Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Published: June 2011, Walker Books for Young Readers
Genre: Paranormal/Historical fiction/Mystery
Cover Score: A
As the daughter of a scam-artist "medium", Violet Willoughby naturally doesn't believe in ghosts. But when she is forced to accompany her mother to the wealthy Lord Jasper's country estate to conduct seances, she is forced to reconsider her views on the spiritualist world. There, Violet encounters a frightening vision she can't ignore: the ghost of a young girl, seeking justice from beyond. Thrust into the center of an unsolved murder admidst the highest echelon of Victorian society, Violet must discover the mystery behind this girl's violent death before her twin sister suffers the same fate. The only person Violet can trust with her secret is her mother's assistant Colin...but will she be able to accept her new talent and prevent another murder without risking her own chances for a future with the one she truly loves?
My thoughts: I had a tough time getting into the first few chapters of Haunting Violet, but once I had reached the tenth page or so, this haunting, beautifully written, fast-paced, and easy to understand romance/Victorian mystery/paranormal delight flew by.
I fell in love with Ms. Harvey's Drake Chronicles, so I was thrilled when I heard that she was writing a new book that went in a different direction. All in all, I was pleased with Haunting Violet--equal parts high-class Victorian-era glamour, swoon-worthy romance, and murder mystery, one thing made itself very clear throughout the novel: Ms. Harvey did her research! Each detail that made the book so lifelike and clear was perfectly on-key with the time period: the clothes, the mannerisms, the dialogue, the descriptions of the country manor and gardens.
Although the plot was pretty much that of your average paranormal novel, these details and the Victorian English setting took the book to another level. The plot moved quickly and fluidly, and I loved the realistic relationship between Colin and Violet (you could just feel the social tension), the mystery and glamour of the seances, the strained relationship between Violet and her fraudulent mother, and the chilling murder that Violet had to solve before time ran out.
Interesting, unique, and beautifully, realistically written, Haunting Violet will please both avid paranormal readers and fans of historical fiction.
Must-Read! Check it Out! Don't Bother