Series: Haunting Violet #1
Published by Walker Childrens on June 21st 2011
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?
Already being a fan of Harvey's Drake Chronicles, I was really excited to see what direction she would take Haunting Violet in. Before I get to the heart of my feelings regarding the book, I have a confession to make. Prior to starting the novel, I had no idea that it was set in Victorian London. Oh, I am sure that I probably read about it in one place or another, but for whatever reason, it never sunk in. And this left me very surprised when I started Haunting Violet.
As I just mentioned, Haunting Violet is set in Victorian London in a era where women are beginning to question their role in society. An era where the paranormal realm is being explored and where all it takes to make someone else believe is a few parlor tricks. This is the world that Violet knows. The one that her mother, the fake medium, has thrust her into. Early on in the novel, Harvey sets the two characters vastly apart. Violet, the unwilling participant, lives in the background. Her mother, overly dramatic, lives for the attention and will do whatever it takes to stay in the limelight. When Violet begins to notice that she may have a gift that she never expected, she finds herself torn between keeping her gift a secret and trying to solve a murder mystery.
Haunting Violet is complete depart from the previous novels that I have read by Harvey. Yes, it is a historical novel. And yes, I absolutely adored it. Harvey stays very close to many historical elements (clothing, rank, etc.) while making it feel accessible to all sorts of readers. Haunting Violet features an intriguing mystery while focusing on mother / daughter relationships, a delicious romance, and the paranormal. I literally ate Haunting Violet up.
I entered Haunting Violet for the cover. But stayed due to the extraordinary characters, a fascinating plot, and a twist on the typical ghostly tale.