Tradd Street Series- Part 2

The Guests of South Battery

By: Karen White

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The latest in the story of Melanie Middleton, erstwhile psychic and new mom to twins has her running around, busy as ever, between the historic houses that she and her family live in as well as the ones she sells as Charleston’s premier historic home seller.

In this latest saga, Melanie has just gone back to work after giving birth to twins and getting married. She gets a new customer, a mysterious woman named Jayne who, despite the fact that she was an orphan, has inherited a large, old house on South Battery. While Melanie tries to assist with the renovations, she also hires Jayne to be her children’s nanny.

The house on South Battery is full of lots of the things Melanie dislikes, massive repair jobs, one creepy doll and plenty of the spirits that only she and the other women in her family can see and hear. In this one there is even a cat.

Melanie’s husband, Jack, is a mystery writer and get interested in the story of the why the spirits are still there and what the connection is between Jayne and the family that lived there.

This is a classic Melanie Middleton book, lots of old Charleston families involved in mysterious scandals. I love trying to figure out the story and they usually connect to Melanie personally in the end, as she is also from an Old Charleston family.

The babies are a great addition to the series, JJ and Sarah seem like such fun babies. It seems Sarah has inherited the family “gift” and her personality is so cute. Karen does a great job writing the babies characters, making them integral in the story even though they are less than 1 year old.

This mystery was a little thinner than the rest of the series. It was a little easier to figure out what was going on with the ghosts and why they were still sticking around. I am hoping as the series goes on that Rebecca and Marc go away, bleh, and that people start to ease up on Melanie about being organized!

Overall, a great addition to the Tradd Street Series!

Tradd Street Series- Part 1


The Tradd Street series is a now five book series written about a woman name Melanie and her hometown of Charleston, SC.

I am rereading the Series for two reasons. The Guests of South Battery (purchase here: Shop Indie Bookstores) was released on January 10, 2017 and I always have to go back and reread a favorite series when the new one comes out. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to pick up The Guests on South Battery, so that you can get the background you will need on the characters and the story line.

Also, my sister and I got the opportunity to take our mom (a huge Karen White and Charleston fan!) to Charleston for the Tradd Street Weekend. What a wonderful concept for an event!

Presented by Buxton Books and Tour Charleston, the event was somewhat unorganized as far as getting all the information up front that I needed to plan the trip for the three of us. But I like to be super prepared for every trip, so it may not have seemed that way to everyone. However, it was worth it to sort through the weeds to get there.

They had some great options for group hotel rates when you registered for the event. We stayed at the Harbourview Inn, which is right in the heart of the tourist district in Charleston. It was a convenient walk everywhere, just a block from Buxton Books where the tours started. It also had a great breakfast you could have brought to your room or enjoy in a hotel public area.

The weekend included a cocktail party with author Karen White at the Old Exchange Building, a trolley tour which included many of the places we read about in the books and a ghost tour that ended in the spookiest graveyard I have ever seen. It ended with a mimosa party with one final chance to get your books signed or just chat with Karen.

While the cocktail parties and the mimosa party were kind of just stand around affairs, the signature drinks and themed foods were fun for an evening out. Plus it left plenty of time to sample the yummiest of Charleston’s restaurants. Here are some of my favorites.
1. Jestine’s Kitchen – perfect for a basket of fried just about anything for lunch!

2. The Bar at Husk– a great place to just pick up a burger or just for a drink before heading next door to Husk for dinner.
3. Fleet Landing– the best place in town for fried flounder, and yes, I have tried them all. Not to mention, this is one of the few restaurants on the peninsula that is on the water. If it’s warm enough you can sit outside and watch the container ships cruise past Fort Sumter.

The two tours were fantastic. It was fun to get a visual of the houses that really take center stage in the books. I learned all sorts of things about the city and the book series. I lived in Charleston for four years, but there are still so many things to learn about the history of the city. The most interesting tidbit was that the book was originally set in New Orleans, but after Katrina was moved to Charleston. Now, I can’t imagine the book being set anywhere else.

I really enjoyed the ghost tour. Our guide was Mr. Neil and he is a professional actor and you could tell it in his zest for storytelling. It was really cold, especially for the Lowcountry but once you bundled up it wasn’t too bad. The Tour was fascinating, with stories about Charleston history included to explain who the ghosts might be and why they are still hanging around. The Tour ends in a graveyard, which is so spooky. I saw what I thought was a cat run behind our tour guide, but no one else saw the little animal, so who knows…. (one you read The Guests on South Battery, you will know why this is significant!)

Karen was a fantastic hostess. She took the time to speak to every one of the guests and make them feel special. She attended many of the events of the weekend and signed advance copies of the books. She also surprised the tour trolley with candy and an appearance by a creepy doll featured in her new novel.


See! I told you it was creepy, just wait until you read the book, which I know you will want to do now!

Overall, the Tradd Street Weekend was a huge success!!

A Three Part Post- Coming Your Way!

Get Excited, Part one is coming later today!

