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Haunting Violet Paperback – July 3, 2012
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"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." -"The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books " "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... Harvey's writing is witty and brings headstrong, irreverent Violet to life. "-Publishers Weekly" "Harvey keeps the narrative moving smoothly and well as she weaves romance, suspense and even a bit of comedy into the story.... A well-paced, clever and scary supernatural-su
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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Top customer reviews
Haunting Violet is both a spooky mystery and a coming-of-age tale for Violet. She is constrained both by her cruel mother and by the strict rules of Victorian society, where even if you save the day, you'd better not be inappropriately dressed while doing it. Violet's development is compelling as she tries to determine who she wants to be and what kind of life she will live, in a time when young women were not supposed to decide these things for themselves.
There's a romantic element, too. Violet's mother is pushing her to marry the wealthy but boring Xavier, but Violet is falling for her childhood friend, Colin, an Irish-born orphan. The choice between Mr. Wrong-but-rich and Mr. Right-but-poor is not new, really, but it works -- and Colin makes a great match for Violet. They've got loads of chemistry, and he always has her back and wants her to be happy.
Alyxandra Harvey creates a cast of characters who come alive on the page. In addition to Violet and Colin, some good examples are Celeste, who's fascinating to read about even though she's a horrible person; Violet's friend Elizabeth, who's simply fun; and the ghost characters, who provide many moments of warmth and comic relief in addition to chills. Seriously, I love the ghosts. The lady with the blackberries. The pirate, with his comment about his own death. Lord Marshall's wife! The schnauzer!
I do wish Violet had solved the murder before I did. The mystery in Haunting Violet bears a resemblance to a very famous story, and once I saw that story's ghost beneath the surface of this one -- pardon the pun -- I knew who had done it, and I was right. But even setting that aside, there are a couple of major clues that readers will probably catch but that Violet misses. It's actually another character who correctly interprets the most significant clue. It would have been much more satisfying if Violet had been the one to figure this out.
These issues with the mystery brought Haunting Violet down a bit in my eyes, as did a distracting error that was repeated several times: "passed" used in place of "past." On the whole, though, I found it charming, and I enjoyed reading it. Sometimes you just need some goosebumps and a sweet love story on a dark and stormy night.
In Short: This book is a wonderful blend of genres. A young adult book set in Victoria Era England with a supernatural themed plot driven by romance and a murder mystery. This book sucks you into its world and the imagery gives you the feel of watching a spooky movie with brilliant special effects. This book is a unique and fun read!
Pros: I love the way the book is written. It is narrated by the main character who is funny and clever and is always saying and thinking witty things. I thought the main character was very likable. I really enjoyed that she was the one to solve the mystery and she didn't need a love interest to save her. The book is really well written and the way things are worded you can really imagine them. The ghost scenes are creative and scary. The romance elements were natural and believable. The book is really well paced and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the entire thing.
Full review at ODbookreviews.blogspot.com
So when she sees someone who possesses the gift of sight, she is determined to make them solve her murder and she will not leave them alone until they do.
Violet Willoughby never wanted to follow in her mother Celeste's footsteps - someone who claimed to have the ability to connect with the spirit world. But she knew her mother was a fraud, that she only sought the profit and attention that being a medium afforded. She was well aware of all her mother's tricks. And she knew that spirits didn't really exist.
But when her mother is invited to Rosefield by Lord Jasper to perform a séance, Violet quickly learns just how wrong she's been. That there really are such things as spirits. That she can see them. And that if she doesn't figure out who Rowena's killer is, she might never be left alone.
Because a sixteen-year-old girl with psychic abilities is no match for an angry spirit dead-set on finding her executioner.
Haunting Violet is a bewitching and utterly delightful murder mystery with a twist set in the Victorian Era. It is a clever, fun and incredibly entertaining story that will keep readers guessing as to the identity of the killer and why they committed this crime.
The story has all the right elements to make up the perfect murder mystery. There are a number of characters who are behaving suspiciously, with hidden motives and many secrets they do not want revealed. There is a reluctant but capable "detective" and a charming and lovable "sidekick." And it has an ideal setting - a large manor in the English countryside where the guilty party can easily remain hidden amongst the crowds.
But there is more to Haunting Violet than just a mystery. A whole new dimension is added to the story with the supernatural element and Violet's ability to communicate with Rowena and other pleasant and not so pleasant spirits.
Violet and Elizabeth make a charming crime-solving duo. And with a love story developing in the background, Haunting Violet is an extremely engaging book.
Alyxandra Harvey's ability to craft an enchanting story extends beyond the realm of the vampire in Haunting Violet, her novel that is part mystery, part ghost story and part love story. And she has created a group of characters that are incredibly entertaining and simply delightful to get to know.
Haunting Violet is not only a must read for fans of historical young adult fiction or supernatural murder mysteries, but for readers who enjoy a captivating, well-written story told from the main character's perspective who is a very likable albeit reluctant heroine.
Most recent customer reviews
I really wanted this book to be a great read; something that pulled you into the characters’ world and wouldn’t let you go.Read more