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Haunting Violet

(Haunting Violet #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  6,634 ratings  ·  709 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Walker Childrens (first published May 24th 2011)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  6,634 ratings  ·  709 reviews

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Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recently I read a writer's blog challenge about stakes. The stakes in a novel must be high to encourage a reader to want to finish the novel. Obviously, low stakes make for a boring novel. Most of the stakes presented were in the following format: so-and-so must do ______ OR ELSE ______ happens. Well, let me tell you about the "stakes" in this novel. Violet must find out who murdered Rowena or else... Well, I'm not really sure what will happen if she doesn't. Obviously, a murderer walks free, bu ...more
Briar's Reviews
I originally bought Haunting Violet when it first came out (way back in 2011... my gosh, it has been a long time). It ended up on my shelf and floated around for years, and I mean YEARS. I've been staring at this book for most of 2019 knowing full well I wanted to read it. Buuuuut... I know Alyxandra Harvey is one of my favourite authors, so I figured I'd have to find a time to sit down and binge read the whole darn book. And I did!

I finally picked this book up, knowing full well I'd love it. I
Tomoe Hotaru
There is this thick culture in my home country that places deep respect and almost blind obedience upon members of family - especially one's parents.

I lived next door to a girl and her younger brother. Every day, she was made to do all the household chores, help her mother with the cooking and tend to their little shop. One breath out of line and she was beaten by her father. Her younger brother, on the other hand, spent his days running about God knows where from morning 'til night, never made
Already a huge fan of Alyxandra Harvey's Drake Chronicles, I was eager to see how she tackles something totally different. I'm happy to say that she doesn't disappoint.
Haunting Violet was everything I was hoping for and more.

I loved this book! Yes, it's a historical, which most of you know I don't particular like, but the way Harvey writes feels like I've been swept off my feet and transported. I love how vivid her setting is. It's rich and lavish, right down to the fashion and the food, the ele
Jay G
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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For as long as Violet can remember, her mother has been pretending to be a spiritual medium. She enlisted the help of Violet at a very young age to help fake the seances she performs for her clients. While attending a spiritual party of a wealthy lord, Violet begins to see ghosts. The ghost of a young girl who was murdered on the property a year earlier appears and Violet decides that she is going to
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
(3.5 stars) It’s Victorian England, and Spiritualism is all the rage. Violet Willoughby’s mother Celeste is a phony medium, using parlor tricks to scam her way up the social ladder. Now, the Willoughbys have been invited to the palatial estate of Rosefield for a grand house party. On this trip, Violet learns something shocking: she is a medium. A real one. And the ghost of a girl from the next estate over, who drowned mysteriously the previous year, is haunting Violet and demanding she solve her ...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
I've had great luck with my Halloween picks this year. This book was a great little find. I haven't read this author's Drake Chronicles series yet, but I'm now interested in checking it out after reading Haunting Violet.

Normally I don't like to write summaries for book reviews, but since the actual summary doesn't really clue you in to what's going on, I'm going to break it down for you.

1. It's a historical. I was surprised, but in a good way. The setting was perfect for adding to the creepy vib
MaryannC. Book Freak
I rather enjoyed this charming read. Once again I was meant to peruse this and get to it in a day or two but once I read the opening pages I couldn't stop reading it.
Violet Willoughby is a young woman going along for the ride with her mother's plans of being a renowned "Spiritualist" to the gentry of London. Despite the fact that Violet doesn't believe in ghosts or cares to be part of her mother's convoluted schemes, she goes along with it because the money her mother pockets will allow them to
Alysa H.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining enough, but quite silly and unremittingly shallow. Random pratfalls, for example, do not equal character depth. And for a book that seems to revel in anachronistic language and behaviors on the part of its teenage females, the author sure is fond of the word "missish" -- a word which I find supremely sexist. It's used disparagingly at least 4 times.
Jun 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

This is a great YA historical with a spooky, supernatural element, not to mention a sweet romance!

I've always been fascinated by the seances in the Victorian era, including all the tricks that mediums and con artists used to make people think they were communicating with ghosts. The book really portrays Violet's mother as taking advantage of people at their worst. We get to see all of the ways she tricked them in detail.

