The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

Tradd Street is a fun & light hearted series that is nice to pick up to give my brain a rest from all the ‘heavier’ novels I find myself gravitating toward. Unfortunately, this is probably my least favorite of the series thus far. It wasn’t bad I just didn’t like the storyline as much as I’ve enjoyed others. Hated the ending. Thought it felt very out of place and unrealistically dramatic even for this series. Still love me some Karen White & will always be giddy when I see a new book. 3.5 stars.
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I really enjoy the characters in these books and how they have grown over the course of the series. Melanie is trying to get used to having a sister and is having some jealousy over Jayne's closeness with her parents. It is understandable since she was an only child until recently. But Jayne can understand some things about Melanie that other people can't because they share the gift of being able to see spirits. As their mother keeps saying "They are stronger together." There is a mystery to be solved involving the Vanderhorst family and another property that they owned, Gallen Hall Plantation. I really enjoyed the information about the peacock spy ring and I liked the Christmas theme of the book and hearing about all of the historic decorations. And you do not have to read the other books in this series to read this one. However, this book does end with a cliffhanger.

I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from Berkley Publishing Group through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White is a 2019 Berkley publication.

A Christmas present for Tradd Street fans!!

Melanie is not exactly in the holiday spirit- so to speak- mainly because she’s harboring a secret from Jack, which is a big no-no, and she knows it, despite all of her rationalizations.

She’s also dealing with renovations, an ongoing mystery, a bit of sibling rivalry, Jack’s publishing woes, and her constant craving for sugar.

But, when it comes to her attention that there is the possibility of lucrative treasure buried somewhere on her property, and that her arch enemy is trying to locate it, she plunges herself into a revolutionary aged mystery full of intrigue and heartbreak, as she desperately tries to hold on to everything she holds dear.

I just love this series! Melanie is such a human character- she’s realistically flawed, conflicted and maybe a bit damaged, but I still root for her even when I know she's headed for trouble. While I understand all this about Melanie, sometimes I think people are too hard on her, dismiss her, or take her for granted- which is why I suppose I still feel sympathetic towards her despite her self- sabotage.

This installment has some truly interesting history, which was right up my alley. In fact, the mystery is one of the best in the series, in my humble opinion.

However, the conclusion left me breathless and heartbroken!! AARRGH! I hope we won't have to wait too long for book seven!!

Overall, I’m thankful for this holiday edition of one of my favorite series!!
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I didn't realize this was sixth in a series, but it worked out fine. The author did a nice job of filling in the backstory.  Really enjoyed the Charleston, NC setting with the history.

Karen White has an easy writing style that allowed me to enjoy this Tradd Street mystery. The quirky characters, roaming spirits and "ghost" mystery were entertaining.

Now waiting for the next!
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Karen White is another author I keep my eye on, looking for anything new that she writes. Here is a great book to read for this season, The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street. I have read every book in the Tradd Street series which is fun southern fiction based in South Carolina. I always like books based in the south and imagine myself living there. The little details put you right in South Carolina.

SYNOPSIS:

Melanie Trenholm should be anticipating Christmas with nothing but joy–after all, it’s the first Christmas she and her husband, Jack, will celebrate with their twin babies. But the ongoing excavation of the centuries-old cistern in the garden of her historic Tradd Street home has been a huge millstone, both financially and aesthetically. Local students are thrilled by the possibility of unearthing more Colonial-era artifacts at the cistern, but Melanie is concerned by the ghosts connected to the cistern that have suddenly invaded her life and her house–and at least one of them is definitely not filled with holiday cheer….

And these relics aren’t the only precious artifacts for which people are searching. A past adversary is convinced that there is a long-lost Revolutionary War treasure buried somewhere on the property that Melanie inherited–untold riches rumored to be brought over from France by the Marquis de Lafayette himself and intended to help the Colonial war effort. It’s a treasure literally fit for a king, and there have been whispers throughout history that many have already killed–and died–for it. And now someone will stop at nothing to possess it–even if it means destroying everything Melanie holds dear.

