Haunting Violet

Haunting Violet

by Alyxandra Harvey

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. Now that she is being haunted by the ghost of a young woman, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must discover the mystery behind this girl's violent death, to prevent the ghost's twin sister from suffering the same fate. Fans of Alyx Harvey are in for a treat with this tale of unsolved murder and forbidden romance within the confines of Victorian high society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802798398
Publisher: Walker & Company
Publication date: 06/21/2011
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Alyxandra Harvey is the author of the Drake Chronicles-Hearts at Stake, Blood Feud, and Out for Blood. She studied creative writing and literature at York University and has had her poetry published in several magazines. She lives in an old Victorian farmhouse with a few resident ghosts, her husband, hawk, and two dogs.?



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Haunting Violet 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
TheMochaLatte More than 1 year ago
Haunting Violet's cover is absolutely gorgeous! Purple of course is my favorite color. Though aside from that, the cover is quite fitting for the story once you've read it. It features main character Violet ,hence the color of the cover,laying in water, which is decoratively adorned with water lilies. However, it is unfortunate that the paper used to print the cover on is bland. A shimmering and reflective paper would have enhanced the beauty of the cover to an entirely different level. What many readers do not know from reading the summary is that Haunting Violet takes place during the year 1872, thus making it a historical paranormal romance for young adults. Violet Willoughby is the only daughter of a fraudulent medium. Along with her are her mother, who believes that her work fraudulent medium work is purely charitable, Colin, an Irish orphan , and Marjorie, a maid-of-all-work rescued from a brothel. Readers will find themselves in Violet's point of view, witnessing the trickery both she and Colin are forced to ensue to make the fraudulent seances appear realistic to the paying spectators. Despite her mothers constant reminder that what she does is purely charitable and reassuring for the mourners, Violet sees it only as a new way for her mother to scam people of their money. Their journey eventually arrives at Lord Jasper's home, a wealthy gentlemen with an open mind towards the spiritual and supernatural. Violet's mother instantly jumps at the chance to impress everyone with her charade and bodes Violet and Colin to come along. Though what is not expected is that Violet would encounter a real ghost, one of Tabitha's sister Rowena. Not only that but Violet also discovers that she has the gift that her mother's been faking the entire time; the gift to see the spiritual world. Immediately, Violet, Colin and her new friend Elizabeth find themselves racing through their days trying to solve the murder. You see, someone murdered Rowena, though the families claim it was an accidental drowning. Rowena won't rest until Violet has found her murderer and this of course causes quite a bit of danger for our leading lady. Additional to the gruesome and sometimes hilarious ghosts portrayed in Harvery's Haunting Violet, there is also mystery and romance. The romance, however, is very slight and in no way destroys the original aim of the plot. I found myself enjoying Harvey's Haunting Violet very much. The refreshing tale of ghosts, murder, mystery and romance all taking place in the late 1800's was very exciting and fun to read. A recommended read for all young adults.
writingirl_15 More than 1 year ago
3 ½ Stars: I really wanted this book to be a great read; something that pulled you into the characters' world and wouldn't let you go. After all the rave reviews I read about it, I thought for sure it would be great. While I won't deny that Haunting Violet was a good book, in my opinion, it just wasn't that great. The premise of the book, a 17-year-old girl in Victoria Era England who starts seeing ghosts and has to solve a year old murder mystery, had me intrigued. I am a complete sucker for the supernatural. The mystery and supernatural aspects of the book were done very well. Not only am I a sucker for the supernatural but I am also a romance junkie, and that's where this book let me down. I'm the type of person who likes to see a romance grow between two people, how else is the reader supposed to appreciate and understand how the hero and heroine feel about each other? The romance between Colin and Violet just..was. It was very abrupt. There was no build up, no explanation of their feelings about each other before they suddenly realized they loved each other. It was like the author was too busy writing the mystery that she didn't focus enough on the romance part. We also didn't learn much about Colin's past, which I was curious about. All in all, it was a good read with a few flaws. Violet was a very likeable character, as was her friend Elizabeth. There were scenes that made me laugh and some that freaked me out. Although this book didn't exactly pull me in, it was a good ghost story and I would recommend Haunting Violet to a friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book wasnt bad. Some parts were great, and interesting. But some parts were sort of boring and confusing. That might have to do with the fact that im only 13... Id say that if you like mystery and ghosts, you should get it.
