen currently writes what she refers to as ‘grit lit’—southern women’s fiction—and has recently expanded her horizons into writing a mystery series set in Charleston. Her tenth novel, The Lost Hours, will be released in trade paperback by New American Library, a division of Penguin Publishing Group, in April 2009.

Karen hails from a long line of Southerners but spent most of her growing up years in London, England and is a graduate of the American School in London. She currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two teenaged children, and a spoiled Havanese dog (who appears in several of her books), Quincy. When not writing, she spends her time reading, singing, playing piano, chauffeuring children and avoiding cooking.

More About the Author

I grew up being a voracious reader and it was a natural step to turn my interest to writing. I have published 18 award-winning and bestselling novels including my January 2014 release, RETURN TO TRADD STREET, which debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at number 6.

I write what others have termed "grit-lit"--southern women's fiction, as well as a contemporary paranormal mystery series set in Charleston, South Carolina. All of my books are set in the US South, and feature a female protagonist at a crossroads in her life.

I live near Atlanta, Georgia with my husband, two children, and the cutest Havanese dog, Quincy, whom readers may recognize as General Lee in the Tradd Street series.

My upcoming book, A LONG TIME GONE, will be released by New American Library, a division of Penguin Publishing, on June 3, 2014. It's set in the Mississippi Delta where my mother was born and raised and where I spent many happy childhood summers.

Up next: the re-release of my first two books IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON and WHISPERS OF GOODBYE in 2015!

For more about me and my books, please visit my website at or follow me on Facebook at and Twitter @KarenWhiteWrite.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By S. Agusto-Cox on November 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Karen White's The House on Tradd Street is part romance, part ghost story, part mystery. The narration of this novel grips the reader with its beautiful descriptions of South Carolina and the historic neighborhoods of Charleston. Melanie Middleton specializes in historic home sales, though she hates historic homes and believes those who buy historic homes are saps willing to waste thousands of dollars on renovations. Fate brings her into the home of Mr. Vanderhorst, who asks Melanie if she saw a woman in the garden. He suddenly dies and leaves her his home.

Melanie is given a historic home and the money to renovate and repair it from the Vanderhorst estate. There are a great cast of characters in this book from Mr. Vanderhorst to his mother's ghost and Melanie, her father, and Jack Trenholm. Melanie is a barracuda in the real estate world, but her inability to relate to her family or male companions hampers her ability to widen her horizons. Meanwhile, Jack uses his good looks and fame to woo women to his side and charm them out of information so he can uncover historical mysteries and publish novels. His charm and good looks, on the other hand, are just a cover.

The restoration at Tradd Street begins, and Melanie is overwhelmed by her responsibilities and the two attractive men that have fallen into her life--Marc Longo and Jack Trenholm. In spite of the restoration, Melanie gets wrapped up in the mystery surrounding Mr. Vanderhorst's mother's disappearance and the ghosts that haunt her new home.

White easily draws the reader into the beauty of Charleston and her ghost mystery.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Amy Leemon VINE VOICE on November 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book has everything - an intriguing story line involving missing diamonds from the Civil War, ghosts (good AND bad), location (historic Charleston), a hero with a secret, a bad guy with his own secret, Melanie Middleton who has a long way to go for the peaceful well-ordered life she wants and the house on Tradd Street which brings them all together.

A great mystery, a love story and a ghost story make for an enjoyable read.

The 2nd book in this series will be out in November, 2009.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By JerseyGirl VINE VOICE on November 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you like ghost stories and the paranormal, if you like antiques and treasure hunts,if you like historic houses and Charleston, SC, if you like lots of humor and a little bit of romance, then read this book! I really, really enjoyed this page-turner and stayed up all night one night to try and make it to the end to see what happens. Melanie Middleton inherits the house on Tradd Street in Charleston built in 1840 from an old southern gentleman who has a sad and haunting story to tell. From the moment she meets Nevin Vanderhorst, who leaves her his historic and haunted house, Melanie is caught up in the story that the house has to tell. The action never stops and the story telling is wonderful. Don't miss the House on Tradd Street; there is something for everyone here. And there is another book coming in this series so hopefully we will see if Melanie and Jack ever get together!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By skrishna VINE VOICE on November 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
As you can probably tell by the rating, I enjoyed The House on Tradd Street immensely. First of all, the setting was wonderful. I was in Charleston, SC last year, and White really has a way of making the setting come alive. Her descriptions are vivid, and she manages to convey a sense of grandeur and history, coupled with the haunting quality that comes with these old houses. I thought she did a magnificent job with the setting.

The characters are definitely well-written. The reader can really understand Melanie's need to control everything around her and her feelings towards her parents. However, she is not intransigent or annoyingly stubborn; it is wonderful to watch her relationship with her father heal throughout the book. Indeed, she evolves quite a bit as a character, and it is a satisfying journey to watch. Jack is a great character as well; he is obviously damaged, but manages to hide it incredibly well with his charm and good looks. It is obvious from the beginning of the book that these two are made for each other, but it's not annoyingly predictable.

And finally, the mystery. This had me on the edge of my seat, reading frantically in an effort to finish the book before class (I knew that if I didn't, I would end up skipping class to discover what happens to Melanie, Jack, and the house on Tradd Street). It really is that captivating. It unfolds very slowly; the reader is at the middle of the book by the time the real mystery is actually uncovered. Sometimes, this might be frustrating, but in The House on Tradd Street, that is not the case. Instead, it serves as a reminder that the mystery of Louisa's disappearance is the underlying story to the novel and is one of the reasons that Melanie agreed to take the house.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christy Mizell on May 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Charleston is my home so I am more than aware of the ghost stories that surround the homes in the city. We (Charleston natives) happen to believe most of them! This book was so intriguing, I had to make myself put it down! The places such as restaurants and shops are authentically correct. Buy the book, you will keep it on your shelf and re-read on a stormy, chilly, windy day! I can't wait to buy the sequel. FYI, Ms. White keeps her novels on the clean side of romance.

Charleston, SC
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