If you haven’t read books by Karen before, she has written tons, you have many to pick from. I think I have read almost everything and my favorites include Dreams of Falling and Flight Patterns.

Get The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street here!
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Over the years I have had my eye on the Tradd Street series by Karen White. I have read Karen White’s other books and collaborations but have yet to pick up her more popular Tradd Street series.

I really have no particular reason other than I just don’t think if it when I go on the hunt for a mystery. Well this book came up for review and the lovely cozy Christmas cover hooked me.

As always, I had some trepidations about picking this book up with is being number 6 in the series, but I simply couldn’t pass on this adorable cover and the perfect excuse to pick up this series once and for all!

Summary
Melanie Trenholm should be anticipating Christmas with nothing but joy–after all, it’s only the second Christmas she and her husband, Jack, will celebrate with their twin babies. But the ongoing excavation of the centuries-old cistern in the garden of her historic Tradd Street home has been a huge millstone, both financially and aesthetically. Local students are thrilled by the possibility of unearthing more Colonial-era artifacts at the cistern, but Melanie is concerned by the ghosts connected to the cistern that have suddenly invaded her life and her house–and at least one of them is definitely not filled with holiday cheer….

And these relics aren’t the only precious artifacts for which people are searching. A past adversary is convinced that there is a long-lost Revolutionary War treasure buried somewhere on the property that Melanie inherited–untold riches rumored to be brought over from France by the Marquis de Lafayette himself and intended to help the Colonial war effort. It’s a treasure literally fit for a king, and there have been whispers throughout history that many have already killed–and died–for it. And now someone will stop at nothing to possess it–even if it means destroying everything Melanie and Jack hold dear (summary from Goodreads)

Review
While this book can be read as a standalone, I could tell there were some side plots that were well established and had I started the series from the beginning, then I would have probably appreciated the side plots more. I thought Melanie was always rather busy, it seemed like there was always a lot of activity around her which causes a strain on her marriage etc. I thought Melanie was a great depiction of the modern mother being pulled in a million directions and I think a lot of readers will connect with her over this aspect of the story.

The characters were well realized and formed and I could tell there was a lot of back story readers could glean from the other books in the series. While I am a new reader, it wasn’t distracting but rather made me want to read the other books and find out what all I had missed along the way.

Where this book shines though is the mystery and history! I am not a huge fan of Revolutionary history but White had a daft hand with this history and sprinkled the right amount of detail in and I loved it! I enjoyed all the little spooky parts of the mystery and how it was all resolved. The mystery held my interest all the way through until the end and I felt satisfied with that arc of the story being resolved.

What I struggled with a bit though was the unresolved arc of Melanie and Jack. The way the book ended was too much of a cliff hanger for me. I wanted to see things just a little more resolved going into the next book, but I can also understand that in a series, cliff hangers are common place and often expected but I was hoping for a little more closure before this one ended.

That said, I loved the holiday feel of this book. It had a little holiday cheer but enough spookiness that made the transition from Halloween reading to Christmas reading feel less jarring!

Book Info and Rating
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Berkley Books
ISBN 0451475240 (ISBN13: 9780451475244)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Mystery, holiday
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The sixth in a series of books that all take place in Charleston, SC and involve historical homes that have spirits still roaming the halls.  Melanie Trenholm is able to "see" these spirits and semi communicate with them and hopefully help them get to their next destination, this book takes place during the holidays as there are Revolutionary War spirits who are still dealing with events from that time and need Melanie to solve some puzzles to help them crossover.  

First on this series.  I would advise that it is best to start at the beginning as there is a lot of character development that you would miss if you start out here on this book or in the middle of the series.  Each "ghost story" is self contained in each book, but I think you need to slowly meet Melanie and the cast of characters that show up in book after book.  