In part one, I am going to tell you all the Tradd Street series and the weekend in Charleston that celebrated the series and the newest addition, The Guests on South Battery. Then a review of the new book, just out, The Guests on South Battery, by Karen White. Finally, as a special bonus, a review of How to Cook 25 Southern Classics 3 Ways, the cookbook featured during the Tradd Street Weekend.

Here are the books in the Tradd Street Series, click on any of them to purchase.

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Shop Indie Bookstores

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Shop Indie Bookstores

Shop Indie Bookstores

So stay tuned and get your fill of Melanie and Jack and the city of Charleston!

Book Gift Guide

Don’t know what to get your friends and family this holiday season? Books are always the perfect gift. Here are some suggestions for everyone on your list. Any of the suggestions below can be found at an Independent Bookstore by clicking on the link.

The Science Geek– A Hole In Texas, Herman Wouk
Nothing like a story about a scientist who gets the Higgs Boson and the girl!

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The One Who Still Misses Downtown Abbey– Belgravia, Julian Fellowes
It’s the Abbey in written form!

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The Seinfeld Guy (we all know one)- Seinfeldia, Jennifer Armstrong
Not being a Seinfeld person myself, I can only guess at how much they will love this.

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The Stressed Out One (so basically anyone)– Living With Intent, Malika Chopra
Make sure you choose someone who won’t be offended by a self-help book. This one is filled with great advice.

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The Tween Girl– The Finishing School Series, Gail Carriger
Impossible to buy for, but she will love this series. It’s steampunk young ladies who kick butt!

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The Tween Boy– Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, JK Rowling
Wizards, Muggles and Beasts, Oh My!

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Mom– Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham or The Magnolia Story, Chip Gaines
Some nonfiction, whether she is a Southern Girl or a Gilmore Girl.

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And finally, Dad– Pearl Harbor, Craig Nelson or No Man’s Land, David Baldacci
You just have decide whether he wants the true story or some fiction, or maybe both!

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This entry was posted in Books.

The Never-Open Desert Diner

By: James Anderson

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Ben is a lonely truck driver who makes deliveries to the folks who live on Route 117. He is the only one who will deliver to these people who are often hiding from something out in the desert, so he has contracts with both UPS and FedEx. But as he is often unwilling to take payment from these people who don’t have a lot of money, he is about to lose his truck and his business.

The characters in this book are so beautifully written. There is Ben, the truck drive who connects them all to the world- Ginny the pregnant teenage daughter of a former girlfriend who he runs into at Walmart-Claire- a mysterious woman living in an abandoned housing development and Walt who owns the diner that is never open. There are even more and the ways that they are all linked makes for a fascinating story.

Everyone in the desert has a mystery and it can be brutal living with the heat and flash floods, so the outsiders don’t are very well. You will finish this book and then want to know more about what happens to the characters afterward!

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this honest review.


Harriett Wolff’s Seventh Book of Wonders

By: Julianna Baggott (click here for author’s website)

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While a little strange and at times hard to follow, Harriett Wolff’s Seventh Book of Wonders was a fun, weird story of three generations of women and the struggle they have against and with each other. Harriett Wolff is an author that wrote six novels that followed the lives of one couple. Each novel had a different style which reflected life at that stage. Scholars and fans have searched for years and bugged the reclusive author for the seventh book.

Eleanor is Harriett’s daughter who has two daughters herself, one of whom, Tilton seems to have some mental disability but it is never quite clear. The other, Ruth, ran away at 16 and is still somewhat estranged and on her second husband who is a Harriett Wolff scholar and kind of married her to get close to her grandmother.

The chapters rotate narrators between the four women. Harriett’s chapters are actually the seventh book and tell the secret history she has never told any of them. This book is odd and captivating along the lines of Big Fish. Eleanor, Tilton and Ruth are all the way they are because of this story they have never known.


Murder on Edisto

By: C. Hope Clark

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Edisto being one of my favorite places, I was super excited to read this book. I actually even picked this book up at the Edisto Book Store while on a trip there recently.

*****Side Note*****

Soon after we left the island, it was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew. A few houses were lost and sand covers half of the island. The island police and the national guard have put many man hours into making the island safe for residents and visitors to return. Click on the link to donate to the GoFundMe campaign to support their efforts. GoFundMe Campaign.

*****Back to regularly scheduled programming*****

Murder on Edisto is the first book in a trilogy about Callie Morgan. Callie is a former detective for the Boston PD who has returned to the island home of her childhood after the violent death of her husband. As soon as she arrives, strange things start to happen on the island. Her neighbor is killed on her first day and it is all down hill from there. She tries to protect her son the best she can while helping the local law enforcement try to figure out who is stalking Callie and the rest of the island.

I love the setting, of course. And so many of the locations are real places that I have visited. But it is almost too strange to read about so much dark violence happening in a place I consider my peaceful place. I am not sure if that is why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I was hoping. The story is pretty thin and most of the neighbors are only half tolerable. The ending is a little predictable, there is not a lot of mystery involved. Callie tries to create more suspects than there really are.

It was a fun book to get while on location and a fairly quick read, but unless you have a connection like that, I would leave it on the shelf.


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