DarkHart More than 1 year ago
This book had a very entertaining story. It had elements of mystery, supernatural, romance, comedy, history, and more. I've already recommended it to friends. It reminds me of the movie "The Awakening" and also reminds me a bit of Jane Austin type novels.
TonyMO More than 1 year ago
This book takes place during Victorian times in England; it involves a mother being a fake Medium to provide for her and her daughter, and also involves a boy who latches to the mother to help her fake séances. Good story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
16-year-old Violet has been forced to be an assistant to her mother, a fraudulent medium. But something goes awry in their con, because suddenly Violet is seeing real ghosts. One in particular needs her help to bring her murderer to justice. Setting is 1850s England
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with this book just when I looked at the cover. Once you read the nook, and find out who Rowena is, you will atomaticaly see the resemblence. Once you start reading the first page, it pulls you in. You go along with Violet, a 16 year old girl who doesn't believe in ghosts because her mother is a "spiritualist" who does "seances" with grieving people to get money by "contacting" their dead relatives. Violet's mother likes to think she is better than anyone else, so of course she would need a servant boy, Colin. Colin has lived with Violet and her mother for a very long time. He would play pranks on Violet like putting an earthworm in her cucumber salad. But, over the years Violet has become fond of him and, like any good paranormal romance, Colin, after you mentaly begging him, finally kisses Violet. This book will have you lauhing, gasping, and even crying at times. The detail that the author put into the ghosts, how Violet reacted to them, and how Collin fixed it had me on edge at all times. It is so realistic that I wish they would turn it into a movie! All in all I think that tis book deserves at least 100,000,000 stars.
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
Ever since I saw the beautiful cover and the intriguing synopsis for Alyxandra Harvey's Haunting Violet, I have been dying to read it, as if there is one thing I love its well-written historical fiction, especially if it involves something supernatural as well. Thankfully, this book perfectly fit the bill! For Violet Willoughby, she is starting to become sick of the life she has been given. She cannot stand watching her mother constantly trick people into giving their money over for her so-called séances, which are the definition of fake, as well as dragging poor Violet and Colin, her mother's young assistant, along for the ride. Better yet, she is also tired of her mother constantly telling her to marry a rich man when all Violet really wants to do is find someone she truly loves, someone who will let Violet be Violet. However, everything changes when Violet and her family are called to Lord Jasper's house to help conduct séances for his guests's entertainment. Soon enough Violet is involved in a murder mystery involving a snobby, elitist society girl and her dead twin sister who Violet is actually able to see. Will Violet be able to save the day before someone else is killed? Or will Violet soon become shark's bait herself? And will Violet ever be able to get out of her mother's plans for the future? Only time and more pages can tell in this mystery that will have nearly any reader thinking, "Who did it?" From start to finish, I adored and rooted for several characters in Haunting Violet including Violet, of course. Strong yet sweet, Violet is a girl who has her head on her shoulders but yet isn't afraid of letting her heart lead her way sometimes. It was always fun to see Violet interact with the different society people, and for Violet to allow for her talents in spiritualism grow also, as this portion especially allowed for Violet's coming of age. I also adored the addition of Colin, Violet's adorable Irish love interest, as well as Elizabeth, Violet's hilarious and headstrong best friend. The plot of Haunting Violet was also intricate. Not only because of the complex murder mystery subplot, but also because of the sprit powers Violet possessed. The murder mystery especially kept me turning the pages, and even though I had a basic gist of who the murder was for a portion of the book, I still managed to be a little surprised at how everything turned out in the end. I also loved Violet's romance subplot. Not only because it developed in a realistic speed but also because it wasn't a main focus of the story. Lastly, Alyxandra's writing was great in this. I had only read one book by Alyxandra prior to this (Hearts at Stake, the first in the Drake chronicles), and while I enjoyed her writing in that one, it took an even better turn in this book. I always felt like I was right there with the characters in the 1870s because of her descriptions, and her characters never failed to jump of the page and come to life. The only aspect I was a little shaky on was how I felt she modernized some of the dialogue between the characters at times. Full of adventure, mystery, and romance, Haunting Violet is the perfect summer read. Best of all, it contains a solid, standalone ending, and what's not to love about that? Grade: B+