I have enjoyed this series even though I am not quite a ghost story kind of girl.  The slight nod to historical events is what keeps me reading these books.  For me these books are good, but not great.  It was hard where this book left off, Melanie wasn't in a great place, so I will definitely have to read the next one so I can at the least get an update on Melanie's personal life and how that is going beyond the ghosts.
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It's difficult when you're invested in a series and the books start to degrade but that seems to be the case with the Tradd Street books. There is too much repetition and no real development with the main character . . . she likes sweets, I get it . . . she's OCD, I get it . . . she wants to pretend that she doesn't communicate with spirits, I get it. The descriptions of Charleston and the curiosity to see what will happen have kept me coming back, and I'm sure I'll read the final installment when it comes out, but honestly, this series should have ended after book 4. 
I received an advanced copy of this title from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.
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Melanie and her husband Jack are still dealing with the fallout of the theft of Jack’s book and trying to stop a movie of the story being filmed at their house as well as Melanie’s newly discovered sister Jayne who can also see spirits. 

As the cistern in their yard is being excavated, new spirits appear and seem to confirm that a revolutionary war spy ring may be in involved in the restlessness.

Love this series best read in order. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an early copy.
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A story where the past and present collide with spirits helping to solve a historical mystery. The bonds of family and the price of keeping secrets from loved ones are explored.
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To say I love this series is an understatement (and not much else of this review will make sense if you haven't read the series, so stop reading this review now and instead read the one I liked above, and then start this series ASAP).

That said, I was disappointed with the last book in the series, The Guests on South Battery. It felt forced. The mystery wasn't as engaging (and the first four books had awesome mysteries), the family connections felt stretched beyond reason, and there was contrived romance drama between Mellie and Jack that I did not appreciate. I was seriously getting worried for this series, even while still gobbling it up because it had tons of things that still make me happy.

So that was my baggage when I started reading The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street. Thankfully, this one was a big improvement on the last. The mystery was good and engaging in its own right. The characters charmed me just like they always do, though many of them didn't have a whole lot of page time. I also liked the Christmasy background activities of getting the houses ready for the big holiday event and watching the characters make decorations, bake, etc. It was charming and heartwarming. I also adored the scene when Mellie overheard someone remarking on how perfectly arranged her cloves were in her orange decoration. I wanted to high five her. Oh, and I also loved the whole plot line with Rebecca and Mark. I can't stand Mark and I can't help but like Rebecca even though she's awful, and so I loved what happened with them. The Middleton women solidarity was great.

I'm with Mellie in that I'm actually feeling...jealous? vicariously jealous? jealous on behalf of Mellie? sympathetic jealousy? whatever it is, I like Jane objectively but I wish she was also never written into the story because she's just so darn perfect (and I can't help but like her).

The only thing I really, really could have done without was the, again, contrived drama between Jack and Mellie. Oh, and the fact that Mellie isn't allowed to eat any cookies (seriously, I loved that Mellie used to be able to eat anything she wanted without ever gaining weight. If I wanted to experience having to watch what you eat all the time and not being able to eat cookies and donuts and everything worth eating, I can just live my own life.) Anyway, back to Jack. Again, I read these books because they're feel-good, swooning escapism with gripping historical mysteries and beautiful old houses. I don't read them because I want to read about my favorite couple fighting and feeling heartbroken.

Bottom line

I still love this series and I can't wait for the next book to come out.
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Another fabulous installment to Karen White's Tradd Street series!  Once again, Melanie must solve a ghostly mystery. Although filled with supernatural mayhem, this is truly a story of family love and redemption. While the plot has a definite conclusion, an incomplete story arc will leave readers salivating for another book.

While technically able to be read by itself, a reader who did not start at the beginning of the series might be confused by the plethora of characters and complicated relationships.

A must for Karen White fans, and a fun new story that will appeal to fans of Robin Jones Gunn's Finding Father Christmas.

