June 21, 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?
I don't usually like to read historical novels, but I love Alyxandra Harvey's Drake Chronicles so I thought I would give Haunting Violet a try. I am very glad that I did, because it had an engaging mystery worth solving and authentic characters who I would love to meet. Although there were some slow moments in the story, it was easy to keep reading because I was eager to solve the mystery alongside Violet.
Violet is an intelligent, crafty, and rational girl who doesn't believe in ghosts. Her mother has made a life for them by scamming and cheating rich people out of their money as Spiritualist. She hates what her mother does but has to go along with it so they can survive. The mystery starts when they arrive at Lord Jasper's estate, where Violet starts to see ghosts! Violet thinks she is crazy when she starts seeing them. She has lived her whole life in disbelief because she knows that her mother can't really see spirits so she doesn't think it is possible. This all changes when she begins to see Rowena, a girl who appears to have been brutally murdered. Rowena fears for her twin sister Tabitha, and wants Violet to find her murderer before Tabitha end up like her.
I loved Violet! She was capable and straightforward, two wonderful qualities to have. I loved how awkward she was in high society. I know that if I was her, I would be in the exact same position. I enjoyed watching her navigate her relationships with her mother and Colin. Her mother is a horrible human being who I despised from the start. She is mean and treats Violet horribly. Colin is a sweetie pie, and the romance that develops between him and Violet was fun to observe. Violet's friendship with Elizabeth was real and fresh. They have a good time with each other and Elizabeth was a great aid to Violet in the solving of Rowena's murder.
While I liked Haunting Violet for the most part, there were a few flaws. The story was fast paced for the most parts, but there were a few moments where it lagged and I felt a bit bored. I also felt that, for me, there wasn't much chemistry between Colin and Violet. Yes, their romance was endearing, but I just didn't feel the sparks that supposedly ignited between them after years of innocent "flirting". I felt that they would have been much better friends. However, that was only a minor concern. Most of the book is centered around the paranormal and mystery, and I appreciated that.
Haunting Violet is a fanciful paranormal mystery that I adored! Like I said before, historical novels really don't hold my attention, but this one did. The writing is descriptive, and I could picture the setting and characters quite clearly. Don't miss out on this fantastic historical paranormal!