Ladystorm More than 1 year ago
First of I just love Alyxandra Harvey, she has fast become one of my favorite authors. I have read all the books so far in the Drake Chronicles and I was a little curious about how she would fair writing about ghost instead of vampires, I wasn't disappointed. Violet hates what her mother does and she only goes along with it because she has no choice. The only upside to it is having Collin there with her, her long time friend. Collin was taken in by Violet's mother when he was young and raised up to help her with her trickery. Violet's mother claims to be a medium and has Violet and Collin help her to fluff it up a bit with tricks. Violet and her mother get invited to a Lord's estate to put on a spiritualist show for some rich people. The only thing is, Violet is now actually seeing a ghost. It's the ghost of a young lady who died the year before. This ghost is pretty persistent in trying to get Violet to help her, but Violet doesn't want anything to do with her. She doesn't believe in ghost, not after watching her mother all these years. This ghost does some wild things to make Violet finally believe, and once she excepts her real ability she starts seeing more ghost. She confides in her lifetime friend who believes her and they try and find out what happened to the young girl. Danger lurks near as they try and find out what happens and it could lead them into harms way. I keep promising myself that I am going to take notes and write down the characters names so I don't forget them but again I didn't and I can't remember some of the names and its driving me crazy. :( Violet is a great MC, she is brave, strong and has a great sense of humor. She can have a bit of smart mouth which makes her a fun character. She is also very determined once she finds out that someone else could be in danger. Collin is a few years older than Violet and has always been her protector and friend. He also knows he doesn't have any money or place to go to offer to Violet, so he tries not to interfere much when she is being courted by a rich guy (name I can't remember). He is very cute and I love the way he is always looking out for Violet. It has some great secondary characters as well that really makes for a great book. This book was sort of like a mix between ghost story and murder mystery and very entertaining. The storyline has a good pace and its a very fast and easy read. I would recommend it for anyone who likes historical, ghost stories with a twist.
Anonymous 6 months ago
soliloquies on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting book which could have benefited with being longer. Violet is the only daughter of a fake social-climbing medium who is embroiled in her mother's schemes to fleece money from the unwary. Along the way Violet discovers her own genuine ability to see ghosts and ends up solving a murder.There wasn't enough detail to make this a truly great book. There is a whole wealth of information on Victorian mediums (fake and otherwise) which would have added to the storyline. Also Harvey touches on the social norms and etiquette of the period, but doesn't really expand on it. For me this left the story lacking depth and believability. Everything is a bit hurried, as though the author wanted to mention things without developing them.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another book that I have been trying to get off my tbr pile. And I must say that I am happy with it. I totally was not expecting it to be a historical book. It is a great read!What I loved most about this book is the plot. We have a girl who trudges along with her mom who is a con artist. She pretend to speak to the dead be she can not. She does magic tricks and such to make her clients believe in ghost. And then for no reason, Violet all of the sudden can see ghost. As you can imagine, this makes the mother very happy cause she thinks her daughter is actually pretending all of it as well. Like she is finally coming into the family business. I like Violet. She is typical girl doing her best to please her every non-pleasing mother. Violet goes by her guts and helps her mother no matter what. I do not like this women and for Violet to help her well, she is lucky.The love interest in the book is typical yet redeeming. They long for each other yet they can't have each other since Violet's mother is pushing her to marry a man of "good standing." The secret love is adoring and one that the reader will be rooting for.Whats most interesting is the whole ghost mystery. Violet stumbles upon a ghost who is murdered and is now trying to solving the murder. This part is fun. I liked watching Violet solve clues, see through the ghost eyes, and figure out the murder. During this part is sort of reminded me of play the game of Clue.Haunting Violet is an enchanting ghost story that keeps you reading till the end. The vividness of the ghost feelings and thoughts make your hair raise. Undeniably scary good, Haunting Violet is compelling.
emily.s on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Awesome.The writing in Haunting Violet is absolutely beautiful.This was my first historical paranormal romance, and I loved every second if it!The characters, the creepy mansions, the chilling ghost tales, England!It was all very, very good.
