Real estate agent Melanie Middleton specializes in selling old homes. But she doesn’t like old homes. They smell of beeswax and mothballs and are a lot of work to refurbish. And then there’s the ghosts that tend to linger among the living…
Melanie was expecting the visit to the house on Tradd Street to be like any other. An elderly homeowner was moving someplace more manageable, and hopefully would list the house with her. She wasn’t expecting to see the shadow of a woman in the garden pushing an empty swing. Nor was she expecting Mr. Vanderhorst to have had a connection to her grandfather. And she certainly wasn’t expecting to have the house bequeathed to her a few days later when Mr. Vanderhorst died, leaving a mystery for her to solve about the disappearance of his mother, Louisa, many years ago.
To complicate things a little more, handsome writer Jack Trenholm contacts Melanie and wants information on the house so he can write a story about the disappearance of Mrs. Vanderhorst in 1929. He’ll even help her with the renovations if she’ll let him poke around the house.
So three days after being told the house was hers if she accepted the terms of the will, Melanie finds herself “the owner of an antique pile of rotten lumber, and encumbered by a dog, a housekeeper, and a guilt trip as long as the Cooper River.”
Melanie soon realizes that there are actually two spirits in the house—Louisa and an evil presence that wishes her harm. As she gets closer to solving the mystery of Louisa’s disappearance, the element of danger rises as well. Someone or something doesn’t want the truth to get out. But the disappearance of Louisa isn’t the only secret the house holds tight.
It’s a good story with interesting twists. With more than a gentle spirit at work, it’s exciting, but not stressful enough to have to sleep with the lights on. The mystery is engaging and the living characters are contemporary and fun.
The House on Tradd Street is the first in a series featuring Melanie and her ghost-seeing abilities.
Check the WRL catalog for The House on Tradd Street.