Melanie Middleton, the psychic realtor, is back in her Tradd Street home, and no sooner is she settled in, than more problems surface.

This time, a crack appears in the foundation that requires major work. But what is unearthed in the process—the body of a baby that has been dead for many years—will launch another psychic investigation for Melanie. And it will happen at a most inopportune time, as she has discovered she is pregnant. With twins. And the father, Jack Trenholm, has asked her to marry him.

But she has refused, believing that he is only offering out of a sense of obligation.

The push-pull of their relationship kept me rapidly turning pages, wishing that the two of them would set aside their stubbornness and communicate.

And then, out of nowhere, along comes a couple from New York. The Gilberts claim that they are the rightful heirs to the Tradd Street home, and that they have proof. Their supposed link to the family line will require the exhumation of Nevin Vanderhorst’s body to check for a DNA match.

Reporters, historians, psychics….all join together to lead the reader on a rollicking journey. The spirits that inhabit the house are angry. One of them appears to Melanie, hissing the word “Mine.” What can explain the christening gowns that show up, matching the one discovered in the foundation? Does the mystery somehow involve ancestor John Vanderhorst’s two wives, Camille and Charlotte?

Set in Charleston, South Carolina, and narrated in Melanie’s first person perspective, I was as enthralled with the characters as I have been in the previous books. Melanie’s voice is self-deprecatory and funny, making me root for her and for her love interest, even when she has given up. And her obsessive-compulsive tendencies made me smile in recognition of my own need to organize and control things.

Rebecca, Melanie’s distant cousin, is an annoying character and a major foil to Melanie’s peace of mind. And her fiance, Marc Longo, was once Melanie’s lover, which definitely complicates things. Nola, Jack’s 14-year-old daughter, who came to join them all in the last book, has amazing qualities that belie her years, including a recording career.

In Return to Tradd Street, themes of home, love, and family spotlight how the very things we want most in life might slip away if we don’t fight for them.

I felt as though I was right there with them all, trying to solve the mysteries and bring Jack and Melanie together at last. Reading the previous books in the series is not necessary for enjoyment of this one, but reading them would help fill in some of the history of the house. Five stars.



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