AvlyTopaz20 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm not usually into period mystery books, but this was a pleasant surprise. I loved how Violet was living the lie for her mother and then she ends up having true gifts, great irony.
ldybug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book takes place in the 1800's. A mother who is a fake spiritualist is trying to get from rags to fluently wealthy by lying about having the gift of mediumship while struggling to keep from appearing her age. She puts her daughter,Violet to rig up the rooms in which she is to hold her seances along with the help of Colin whom she took under her care as a young boy and serves as her footman,or searvant, He is truly there to protect Violet. Violet surprisingly inherits the gift by seeing a girl Rewanda who has been murdered and wants the murderer found out. This book drags you in and is hard to put down. Enttwined with a few comic relief moments,with romance and mystery. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading some more from this author.
DamarisGCR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a nice change for me. It's a historical YA with a paranormal twist to it. I normally don't read historical, but this one I enjoyed a lot!Violet and Colin have been friends since forever. They both deal with Violet's mother's nasty temper and her little schemes. Her mother is a con-artist who pretends she can see and speak to the dead. All of Violet's life has been pretty much doing anything and whatever her mother says. Colin who isn't related to them at all just sticks around.Being so used to her mothers "seances" and knowing what part she has to play it in all, Violet doesn't really see anything in her life changing anytime soon. Well, except maybe that her mother is trying to marry her off to a rich young man. They are off to another show and when they arrive Violet did not expect visiting the ghost she begins to see. The ghost wants Violet's help in finding her murderer.At times I felt so bad for Violet. Her mother really didn't care about her unless it would somehow benefit her. She used Violet and Colin for her own pleasure and money. She knew how to pick pockets, and at such a young age Colin and Violet learned how to pretty much survive on their own.The romance in Haunting Violet was a nice change for me. Colin and Violet have been close since they were little, and as they got older slowly begin to have feelings for each other. Colin was always there for her like a big brother and best friend. He wasn't over whelming or to controlling. It was perfect! THEY were perfect for each other. Colin made sure he did whatever he could to help her and protect her.Haunting Violet is very sad and suspenseful, but with a happy ending. I really enjoyed it and I hope Alyxandra Harvey gives us some more of Colin and Violet in another book. A great read!4 out of 5 Stars!
bkwormblogger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Synopsis: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.Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?Review:This is a great Victorian ghost story. Told by Violet it isn't just a ghost story, it tells her tale of lies, deception and acceptance across the class system of 19th century England.Violet's mother has been deceiving the gentry with parlour tricks, pretending to be a Medium or Spiritualist for any that will pay. With Violet is her childhood friend Colin, who her mother took in off the street. Together they fall into an adventure and along with Violet's friend Elizabeth who is a Duke's daughter (and doesn't know of Violets true past) they try and discover who murder poor Rowena.In the beginning Violet is just an ordinary lower/middle class girl. Her nasty mother constantly threatens her with tales of working as a seamstress until her fingers bleed so Violet does whatever her mother bids her to do. Sadly Violet can do nothing to get away from her station in life other than go along with her mothers wishes. When Violet arrives at Lord Jaspers house she starts seeing ghosts. What bothered me here was Violets reaction to her discovery. Instead of trying to figure out why the ghosts want her to purvey their messages she ignores them and pretends they aren't there. Except poor dead Rowena won't leave her alone. Xavier is a trademans son whose parents have been accepted in society because they are wealthy. When Xavier expresses his wish to marry Violet she doesn't know whether to accept. She likes him enough but has no romantic feelings towards him. But she does have feelings for Colin and he himself expresses as much to Violet. I couldn't help feeling that the romantic side of the book was a little forced. Especially as Colin, who Violet had known all her life, suddenly tells Violet how he feels. Why now?Eventually Violets mother's secret is found out and, disgraced, they return to London and are set upon by an angry mob. Violets saving grace is Colin. She finally understands that he only stays in employment with her mother for her. But at what cost?This book was unexpectedly good. I loved Violet and I understood why she was so afriad to get out from her mothers shadow. And Elizabeth was funny and kind to Violet all the way through.The only things I can criticise are small. Firstly Autumn is referred to on one occassion as Fall. England doesn't have Fall, its an American name for the season. And also if the author wanted authenticity she could have written 'neighborhood' in the english way as 'neighbourhood'.Other than that it was great to read a stand alone book, without having a whole series to go through to reach a conclusion. I enjoyed it and would gladly read more from Harvey.
bookwormygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Violet Willoughby does not believe in ghosts. She has been forced, from a young age, to help her fraudulent, spiritualist/medium mother con her grieving customers to believe that she can contact the dearly departed. With the help of Colin, her mother's assistant, her mother has been able to give Violet a semi-decent life, passing her off as more of a lady than the pauper that she really is. When Violet's mother is invited to the estate of Lord Jasper to once again play the part of medium, Violet is not too thrilled. For she knows she must play the part, not only to help her mother, but also so that young, wealthy Xavier takes notice of her. Although her feelings for Xavier may not be as strong as what she feels for Colin, she knows that Xavier won't be too critical about her past. But Violet soon realizes her love problems are the least of her worries, since shortly, after their arrival at the estate Violet begins to see the ghost of a dead girl. Although at first, she refuses to believe it, the dead girl is rather adamant that Violet help her not only protect her sibling but also solve the mystery of her murder. I was rather surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this story. Foremost, the historical aspect of it was what grasped my attention. I love stories (especially YA) that have a historical setting and Ms. Harvey accurately depicted London in the late nineteenth century. Secondly I love a good ghost story... and Haunting Violet was definitely that. The parts where Violet encounters a ghost were spine-tingling. I loved the atmospheric changes like a dramatic change in the wind, or water slowly creeping around her feet, or when she would walk into a room how all the ghosts would suddenly stop and stare at her... it was downright creepy. All in all, I thought Finding Violet had a lot of my favorite things all wrapped up to make it the perfect package. The mystery, romance, historical setting and paranormal aspects really held my attention. Not to mention there were a few twists and turns in there that I did not see coming. It was fun and fast-paced, had great characters, a mystery to be solved and ghosts.... I honestly couldn't ask for more.
Kristi_TheBookFaery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Faery¿s ViewHaunting 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.
allureofbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Historical fantasy is one of my favorite genres and one I don't read nearly often enough. It has been hard, in the past, to find well-written works that fit the category...slowly but surely, that seems to be changing. Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey definitely fit the bill.Violet lives in the late 19th century with her mother and a couple of servants (including the delectable Colin). Her mom is basically a crook - she goes around pretending to be a medium and drags Violet and Colin into her schemes. They have to help her put on the "show" that convinces people she is legit. When they are invited to a house party with upper crust guests, Violet's mother is thrilled - thinking that it'll open the door to a lot of other work. Unfortunately - the work starts a little early for Violet. Is that a real ghost following her around for once?I loved the plot of this novel - Violet's path to discovering the identity of the ghost followed by trying to help her find peace leads to a lot of interesting discoveries about herself and the people around her. It also leads to some legit creepy scenes - she has both other ghosts and living people on her trail. She doesn't go it alone though, her good friend Elizabeth is an eager participant in the adventures. Also, she can always count on Colin to do his best to keep her safe.Colin is one awesome dude, of the patiently-waiting-in-the-wings-he-has-wanted-her-forever variety. He watches while Violet's mom tries to make her marry for money...then decides he isn't gonna stand for any of that. Their developing romance from what was obviously a life-long friendship was very satisfying; I loved them together!So, the combination of historical details, paranormal creepiness, romance and family drama made for one heck of a great read. I definitely recommend picking this up!
