First Lines: I was nine years old when my mother decided it was time I took part in the family business. I was pretty enough now, she said, that I might be of use. I’d grown into my ears and my long neck and might be clever enough to handle myself. Besides which, she claimed, she had no other option.
Alyxandra Harvey is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I discovered her when I found The Drake Chronicles, and I figured this would be fairly similar. It wasn’t even close, yet it was still Harvey’s style. Haunting Violet was more serious than the Drakes have ever been, but it still carried the same humor. That’s the mark of a fabulous author, that the characters shape her writing and not the other way around.
Violet doesn’t believe in ghosts. She’s participated in more fake seances to scam lonely widows than she cares to admit, thanks to her mother. But Violet’s forced to change her mind when she receives a terrifying vision during one of her mother’s seances at the home of Spiritualist Lord Jasper. The only person Violet can tell is Colin, her mother’s lackey and the boy she’s come to love but can’t be with because of rigid society rules. Can Violet help settle the spirit of the murdered girl? Can she find a way to do it without losing Colin?
I really love that this was also a historical fiction. Ghosts plus history equals my idea of an amazing book. It wouldn’t have been the same story if it was set in modern times. It just fit better being set in 1865, London.
The characters were really great. Violet and Colin I completely fell for, but there were others that were just as great. Elizabeth, Lord Jasper, Violet’s mother (who was just beautifully crafted, even though I completely despise her as a person).
I guess you could say that this story was like one of those murder mysteries they host in mansions or hotels. Everyone pretty much stays at the house for a few weeks and we know one of them is the killer, but who? I had my suspicions, but it wasn’t who I thought it would be.