Sometimes, I wanted Violet's mother to be just little more of a sym
Aug 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant detail on spiritualism. Fab protagonist and brilliant romance *swoon.

I am a huge fan of Alyxandra Harvey's vampire series The Drake Chronicles, so I was very excited to read anything else by her, more so after reading the synopsis. I have to say that Haunting Violet has tipped the scales sending me into super fan girl mode. The book is superbly well written with dramatic atmospheric tension from the beginning.

I do not want to go into too much detail about the plot as you really NEED to
Sixteen-year-old Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in the supernatural after being forced to assist her mother, a fradulent medium, since she was a little girl. Violet resents her mother for forcing her to participate in tricking many grieving people out of their money. Invited to the estate of Lord Jasper, a wealthy and prominent Spiritualist, Violet is angry that she must once again help perpetuate her mother's fraud. At the same time, Violet's mother is trying to push her into marriage with a ...more
Delilah V
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Review for Haunting Violet By Alyxandra Harvey

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey is one of my all time favorite books! I loved it! It had such descriptive language in it at some parts you thought you were actually in the story. It on the edge of your seat wondering what would happen next. Haunting Violet pleasantly surprised me by being so good because I usually do not read thrilling books like this but I would recommend this book to anyone.

The book Haunting Violet takes place in the 1800's
Interesting concept, but not particularly well executed. A murder mystery needs to be tightly plotted, and this one wasn't. The pace dragged, and the ghost of the murdered girl seemed remarkably coy in revealing who her murderer was. (Seriously, just TELL VIOLET WHO IT WAS.)

Also -- and this is one of my biggest pet peeves -- even though this was set in the Victorian era, none of the characters acted or sounded like they were from that period. Violet, the main character, wouldn't shut up about he
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen, historical
This review was first posted on

I'm afraid I didn't enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the Drake Chronicles. It's a period piece, which tends to bring out the nitpicker in me. I'm one of those people who is irritated when an author gets titles wrong. It's not that I consider myself a history buff--quite the opposite, in fact--but that's my point, really. If an ignoramus like me knows that the Earl of Bladiblah generally has several lesser titles in addition to the one
I find the Spiritualist movement absolutely fascinating simply because so many people were hoodwinked so rampantly, and publicly, for so many years and it took a decent amount of time for them to catch on. This higher level of society, too hoity toity for their own good, bamboozled into thinking that women with wooden planks bound to their knees were their dead relatives come back to contact them. So smart they were.

What I loved most about HAUNTING VIOLET was that it didn't take itself too serio
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ghosts
The Faery’s View

Haunting Violet is such an apropos name for Alyxandra Harvey’s break –away from The Drake Chronicles! It is full of ghosts, thrills, romance but it’s also a murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. The most surprising aspect of Haunting Violet is that it is not only a paranormal romance but it is also, in my opinion, a very accurate historical paranormal romance set in the year of 1872.

Violet, the illegitimate daughter of a charlatan Spiritualist, has known
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
The cover:

Lilies and water are a bit cliché, but both have to do with the book, so it can be forgiven. The colours are also an iffy choice: the shades of purple and white complement each other, but it ends up looking like a monotone cover. What bothers me most is the girl -- is she Violet or Rowena? I suppose it doesn't matter, but it seems like a weird positioning of the model for either of them.

The book:

Haunting Violet reminded me very much of Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn. And let me tell you
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Set in Victorian England, Haunting Violet is fun, suspense, mystery, and romance all wrapped into one amazing book!

Violet's mother is a "Medium" who fools people out of money by holding phony seances and readings. Violet and her mother's assistant, Colin, must participate in the charades to earn a living.

They are invited out to the country estate of Lord Jasper and suddenly Violet starts seeing ghosts. Mostly the ghost of a girl who drowned the summer before at a neighboring estate. Her death wa
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars
Behind the Victorian curtain lurks a secret fascination with the after-life. The science and seance of mediums, performance, magic and paranormal are invited into the drawing rooms of elite society and pray on the grief stricken and bored. The Gothic darkness paired with the proper etiquette of the era makes for a scandalised mixture that is both historically interesting as well as mesmerizing. The macabre halls, hauntings and visual images are authentic and remind me of The Castle of O
Jan 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating look at the mania for Spiritualism and seances in Victorian England. Violet's mother is a medium, and a total fraud. All her life, Violet has assisted her mother in swindled the bereaved by faking ghostly messages and visitations. But what if a real ghost wanted to make contact?

