Title: Haunting Violet
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Genre: YA PNR
Publication: June 21, 2011; Walker Childrens-352 pages
Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
THE FAERYS VIEW
Haunting Violet is such an apropos name for Alyxandra Harvey’s break –away from The Drake Chronicles! It is full of ghosts, thrills, romance but it’s also a murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. The most surprising aspect of Haunting Violet is that it is not only a paranormal romance but it is also, in my opinion, a very accurate historical paranormal romance set in the year of 1872.Violet, the illegitimate daughter of a charlatan Spiritualist, has known very little love from her mother and along with Colin, an Irish orphan her mother allowed to live with them purely for the labor he provides, they all play a part in her mother’s scheming séances of those that are grieving and wanting to get in touch with those that have passed on. Violet and Colin have always looked out for each other and as they’ve gotten older Violet has started having different ‘feelings’ for Colin. Like the way her heart flutters when his hair falls over his brow or when she notices the muscles he’s developed as he’s gotten older. Colin has made living with her mother tolerable. Over the years her mother has made quite the name for herself in the Spiritualist circles because of her ‘successful’ yet deceitful séances. When an invitation arrives to visit the wealthy Lord Jasper, a known Spiritualist, at his country estate, she sees this as an opportunity that not only furthers her success but also to marry off Violet to the wealthiest bidder.
Upon arrival at Lord Jasper’s exquisite estate, Violet is presented as a lady and the gentlemen are taken in by her beauty and sweet nature. The other young ladies are immediately jealous and catty-particularly a beautiful girl named Tabitha. One girl, Elizabeth, quickly becomes a fast friend and makes Violet feel terrible about lying to her about who she really is. One thing that is extremely pleasant from Violets normal life: she has never seen so much food before, slept in a bed that was so soft nor has she ever had so much free time to read. The free time doesn’t last long though, eventually Violet starts to actually see a ghost, which is impossible because Violet doesn’t believe in ghosts! Violet can’t ignore it though; the ghost is identical to Tabitha, if fact it’s her identical twin that drowned a year ago despite the fact that she was an excellent swimmer. Foul play is afoot and it’s up to Violet, Colin and Elizabeth to find out before the murder kills Violet next.
Haunting Violet surprised me; I must confess that I’m not really big on ‘ghost’ books! Alyxandra Harvey did such an excellent job in her portrayal of the times that I almost felt as if I were transported to the late 1800’s. The descriptive was such that it was interesting and at times, humorous-I was never bored, in fact, I was fascinated. Violets character was so very likable! She is courageous, determined to do what’s right and cares deeply for others. The plot was amazing and unlike anything I’ve read before, it held so many elements while holding true to story. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a great ghost story but also to those who enjoy romance, intrigue and mystery.