Friday 15 July 2011

Review: Haunting Violet - Alyxandra Harvey

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts . . . but they believe in her.

Violet has spent years taking part in her mother's elaborately faked seances, putting the rich and powerful in touch with the dead, and their success has brought them a life of luxury they could only have dreamed of and Violet the prospect of a society marriage.

The last thing Violet expected was to start seeing and hearing the dead for real.  But now she is haunted day and night by the ghost of a drowned girl who won't let her rest until her murderer is uncovered.  Violet must use her talents to unravel the mystery surrounding the girl's death - and quickly before the killer strikes again . . .

Visit Alyxandra Harvey's website for more information

I've had Alyxandra Harvey's vampire series (The Drake Chronicles) on my wish list for a while now but still haven't got around to buying them.  If I enjoy them anywhere near as much as I did Haunting Violet then I really need to go out and get copies soon though.  I really seem to be enjoying historical fiction at the moment and having the added paranormal element of the ghosts made this the perfect book for me to read.  Although Haunting Violet can easily be a stand alone story I would love to revisit Violet again in the future and find out more about her abilities so I would be really happy if this ended up being the first book in a series.

The author has done a good job of capturing Victorian England and the different customs of the peerage, there were a couple of times that one of the characters would say something that didn't quite fit the era but it didn't happen often and didn't stop me enjoying the story.  I liked Violet from the first page and detested her mother just as much.  Violet is forced to go along with her mother's schemes to fool everyone that she is a genuine medium, she hates what her mother gets up to and feels guilty conning grieving relatives but doesn't sit around feeling sorry for herself.  As much as I hated Violet's mother I quite enjoyed seeing all the different ways they came up with to trick people into thinking that something supernatural was going on, there is no denying the fact her mother had some clever tricks up her sleeve.

When Violet starts developing her own abilities to see ghosts she is at first disbelieving, she would rather blame what she is seeing on being overtired than accept that ghosts are actually real.  I enjoyed watching her come to terms with her gift and was impressed with her determination to find out who had killed Rowena.  The mystery of the murder had me going around in circles several times, there were a few things I guessed correctly quite early on but the identity of the killer wasn't who I expected at all.  We are introduced to a few great side characters, her friend Elizabeth was one of my favourites and had me laughing several times with her crazy antics, it was good for Violet to have such a supportive friend.  Another favourite was Colin and I was routing for him right from the beginning.  He is the only person that Violet can show her real self to, she doesn't have to put on any kind of pretence around him as he will look out for her no matter what and I loved him for that.

Overall Haunting Violet is a highly recommended creepy Gothic ghost story and I'm looking forward to reading more by Alyxandra Harvey.  I really hope that she continues Violet's story and if she does I'll be first in the queue to get a copy.

Source: Received from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
The Overflowing Library
Heaven, Hell & Purgatory Book Reviews
Serendipity Reviews
Book Angel Booktopia
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. I've just read this one too - great book! The Victorian setting is fab, and ditto, I love the tricks they use to deceive people. Bellows..poor Violet!

    Here's the link to my review of Haunting Violet:




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