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Progressive Era Children's Ghost Story: VIOLET YORKE, GILDED GIRL: GHOSTS IN THE CLOSET Book Review

She sees ghosts…but are they malevolent or friendly?

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the VIOLET YORKE, GILDED GIRL: GHOSTS IN THE CLOSET by P.J. McIlvaine Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About The Book:


Author: P.J. McIlvaine

Pub. Date: April 4, 2022

Publisher: Darkstroke Books

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 127

Find it: Goodreads,

Read for FREE with a Kindle Unlimited subscription!

Poor little rich girl Violet Yorke has seen ghosts for as long as she can remember, but no one believes her.

Not stodgy Grandmother, who took charge of the heiress after her parents were killed in a failed robbery. Nor kind-hearted Aunt Nanette, or Uncle Bertie, a charming rogue. Not even the patient Hugo Hewitt, Violet’s godfather and trustee of her vast fortune.

Everyone dismissed the child’s insistence about ghosts as a harmless eccentricity—until the night her bedroom caught fire. Violet was promptly sent overseas, fueling her anger and resentment.

Two years later, a rebellious twelve-year-old Violet is on her way back to Manhattan on the doomed Titanic. As the ship sinks into the deep Atlantic Ocean, she’s put in a lifeboat by an apparition who rescued her from the clutches of a jewel thief. Presumed lost at sea, Violet shocks everyone by crashing her own funeral.

Following Violet’s recovery, Grandmother has grand high society designs for the girl, but Violet has other ideas. She’s determined to uncover the secret of what really happened to her parents. Then there’s the mystery of the moon-faced boy at gloomy Dunham Hall and his connection to the ghost on Titanic. Also hot on Violet’s trail is the jewel thief, the specter of her murdered governess, and a vengeful ghost lurking in Violet’s childhood home.

Being a poor little rich girl in 1912 Gotham isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in this delightfully dark and droll supernatural historical fantasy.


My Review:


This is such a fun read. Violet is spunky, charming twelve year old and I so enjoyed the story. With only 127 pages I swiftly read the story within a couple of days so this would be a perfect addition for teachers and school librarians for their students who aren't big readers.

Violet can see ghosts and she helps them solve their predicaments, such as the moon-faced boy and his connection to Titanic ghosts who resecured her. She also is running from a jewel thief and uncovers the mystery of her own parent's death. Seems like a lot crammed into one little book but the author does a great job weaving the story and plot together that keeps you moving along nicely.

I'm not sure if this book is a possible series or standalone, but if I were the author I would turn it into a series. I would also recommend changing the cover. The cover suggests a haunting and scary story, which it isn't. This will hinder many parents, teachers, and librarians from adding it to their collections. I would recommend using a cover resembling new releases, such as THE GOLDEN FROG GAMES or the popular series THE INCREDIBLY DEAD PETS OF REX DEXTER.


About P.J. McIlvaine:

PJ McIlvaine is a prolific and creative children’s author/screenwriter/writer/journalist.

PJ will have two books coming out in 2023: A GOOD MAN, a gritty adult contemporary psych thriller from Bloodhound Books, and THE CURIOUS CONUNDRUM OF CHARLEMAGNE CROSS, a young adult alternate history adventure set in Victorian London from Orange Blossom Books.

PJ's debut middle-grade supernatural historical mystery adventure VIOLET YORKE, GILDED GIRL: GHOSTS IN THE CLOSET (Darkstroke Books, April 2022) is about a poor little rich girl in NYC 1912 who sees ghosts.

PJ’s debut picture book LITTLE LENA AND THE BIG TABLE (June 2019, Big Belly Book Co.), with illustrations by Leila Nabih, is about a determined little girl tired of eating with her annoying cousins at the kid’s table, only to discover that the big table isn’t much better. She has another picture book, DRAGON ROAR (MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing, October 2021) artwork by Logan Rogers, about a lonely, sick dragon who has lost his mighty roar, and the brave village girl who helps him find it again.

PJ is also a co-host and founding member of #PBPitch, the premiere Twitter pitch party for picture book creators.

PJ has been published in numerous outlets including The New York Times and Newsday, and is a regular contributor for The Children’s Book Insider newsletter (paid firewall), writing about the path to publication and interviews with established and debut kid lit authors.

PJ lives on Eastern Long Island with her family and furbaby Luna.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | BookBub

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of VIOLET YORKE, GILDED GIRL: GHOSTS IN THE CLOSET, US Only.

Ends April 18th, midnight EST.

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