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The Guests on South Battery by Karen White is the fifth book in the Tradd Street series. Melanie Middleton Trenholm is returning to work in Charleston, South Carolina after being away a year on extended maternity leave. Melanie gave birth to twins, J.J. and Sarah. Melanie arrives at Henderson House Reality to find a client waiting in her office. Jayne Smith has inherited the Pinckney house on South Battery and is eager to sell it. Jayne has a dislike of old homes (they make her uncomfortable). Jayne has no clue as to why Button Pinckney left her the house. Melanie has sixth sense that she inherited from her mother's side of her family. Spirits (or ghosts) have left her alone for the last year, but now they are making a reappearance. Melanie agrees to sell Jayne's home and gets the bonus of having Jayne as her nanny. Upon entering the Pinckney home, Melanie discovers there are restless spirits in the home. One of them is strong and can shroud its presence from Melanie. Melanie is going to need the help of her mother, Ginette Prioleau Middleton. Between the two of them, they hope to move these spirits on (get them out of the house). Will they be able to settle these restless spirits? Why did Button leave her home to Jayne?
The Guests on South Battery is nicely written. It is a combination of women's fiction, mystery, and paranormal. While it is part of a series, The Guests on South Battery can be read alone. The author gives the readers the needed information on the characters and happenings from the other novels are mentioned throughout the book. I give The Guests on South Battery 3 out of 5 stars. I was hoping for more of the paranormal element in the book. I did not find it compelling and it was predictable. The mysteries can be solved long before the results are revealed. I had a hard time liking the characters especially Melanie. Melanie has many issues. The main one is her OCD (she should really see a therapist and get some medication). Melanie believes that the twins should be kept on a timetable (she has a spreadsheet), and she has labeled everything in their room (this is just the start). Melanie seems to suffer from "Scarlet O'Hara" syndrome (ignore things or think about them tomorrow). Melanie's pre-pregnancy clothes do not fit her and she finds the oddest explanations (strange fumes in her closet, the dry cleaner shrunk them). I believe it is supposed to be funny, but it comes across as just odd (like a comedian who tells a joke and does not get laughter). I did not understand Melanie's attitude towards her gift (she seems to resent it). This seems to be a recurring theme in paranormal novels lately. I found some information repeated frequently throughout the novel (an example is how Jack's daughter loaned the pair money for the house). I thought there was a little too much going on in the book. I only summarized the main events of this novel. I just felt that the novel needed a little rewriting and editing.