by Karen White
Melanie Middleton, top real estate agent in Charleston, SC has another mystery to solve. Ghosts have been residing for quite a while at her grandmother’s home on Legare Street and this time, it will take Melanie pairing up with someone she’d rather never see again – her mother – in order to help bring peace to the old, historic home. Jack Trenholm, her partner-in-crime from the last book joins her in this adventure and stands at the go-between between Melanie and her mother as ghosts wreak havoc once again in Melanie’s otherwise organized life.
I have to say, I was pretty excited to read this one. There was a bit of a build up in the previous book, The House on Tradd Street, alluding to the fact that Melanie and her family had unfinished business at her grandmother’s house. Melanie’s mother comes back into her life bringing not only reinforcements on the psychic front but also some answers for Melanie as to why she left in the first place.
What I loved about this book was, of course, the ghost story! Once again, there is a masterfully written history behind the ghost stories and there’s a couple of them to follow in this book. Karen White starts us off with strings that seem disconnected one from another and yet somehow, manages to pull them all into a beautiful macrame of a conclusion where everyone finds peace. I totally fell in love with Wilhelm and how much his character protected all the Prioleau women – literally for decades! His heartbreaking story of losing his love, Catherine, and how he came to haunt and protect the Legare house had tears running down my face.
A new character and family member, Rebecca, was introduced as a cousin who also shared a gift of sorts, although her gift comes in dreams. I had a hard time deciding if I liked her or not. I couldn’t tell if she was working for or against Melanie. In the end, I concluded that she’s that one family member that every family has and wishes they hadn’t.
I was disappointed in the non-growth of the main character, Melanie. By the end of book two, she is still a whiny, self-absorbed, over-reactive Melanie who hates a house she’s been given. While you can see a little more healing between her and her father, she seems to completely discount her mother’s explanation as to why she had to leave her – which was to save Melanie’s life. There’s not even a little give there and that bothered me. For someone approaching 40 years old, I would expect a little more maturity and reasoning and sense and honestly, I didn’t get any of that by the end of the book.
And her treatment of Jack, who’s done nothing but try to help her and be there for her baffles me.
Yet still, the ghost story was wonderfully done. The imagery was fabulous. The characters, outside of Melanie, are rich and beautiful and leap off the page. Karen White makes me want to go to Charleston, South Carolina, get a couple of donuts and a coffee at Ruby’s and have a good ol’ gab with these folks.
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