BookSpot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Violet Willoughby has spent her life as part of her mother's fraudulent medium/spiritualist act. More skeptical than not only those who come to her mother's readings, but just about anyone else, Violet does not believe in spirits or ghosts.Except they seem to believe in her.A very persistent, very stubborn ghost is now making herself known to Violet. A ghost who seems to have died a violent death and won't just go away.Violet's going to have to figure out what the ghost wants and if she can accomplish it.That and if this new found ability is going to ruin Violet's plans of getting away from her mother once and for all through marriage. Of course, the only person who can help her is Colin, the friend she's had since childhood who works for her mother - and might pose a different sort of problem for her potential marriage.Can Violet manage to resolve it all --and without her life falling apart?There are not enough good things I can say about this book! Haunting Violet is the kind of book that makes me love that I have a blog because maybe just one person will read this post who wasn't planning on reading the book already and then will . . . and maybe then they'll tell someone how splendiferous it is! (Well, maybe not using that exact word.) It's just that good of a book.Set in the 1870s, Haunting Violet is historical fiction and the historical details seem to be accurate and really add to the story's depth and the readers' enjoyment of it.Chock full of mystery, intrigue and drama, but also the humor and kick butt heroines that Alyxandra Harvey displayed such a talent for in her Drake Chronicles series, this standalone has something (so much, really) for everyone. And while her heroine might not be one to swoon, Harvey has once again created a very swoon worthy male character in Colin (I'm more than a little bit in love with him, I think).Alyxandra Harvey crafts such brilliant stories and (as with the Drake Chronicles books) I love the relationships between her characters so, so much that I almost hate for the book to be over - except that they all find such brilliant resolutions that I can't really hate it.(Can't say that I would hate for this to be a series, though-or for the characters to happen to show up in another of the author's books ;-))A magnificent mystery, love story, historical fiction tale, and ghost story to boot, I cannot recommend this one enough!
renkellym on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Violet¿s mother is a medium who travels all over the country to sit for the most influential members of society. Unfortunately for Violet, her mother is a hack¿she can¿t really talk to ghosts, so she relies on Violet to help pull off her stunts. When a girl dripping wet with bruises around her neck appears at one of Violet¿s mother¿s sittings, Violet discovers that she, unlike her mother, can actually see the dead. And this dead girl wants Violet to expose her murderer. My thoughts: Haunting Violet is a spellbinding historical fantasy about ghosts, false mediums, and navigating the social classes in the nineteenth century. Alyxandra Harvey¿s writing is fabulous, and has a thoroughly classy, fancy, old-timey feel to it. She leaves the reader in much suspense¿as soon as the ghost girl makes her appearance, the story kicks into gear and doesn¿t stop until the final pages. Guessing Rowena¿s murderer is near impossible (I had a prediction, but was completely wrong), which made for a great mystery. Violet is a protagonist I easily warmed to. She¿s trapped in a horrible situation, but she can still see humor or irony in almost anything. Her distaste for high society is nothing new in terms of historical fantasy, but Violet¿s quips and whispers to her friend Elizabeth (an equally, if not more fun character than the protagonist) are very amusing. And as for the boys in the story¿there is an obvious choice for Violet, but he is a sweet, respectable type who is instantly endearing. The accent doesn¿t hurt, either. Overall, Haunting Violet is a fantastic historical fantasy. I fell in love with its lush setting, fun protagonist, and intriguing mystery. Fans of the paranormal and murder mysteries will delight in the book¿s excellent display of both qualities.
sithereandread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
HAUNTING VIOLET, by Alyxandra Harvey, is probably one of the best books I have read this year. So if you are not a gushing-type person, feel free to walk away now. Harvey is most known for her Drake Chronicle's series, following the lives of a vampire family and it's many children. Haunting Violet is a twist in the other direction, focusing on a girl in the 1800's who assists her phony 'Spiritualist' mother, while coming into her own and actually seeing spirits herself. Violet is my personal hero. She was raised by a single mother who is a hack, traipsing around the higher class residences pretending she can speak to the deceased. Violet and her mother are not wealthy, but are very good at appearing so. By sewing their own clothes and created the illusion of real seances, they manage to get by. One of the reasons why Violet is so fabulous is the way she deals with her incredibly annoying and naive mother. Violet's mother is selfish and ruthless, and when times get rough she is the only one who matters. There were times I wanted to reach inside the book and pummel her for her actions. There was definitely more than one villain in this book and she is definitely included. Besides dealing with her mother, I felt bad that Violet had to grow up so fast at such a young age. A skilled pickpocket and helper to the ruse that was their