Where mystery meets history

National author comes to Hall for book luncheon as the history center opens its exhibit on historical homes

Story by Pamela A. Keene

It’s a rare treat when a national author comes to Gainesville on the first day her new book is released. Bestselling novelist Karen White will be the speaker for the Northeast Georgia History Center’s Book Luncheon on January 10. On that day, the latest in her Tradd Street Series of historical mysteries, set in Charleston, goes on sale across the country.

karen-white-photoNorth Georgia residents can meet her, purchase a signed copy of “The Guests on South Battery,” have lunch and get the first look at the History Center’s newest exhibit: Historic Homes in Northeast Georgia. The luncheon takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“We are so pleased that author Karen White will debut her newest novel here at the Northeast Georgia History Center,” says Glen Kyle, the museum’s executive director. “She will be our luncheon speaker and mingle with luncheon attendees.”
Guests will also have the first glimpse at the History Center’s newest exhibit: Historic Homes in Northeast Georgia, developed to showcase Southern homes in the area. Opening on January 10, the exhibit will continue through March 10 in the rotating exhibit gallery.

cover-of-the-guests-on-south-batteryThe exhibit features photographs of significant historic homes and written narratives by people who have either lived in or repeatedly visited these residences. The houses include White Path Cabin on the campus of the museum, with insights by Mabeline Weaver, who lived there as a child when the home was still located in Gilmer County; the recently renovated Hardman Farm in Sautee Nacoochee, now listed as a Georgia Historic Site, with comments from Cindy Randolph who spent her summers there; and Dahlonega’s Vickery House on the campus of the University of North Georgia, based on written accounts of the home.
“This is an excellent exhibit that showcases some of the finest historic homes in Northeast Georgia,” Kyle says. “We have carefully researched and interviewed people to create these narratives that will be shown next to the photos of the homes. In some cases, we’ve spoken with people who have lived in the homes. In others, we’ve researched back to written records to tell about the homes’ histories.”
The luncheon marks the launch of White’s three-week national book tour. “The Guests on South Battery” continues the story of Charleston Realtor Melanie Middleton Trenholm that began with “The House on Tradd Street.” In this fifth book in the series, Melanie has just given birth to twins and she’s reluctantly returning to work.
A middle-of-the-night phone call with no one on the other end lures her back. She quickly sells her recently inherited home on South Battery Street, but ghostly spirits from the home begin haunting her. The search for long-buried secrets leads to the unfolding mystery.
As the author of 20 novels, White has been listed on the New York Times Best-Seller List. She has twice won the Readers’ Choice award and been nominated for the Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance Fiction Book of the Year. White’s Tradd Street novels are set in Charleston.
The luncheon will be catered by Green Gables Catering. Tickets, at $35 per person, are available through negahc.org or by calling the Northeast Georgia History Center at 770-297-5900.

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