I started listening to The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White back in November when the book came out, but I need to tell you something.
I just finished it because the book was too dang freaking scary and I had to keep taking breaks!
Karen White really upped her game in this book, and I want to give a second opinion to all the reviews I read lamenting the ending of this book. (Don’t worry. No spoilers here!)
The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street
Melanie Middleton now Trenholm is a psychic real estate agent who can see dead people. This is the sixth book in the series, so there is some back story to catch up on that I don’t want to get into here. Check out my blog on the rest of the Tradd Street series here.
As usual, there was a historical mystery Melanie had to solve in order to put some ghosts to rest. Like all the Tradd Street books, I very much enjoyed the puzzles that were behind this case. Reminiscent of Nancy Drew, Melanie along with help of her husband, Jack, and sister, Jane, who also sees the dead, must decipher the puzzles to solve the mystery.
They are always interestingly constructed puzzles that rely on the help of an archivist, who is a great character unto herself. Again, all of that is truly masterful.
Let’s Talk Characters
You know I like a good character driven novel. I love Melanie, and I probably love her because she reminds me so much of myself. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. But Melanie is complex and imperfect, and best of all, all of her problems are not solved in a single book.
I will join the other critics in saying I’m tired of hearing about Marc Longo and his nefarious schemes. I’m ready for a new, vibrant villain to hate. Marc is a washed up never was, and his schemes are getting old.
But let’s get back to Melanie. A lot of the reviews I read about this book are upset with how Melanie continues to be pushed around by her family. And most upsetting of all is the thing that happens at the END. (I promised no spoilers, so this is how we’re doing it.)
Let’s Talk About Melanie
Melanie is a tortured character with a heavy past and an ongoing “talent” that plagues her. I mean, can you imagine what it would be like to have dead people constantly coming at you? Of course, she’s going to have issues.
I think what happens in this book needed to happen so Melanie’s character can finally find herself. She needed to really understand Jack would not keep putting up with her behaviors.
I know people are saying this is a manipulative tactic to get readers coming back. I disagree. Someone with self esteem issues that have eccentric habits as a result really don’t get it. You ca’t undo decades of abuse in a single day. Sometimes it takes an action like WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF THIS BOOK.
So I’m sorry. I’m #teamJack on this on, and he did what he did because he loves Melanie.
I don’t read books about dogs for obvious reasons, so I like to share potential trigger issues with readers.
In The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White you will find:
- Vehicular accidents
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I’m turning it over to you!
I want to know more books like the Tradd Street series by Karen White. Here’s what I’m looking for:
- Contemporary women’s fiction
- Great character driven novels with a unique cast of characters
- Ghosts, of course
- Strong female lead
What have you got for me?
I know this book caused a huge divide in readers, but as I said, I think this is just what Melanie needed. I can’t wait to see what happens next!