I was fortunate to receive a free ARC of this book from Netgalley. The above thoughts, insights, or recommendations are my own meek musings.
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I love Karen White books and this was no exception. A trip to Tradd St is always a treat and add in the holiday and definitely a delight.
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I loved finally getting to go back and visit Melanie, Jack and the twins. I was so excited for another Tradd street story and for the most part I wasn’t disappointed. I loved seeing the twins older and getting into mischief and I enjoyed getting back to the other supporting characters. I also found the mystery to be delightful. It was well done and rich in history and full of creepy ghosts and a really creepy setting. Overall it was a pretty great book.

*Spoilers Ahead*

The one thing I didn’t like, and was even mad about, was the ending. The epic relationship disaster between Melanie and Jack felt like a ploy to get me to read the next book and was not necessary. I also watched Melanie struggle with becoming a better person for the entire book, only to lose it in the end? There was enough drama and tension without that and it made me angry. I love this series and I’ll still read the next one but I’m going to be annoyed at that ending for a while.
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After reading my first Tradd Street series book, I was not only hooked on Karen White's writing but on the series itself and the best part, is that the series keeps getting better and better as the characters grow, sometimes in painful, very realistic ways. The ghosts are creepier, the mysteries even more solid, and the relationships and bonds more endearing.

I adore everything about this series and while Melanie sometimes frustrates me with her thought process, she is an endearing character who's growth is very much true to how most of us actually grow and learn, with lots of mistakes and bumps and bruises along the way.

And while I can't say that I loved how this ended, with so much left unsaid, undone, and unfinished, I did adore the whole book and all the scary moments and happy things that did occur along the way. 


It reminded me all over again, why I love this series and will continue to read it and look forward to each new installment and hope that many more are still in the works and will be out there to devour because this is definitely a series that you will want to devour once you have started it. I can't recommend it enough for those that love a good bump n the night story and mystery that will keep you interested, turning the pages and on the edge of your seat in both anticipation and chills with what will come out of the dark next.
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Christmas is drawing ever closer to the residents on Tradd Street.  Melanie and Jack are back for an exciting new adventure that picks up right where the last in the series left off.  The excavations, which seem never ending for Melanie, are still ongoing.  Melanie starts seeing a new ghost in her backyard, one which seems to be guarding something important.  So begins another wild ride for Melanie, Jack, Jayne, and new comer Anthony Longo (who happens to be the brother of long time series antagonist Marc Longo.  Together they must piece together clues from a surrounding cemetery and the cistern in order to put some ghosts to rest and discover a possible treasure along the way.  Of course it wouldn't be a Tradd street mystery without the appearance of Marc to complicate the team's efforts, and the sixth in the series does not disappoint.   
The latest in the Tradd street mysteries is fast paced and exciting.  Packed full of Revolutionary era facts as well as the history of Charleston and the surrounding area, as well as all things creepy and haunting.  Although this story is set during the Christmas season, it almost seems more fitting for the Halloween holidays as it's full of creepy ghosts and haunted settings.  The mystery was compelling and kept me guessing right up until the ending.  Although I was caught off guard by the ending, it makes sense for the book and the series overall and I look forward to seeing how the series progresses from here in the next installment.
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Stevie‘s review of The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street (Tradd Street, Book 6) by Karen White
Women’s Supernatural Detective Fiction published by Berkley 22 Oct 19

In an effort to read more holiday fiction this year, I got hold of a review copy of this book based on having read a stand-alone novel by the author before, and without realising that this one was part of an ongoing series. Going more on the title than anything more than a quick skim of the blurb, I was also expecting friendly ghosts pointing the way to Christmas Cheer and helping our protagonists solve suitably cosy mysteries. That wasn’t quite what I got.


Melanie works in real estate in Charleston (incidentally a place of which I hold very fond memories), while her husband Jack is an author who has been experiencing difficulties with both his writing and his publisher since a previous book concept was stolen by his arch-rival – Melanie’s ex, now married to her cousin – and turned into a best seller, on which a film is about to be based. Melanie, meanwhile, is very aware of the unquiet dead – not many of them both friendly and helpful – who surround her, her family, and her friends in their various historic homes.