only source of income, she needed to toughen up very quickly. Also, her mother pushed Violet's prospects of finding a husband who could take care of them financially no matter how she felt, or how much she lied about herself. But to ease the tension in Violet's life there was Colin (swoon). He lived and worked for the Willoughby's as whatever was needed from him. Violet and Colin grew up together and eventually started to share more romantic inclinations toward each other as they grew up. I loved the relationship between these two. They both were in the same situations together and they got to know each and every part of each other's personality and still liked each other! Harvey created some electric chemistry between these two and I anticipated each scene they were in together.Along with loving the characters. I absolutely loved the story. I have found ghost stories a hit or miss with me, but this one was (obviously) a hit. Violet and her plump but loyal friend, Elizabeth (who I wouldn't mind having as a best friend!), worked together to try and solve the murder of a young ghost girl that kept appearing to Violet.Another extraordinary thing about this book (I told you tons of gushing!) is Harvey's prose. I found myself getting lost in the flowing words that created a beautiful setting and amazing circumstances for her characters. Along with the setting and eerie circumstances surrounding the death of the young girl, I thoroughly enjoyed this 'murder mystery' type book.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Violet Willoughby has seen too much to believe in ghosts. Her mother is a medium - a fake medium, that is - who uses the standard set of tricks to convince the spiritualism-crazed members of London society that she actually can communicate with the dead. Violet's tired of the lies, but knows that revealing the truth would send her and her mother back into the gutter, so she goes along with it, despite knowing that there are no real ghosts. But then at a retreat at the country estate of Lord Jasper, a prominent spiritualist, Violet starts seeing things that can't be real: most prominently, the transparent figure of a pale young woman, who inflicts Violet with terrible visions of drowning. Violet realizes that this must be the ghost of Rowena, the heir to the neighboring estate, who died in a tragic yet mysterious accident the previous year. But as Rowena ghost grows more and more insistent, Violet starts to think that it might not have been an accident after all... and the spirits of the dead will give her no rest until she uncovers the truth.Review: While I've mostly grown out of my pre-teen and teenage fascination with horror novels, I still like a good ghost story now and again, and if it's a Victorian ghost story with a pinch of romance, so much the better. Haunting Violet is a solid ghost story/murder mystery, and is one of those books that I absolutely would have devoured as a teen. As an adult, it didn't quite bowl me over, but was certainly an enjoyable read.Although I knew before I started that Harvey was adept at writing historical fiction - sections of Blood Feud are set in the French Revolution - she's so good at writing modern, action-packed, snarky-banter-heavy stories that it took me a while to get into Haunting Violet's quieter, more historical tone. I don't mean to imply that this book is lacking in action; on the contrary, the plot keeps up a swift pace throughout, with plenty of small touches of humor. But as interesting as fake séances are, they just don't get the heart pounding in the same way as a giant bloody vampire battle, y'know?I also thought that this book had too many living characters, and not enough dead ones. It hews fairly closely to murder mystery conventions, complete with attempts on the detective's life and a rash of sudden suspicious behavior from all involved. That's all well and good, but I felt like there were a few too many suspects for any one of them to make a particularly effective red herring, and I figured out the murderer pretty early on. I also wish there had been more ghosts other than Rowena. There are a few effectively creepy scenes in which Violet is surrounded by ghosts, all of them demanding something from her, but for the most part she only has fleeting contact with a few ghosts other than the drowned girl. I felt like the story could have used a supernatural subplot to add some emotional heft and to balance things out. 4 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: All things considered, this book provided a solid, creepy, atmospheric ghost story that kept me reading past my bedtime. Recommended for fans of Victorian spiritualism in fiction, teen ghost stories, and if I could send a copy backwards in time, my 13-year-old self.
ccourtland on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Behind the Victorian curtain lurks a secret fascination with the after-life. The science and seance of mediums, performance, magic and paranormal are invited into the drawing rooms of elite society and pray on the grief stricken and bored. The Gothic darkness paired with the proper etiquette of the era makes for a scandalised mixture that is both historically interesting as well as mesmerizing. The macabre halls, hauntings and visual images are authentic and remind me of The Castle of Otranto by Horace Warpole, a classic example of gothic horror. Although Violet's character might feel modern at times, it is vital to remember that women of her situation were allowed greater freedoms. Her spirit is captivating and her mother a perfect Victorian villain set on exploiting whatever she can to survive in a world where men determine and control everything.