Haunting Violet

Haunting Violet

4.1 62
by Alyxandra Harvey

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A stand-alone title from the popular author of the Drake Chronicles, Alyxandra HarveySee more details below


A stand-alone title from the popular author of the Drake Chronicles, Alyxandra Harvey

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Harvey (the Drake Chronicles) delivers a fun adventure in the form of a Victorian mystery novel that captures the feel (and the flaws) of the age. At the height of the Spiritualist movement, 16-year-old Violet's mother is a con artist, taking advantage of Spiritualists like rich Lord Jasper, to whose estate they've been invited. Violet and Colin—an orphan taken in by her mother—assist in the cons, but Violet is surprised to learn that she can actually see the dead, and that the voiceless ghost of a teenager named Rowena wants Violet's help in bringing her killer to justice. Other complications include Violet's attraction to Colin (which conflicts with her mother's social climbing), an upper-class suitor, and Rowena's bratty (and very much alive) twin sister. Aided by her gossip-loving best friend, Violet unravels a complicated series of secrets, endangering her social standing and her life in the process. Harvey's writing is witty and brings headstrong, irreverent Violet to life ("Never mind finding an eligible bachelor, I mean to find a murderer"). The mystery is relatively uncomplicated, but the social complications drive both plot and character development. Ages 12–up. (June)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Harvey brings together with aplomb all the quintessential elements of a classic Victorian gothic: the beautiful but fortuneless heroine looking for a better life, the rambling estate with too many secrets, the suspicious-looking death of yet another beautiful girl, and, finally, the promise of a sultry and forbidden romance… The ghosts are genuinely creepy, the leading men are deliciously swoonworthy, and the ending is appropriately happy, making this a perfect accompaniment to a stormy night and a nice spot of tea.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This novel is a mixture of mystery and historical fiction, with added bonuses of mediums, ghosts, and teenage love, all set in the backdrop of Victorian society. Violet Willoughby has participated in her medium mother's fraudulent séances since she was nine. Now 17, she is used to seeing her mother scheme rich widowers and old men out of their savings, and she is skeptical about the supernatural. However, on a visit to the country estate of Lord Jasper, Violet encounters the ghost of a girl her own age who is seeking help. Violet must find out what happened to Rowena, who died the year before, and she must do so quickly, before Rowena's twin sister suffers the same fate. She turns to Colin, her mother's assistant and the one boy she's grown to love, to share her visions. Also, there is a chance that Violet could escape her mother's wrath by marrying a gentleman of means. This all could be jeopardized if her secret ability is known. With the help of Colin and a friend, she may be able to accept her strange talent, prevent another girl from dying, and save her chances for a future free of lies. Readers will connect with Violet, who is struggling with coming to terms with her self-identity.—Shannon Seglin, Patrick Henry Library, Vienna, VA
Kirkus Reviews

In Victorian England, the daughter of a fake medium finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery when she starts seeing real ghosts.

Sixteen-year-old Violet has learned to pick pockets and set up rooms for fake séances, but she knows she'll be stuck in poverty if she doesn't marry a wealthy man. Fortunately she's beautiful, and her domineering mother's growing fame as a medium has brought them to the country estate of Lord Jasper, a devotee of spiritualism. Almost immediately, Violet begins seeing the apparition of Rowena, a wealthy girl who drowned the year before. It's clear to Violet, though, that Rowena was murdered and that the dead girl's haughty twin sister faces equal danger. Harvey keeps the narrative moving smoothly and well as she weaves romance, suspense and even a bit of comedy into the story. She portrays many of Lord Jasper's aristocratic guests convincingly as snobbish and uncaring, although a few befriend Violet. The author makes her fantasy believable by having Violet see not just one ghost, but roomfuls of them, both ancient and modern. Most endearingly, Violet's newly found ghost dog attaches itself to her as though it were a living pet.

A well-paced, clever and scary supernatural-suspense story. (Paranormal suspense. 12 & up)

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Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
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File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

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