The past has a way of inserting itself into psychic Melanie Middleton’s life. Living in Charleston and being a realtor of historical homes has placed her in the catbird’s seat in terms of meeting up with many entities that are unsettled and seeking some kind of closure. Enter Jack Trenholm: dark, handsome and brooding, but a man who has worked with her in solving mysteries, and you find another kind of unrest.
When Jack shows up on her doorstep asking a favor, Melanie is totally unprepared for his teenage daughter from a long-ago relationship; a daughter he didn’t know he had. And he is begging Melanie to take in fourteen-year-old Nola for awhile until he and Nola can sort out their rocky relationship. For Nola was led to believe that Jack had abandoned her and her mother Bonnie years ago; now Bonnie is dead, leaving these issues very much unsettled.
Melanie and Nola scarcely have gotten to know each other when Jack’s mother, an antiques dealer, shows up with an antique dollhouse for her new granddaughter. And suddenly, all kinds of shenanigans are unleashed. Strange happenings, like miniature dolls and furniture flying about, things generally in havoc, and unsavory ghosts making appearances and stirring things up.
As if things weren’t dicey enough, Melanie’s Tradd Street home develops serious problems with the foundation, and she has to move into her mother’s house on Legare Street.
As all these events unfold, Melanie discovers the origins of the dollhouse: an old estate on Montagu Street, where the ancient owner, Julia Manigault, has many secrets from her past that are rising up to haunt those around her.
How do an ancient dollhouse, the house on Montagu Street, and the current events around Nola relate to an ancient event in the 1930s? And why is Nola’s mother’s spirit hovering about and seeking its own kind of closure? Will Melanie finally connect with Jack and settle her own unsettled life?
Turning the pages of The Strangers on Montagu Street (Tradd Street), I was fascinated, captivated, and unsettled until I could reach the final page. But that’s not all we’re going to learn about these characters. Another book is on the horizon, and I can’t wait! Five stars.