Melanie and Jack’s home, or at least its garden, is currently the site of an archaeological dig, which has disturbed several ghosts with ties to the property and to previous mysteries that Melanie has played a part in solving. Melanie is putting off dealing with this current batch of ghosts due to the pressures of work, her young twins, and the upcoming Christmas fundraising events in which she and her house are expected to play a major role. The dead, however, are not planning on staying quiet.

Melanie reluctantly begins investigating and learns that her ex is plotting new machinations against Jack and his career, as well as disrupting her life by strong-arming Melanie into allowing the film crew for the adaptation of his book full access to her house, where the book is set. As it becomes clear that the mystery surrounding the newly active ghosts may involve hidden treasure from the time of the American Revolution, Melanie and her ex become involved in a race to solve the puzzle and each claim the treasure for themselves.

This was a very twisty book, and while I liked the puzzles and their historical background, I really couldn’t warm to any of the characters. Melanie and Jack are supposedly facing financial ruin, but can still afford to pay a housekeeper, a nanny, a handyman, and various other household helpers. I can only imagine that their idea of hardship is to do their own cooking, washing up and DIY. I don’t mind reading about the better-off tiers of society usually, but I like to see some acknowledgement from the author that the staff have lives and worries of their own too. I was also disappointed by the number of loose ends left at the close of the book, mostly relating to subplots that had dragged on throughout the book (and possibly for several books before) and to which we had been given an implied promise of resolution very shortly. I’m not really encouraged to read any more of this series.

Grade: C
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3.5 Stars

I'm always excited when I hear Karen White is releasing a new book. It's even more exciting when that book is part of a series I have loved and has a holiday theme.

If you're not familiar with Karen White or the Tradd Street series, it revolves around Melanie Trenholm and her ability to communicate with ghosts. Melanie lives in Charleston, South Carolina where the rich history of the area makes for some interesting paranormal interactions. There's also some romance (Melanie & Jack), family relationships, and mystery to add to the fun. I will warn you that you can't just see the words "Christmas Spirits" in the title and jump right into reading this book because you want holiday themes. While the mystery is new, the characters and their relationships are not. You would be completely lost. I have good news for you, though -- the Tradd Street series is a fun read and you won't be mad if you go back and read it from the start.

So, what did I think of The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street? I had some mixed feelings. I'm going to lay them out for you in a way that makes sense to me.

The writing: Karen White's writing never fails to pull me in. It did have moments where things felt slow to me, but I think that's because of some of the feelings I had for one of the characters. Otherwise, Karen White left me on the edge of my seat wondering how it was all going to turn out.

The characters: Melanie is same old Melanie. She's quirky. In all of the other books that worked for me. In this one, it did and it didn't. I just feel like her character needed to mature a bit. Melanie's stayed stagnant throughout the entire series. Now, she's married with children and her family and friends are still having to manipulate her to act like an adult at times. I did love how all of her relationships and the relationships around her have grown. It was fun to see how the gang reacted to her.

The mystery: This was my favorite part of the book. As always, I was enthralled with the mystery and how the ghosts related to it. It's what kept me reading when Melanie was driving me nuts. I refuse to say more because I'm not giving anything away.

The end: I loved how the mystery wrapped up. It was perfection. All of the pieces of the puzzle revealed themselves in a great way and fit perfectly. What I didn't love was how everything else ended. There was a cliffhanger that irritated me. I got it, but it wasn't a fun way to end the book. Now I have to wait for the next book and I'm hoping it's not going to be a long wait.

As you can see, there were some great things and some that drove me nuts. If you're a fan of this series, you are going to want to read it no matter what.
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Great installment in the Tradd Street stories. Loved that they explored the background mystery more, and delved more into the characters flaws. I am very interested to see where the next book takes us, and if it finally ties up all the loose threads.
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This was another great installment in the Tradd Street series by Karen White.  I love this series along with her stand-alone novels. It was great to see what was going on with Melanie and Jack and their family. The mystery was good and I enjoyed when I started picking up clues along the way.  I am definitely looking forward the next and I believe last book of this series.
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