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Wednesday 3 February 2021

Review: The Violet Veil Mysteries: A Case of Grave Danger

This new detective series set in the mid to late 1800s, boasts an amazing, independent, and courageous leading female character with her equally amazing dog, Bones.

Violet has grown up amongst the dead. In fact, she was born on a slab in the mortuary, Mother told her. As her father owned the funeral parlour and they lived next to the graveyard, living and dying was something she learnt about from an early age.

Soon after Violet turns thirteen, the body of Oliver is brought to them for burial. He is the fifth unidentified person to be murdered in the same way. When a shocked Violet finds his coffin empty, the first link to a strange mystery surfaces. 

A deep wound at the back of Oliver's head caused him to remain unconscious, therefore presumed dead.

Homeless and orphaned, Oliver is cared for, and Mr Veil takes him on as apprentice. It is what Violet longed for herself, knowing it an impossible longing for a girl.

Oliver asks Violet to help him find who tried to kill him. This is not an easy task. Oliver’s papers are stolen from the office. Then, an anonymous a tip-off has the police turn up to search the premises. Mr Veil is taken away in handcuffs and charged after a hammer, the supposed murder weapon, is produced.

Convinced her father is being framed, the two decide to investigate the other four murdered persons, in the hope that they will uncover information to save Mr Veil. Then there is the Black Widow that wanders the graveyards. Can she be connected in some way to this ever-growing and complex web of mystery? She is added to the list of suspects.

With the help of Violet’s dog, the intelligent Bones whose highly developed sixth sense is invaluable, their inquiries reveal many similarities between the four deceased. But they must seek the truth secretly, as Violet’s parents have forbidden her to undertake any action that will risk her safety.

But there is no choice. Mr Veil’s pending hanging, forces Mother to accept Violet and Oliver’s help as a last resort.

Full of mystery, excitement, adventure and suspense, this fantastic beginning to the series, sees Violet evolve and assert her individuality. She casts off the handicap of restriction and invisibility that her gender demands, to set up a new and daring identity.

Title: The Violet Veil Mysteries: A Case of Grave Danger
Author: Sophie Cleverly
Illustrator: Hannah Peck
Publisher: Harper Collins, $16.99
Publication Date: 3 February 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780008297350
For ages: 8+
Type: Middle Grade Fiction