This book was wonderfully done, with plenty of detail about fashions, etiquette, and Spiritualism (real and fake). Violet was a great character, and so was everyone else, from her theatrical mother t
Originally reviewed:


First Impressions:

Ana: I love ghost stories (even if I am scared of them) and I love novels set in Victorian times, so reading Haunting Violet was pretty much a given. The potential was even greater considering that the heroine and narrator is a con artist who finds herself having to solve a very real murder with the added bonus of a sweet romance between childhood friends. And you know… I really enjoyed reading Haunting
Sep 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
Rowena Wentworth didn’t drown. She was murdered. And until her killer is revealed and admits their guilt, her spirit will not rest. And as a restless spirit she is angry and she fears for her sister Tabitha’s safety. She wants justice.

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 ab
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Ever since I saw the beautiful cover and the intriguing synopsis for Alyxandra Harvey’s Haunting Violet, I have been dying to read it, as if there is one thing I love its well-written historical fiction, especially if it involves something supernatural as well. Thankfully, this book perfectly fit the bill!

For Violet Willoughby, she is starting to become sick of the life she has been given. She cannot stand watching her mother constantly trick people into giving their money over for her so-called
Ri v
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think i'm becoming a HUMONGOUS fan of Alyxandra Harvey!

In this tale she enchants us with yet another story based in the victorian society. Violet and her mother are not very wealthy so they pretend to be mediums that can see the dead. Along with them is Collin, a boy her mother had taken care of since he's mother had died. This trio has conned their way into the elite society. Until one day. they receive an invitation to Lord Jasper's manner house. Violet and her mother put on a well elaborate
Jan 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Since Harvey's Drake Chronicles is one of the better recent vampire series, I was interested to see how she did in another genre. This is still within the paranormal continuum, but it's historical fiction and Spiritualism, not modern vampires. And it's not bad.

Violet's mother is a Spiritualist, holding seances and "reuniting" the living and the dead. Of course it's all a hoax and the tricks she uses are described with some loathing by Violet (but if you've ever wondered, it's interesting to lear
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. She's sat through one two many of her mothers fake séances to believe in the spirits. But, on a trip to great country house where her mother is trying to pull off her greatest con, ghosts all of the sudden start appearing to Violet. One ghost in particular is quite insistent that Violet help her catch her murderer before he has a chance to kill her sister. Violet reluctantly starts to investigate the death along with her eager friend and childhood par ...more
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
This and my other reviews can be found at

Violet has never believed in ghosts and people who can see them because of helping and living with her charlatan spiritualist mother. However, when Violet, her mother and Colin, an Irish orphan who helps out her mother and Violet has been getting strange feeling for him, visit Lord Jasper’s country estate, Violet keeps seeing a drowned girl everywhere she goes. Now with the help of Colin and her friend Elizabeth hav
4 1/2 stars. In Victorian London, Violet has been helping her mother stage fake seances for years. She does not enjoy it, but she has no where to go so she does it, despite guilty feelings. So there really is no bigger skeptic than Violet. But on a trip to a country house for a set of seances at a country house, Violet starts feeling and seeing creepy things. Once at the estate, it only gets worse as Violet starts seeing ghosts all around her and one in particular, the desperate ghost of a young ...more
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Looking for a YA book about a young girl who's step mother is a false ghost whisperer? set in the 1800's maybe? Spoilers ahead. [s] 2 22 Sep 15, 2018 12:23PM  
Stand Alone? 3 31 Aug 18, 2012 03:35AM  
Book Boyfriends: Haunting Violet 11 13 Mar 26, 2012 02:51PM  
Book Boyfriends: Colin Lennox 1 26 Feb 22, 2012 05:06PM  
does anyone know 2 54 May 01, 2011 01:25PM  

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Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fac

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