This is my stop during the blog tour for Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy by Paula Berinstein. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 30 November till 13 December, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours:
So far this series contains 3 books: Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy (Amanda Lester, Detective #1), Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis (Amanda Lester, Detective #2) and Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle (Amanda Lester, Detective #3).
Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy
(Amanda Lester, Detective #1)
by Paula Berinstein
Age category: Middle Grade
Release Date: May, 2015
A reluctant detective, a criminal mastermind, and . . . sugar?
Amanda Lester wouldn’t be caught dead going into the family business. Her ancestor, Sherlock Holmes’s colleague Inspector G. Lestrade, is a twit. Nevertheless her parents refuse to see his flaws, and she’s going to a secret English school for the descendants of famous detectives whether she likes it or not.
When Amanda arrives at the dreaded school, she considers running away—until she and her new friends discover blood and weird pink substances in odd places. At first they’re not sure whether these seeming clues mean anything, but when Amanda’s father disappears and the cook is found dead with her head in a bag of sugar, they’re certain that crimes are taking place.
Now Amanda must embrace her destiny and uncover the truth. The only snag is that arch-villain Blixus Moriarty, a descendant of Holmes’s nemesis Professor James Moriarty, might be involved, and he doesn’t like nosy little girls interfering in his business.
If you are a middle grade book fan, and I don't care what age you are you can be one, you will definitely be wild about the author Paula Berinstein. Berinstein gives her readers a chance to connect to her characters and does so with precision. The first book in the series that I read was Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy and I am so glad that I did. I homeschool my children and read aloud to both of them because they are years apart but both can still enjoy a story being told to them. Well that is exactly how the first book in this series was presented to my homeschool, by reading aloud. My youngest son loves to snuggle in and listen to me read and this was a chance for him to hear a middle grade story. Suffice to say he loved it just like mom and his older brother did! To me, when children take a liking to a story it means something. It means that the author has connected with her readers in a good way. That to me is what is one of the most important aspects of writing for children, the fact that they connect. Berinstein gives you just what you need in order to keep going!
The characters are written well and in depth. I didn't feel lost at all because Berinstein keeps the reader well informed. That is another aspect of her writing that I totally love! It matters and I am so happy to see a middle grade author that really connects. I recommend Berinstein's books in the Amanda Lester series. If you are looking for awesome writing and excellent storylines check out this series. I rate this book a FULL Five Stars and can't wait to read the next book in the series.
You can find Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy on Goodreads:
Later books in the series:
Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis (Amanda Lester, Detective #2)
By Paula Berinstein
Age category: Middle Grade
Release Date: September 15, 2015
If only Sherlock Holmes's great-great-grandson weren't such a dork . . .
There’s a new student at the Legatum Continuatum School for the Descendants of Famous Detectives and Amanda is supposed to work with him. Scapulus Holmes is a descendant of the great Sherlock and he’s crazy about her. Unfortunately she thinks he’s a dork and would rather die than have anything to do with him.
But when the kids discover a dead body encrusted with strange living crystals, Amanda realizes she needs Holmes’s help. If the crystals fall into the wrong hands they could be used for nefarious purposes, and only he knows how to protect them.
Can the detectives keep the bad guys from learning the crystals' secrets? It would help if they could figure out who the dead body is too. Only if Amanda and Holmes can find a way to work together can they prevent a disaster, and it isn’t looking good.
Paula Berinstein the author does it again! She entertains her readers with pizazz and keeps the pace going hard and strong! Not once were my homeschoolers ever bored while I read this story aloud to them. I just love that face that when I got ready to read this one, my kids would automatically settle down and tune in. This is what I absolutely adore about her writing! What mom wouldn't be pleased? She really keeps the reader entertained and never did the boys want me to put the bookmark inside. That means that it was time up and they were never ready. I must say that the characters are just as well written and in depth as the first book in this spectacular series.
I recommend this book for all of you out there that LOVE a super middle grade read! I did and I am sure you will too!
You can find Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis on Goodreads:
You can buy Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis here:
Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle (Amanda Lester, Detective #3)
By Paula Berinstein
Age category: Middle Grade
Release Date: November 15, 2015
Purple rainbows, a mysterious crypt, and pots of gold . . .
Things are not going well for Amanda and the secret detective school. A priceless artifact has disappeared, a dangerous hacker is manipulating matter, and zombies are being seen all over the Lake District.
Then the real trouble starts. When her cousins go missing and her friend Clive is kidnapped, Amanda is forced to turn to someone she’d rather not deal with: her old boyfriend Scapulus Holmes. But then he vanishes too. Now’s she’s sure that arch-villain Blixus Moriarty is involved . . . or is he?
Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle newsagent excerpt:
When they arrived at Crocodile’s first-floor flat, they could see that the door was blocked with yellow crime scene tape. However upon looking in a couple of windows, they concluded that no one was there to stop them entering. It would have been weird to post a guard around the clock anyway, with manpower so squeezed and all. The local police didn’t exactly have the budget for that kind of thing.
“What are we going to do?” said Eustace, eyeing the tape.
“As I see it we have two choices,” said Amanda, mentally weighing the options. “Go in the door or crawl through a window.”
“But aren’t they locked?” said Eustace.
“Let’s take a look.”
But before they could try the locks, Amanda saw something out of the corner of her eye—a person moving between buildings, but not an ordinary person. He was pale and scruffy, with old, tattered clothes. He—or she—looked like a zombie!
“Come on,” she said as quietly as she could, grabbing Eustace’s hand and pulling him along with her.
“Hey, what are we doing?” said Eustace. “We can’t get in by running away.”
“I saw something,” said Amanda.
“What?” whispered Eustace, taking a cue from Amanda’s hushed tone.
“Just come on,” she said.
But when they got to where she had seen the zombie, it had disappeared. These zombies, or whatever they were, certainly were elusive.
“Nuts,” she said. “Lost ‘em.”
“Lost what?” said Eustace.
“What? Are you kidding?”
“I’m not kidding, but it might have been a homeless person. Or an actor. The thing is, we keep seeing these zombies but no one can get close enough to see what’s going on. Of course that was in Windermere. Not here.”
Eustace gave her a sidelong look. “If there were zombies, it would be the coolest thing ever, but come on, Amanda. You know it was just a homeless person. There are tons of them around. Not just in Windermere either.”
“Maybe,” she said. “But there’s something about these guys. I’m not the only one who’s noticed.”
“Like what?” he said.
“They’re not just rumpled. Their coloring . . .” What was their coloring anyway? It was so nondescript that she couldn’t picture it. Professor Sidebotham would not be pleased.
“Have you got a picture?” he said.
“Unfortunately no. That would help, wouldn’t it?”
“Next time you see one of these guys, don’t worry about following them. Just take the picture.”
“You’re right,” she said. “From now on, I’m keeping my camera at the ready.”
“Good,” he said. “Let’s get back to the crime scene.” She could hear him giggling. Obviously he thought she was crazy.
When they returned to Crocodile’s flat they discovered that everything was locked up tight as expected. Amanda desperately wished Clive had come with them and brought his acoustic levitator, which would probably have got them in in about thirty seconds, but unfortunately she hadn’t thought of that. The device, which allowed Clive to lift things without touching them, had come in handy on more than one occasion.
“Wait a minute,” she said, suddenly getting an idea. “What kinds of locks are on the windows?”
“They’re pretty basic,” said Eustace. “All you do is turn the handle and the little bar goes up and down into and out of the latch.”
“Perfect!” cried Amanda, and whipped out her phone. She pressed an icon and waited a moment. While this mysterious behavior was occurring, Eustace peered into the flat.
“It’s pretty messy in there,” he said.
“Clive,” said Amanda into the phone. “Oh, sorry. I forgot how early it is. But please can I talk to you for a second? Thanks. Listen, do you think your acoustic levitator would work over the phone? Yes, I know you have to put that foil behind the thing but . . . a window lock. Yes, I know it’s breaking and entering but . . . take pictures through the windows and enlarge them? I don’t think that will work. I’m not sure what we’re looking for. Just information about Crocodile’s connection with Blixus or Wink. We’re trying to find Blixus. I think Crocodile’s computer is still there. Eustace, is there a computer inside?”
“Yup,” said Eustace. “You don’t think we can read it from outside, do you?”
“Scapulus?” said Amanda, turning back to Clive. “I don’t think even he could do that with the power off. You could ask him. Oh, sorry. I could ask him. Do you think if you were here in person you could get the acoustic levitator to open the window lock? We could come back and get you. Yes, Eustace.” She turned to Eustace. “Clive says hi.”
“Hi, Clive,” said Eustace. “How’s that head?”
“He says it’s almost completely better,” said Amanda. Clive had been hit by a rock at the quarry, but the nurse had seen to him and he was doing well. “Hang on a minute. What if we could turn the computer on remotely? Remember when Simon charged up Scapulus’s tablet with the crystals at the quarry? Why couldn’t we use a beam of energy to do that? The password. Oh, right, that. Scapulus could do that, though, couldn’t he? Yes, I suppose I should call him. Or would you like us to come get you and your acoustic levitator? Yes, we’d still have the password problem—unless the thing is actually on and signed in. The crime scene people wouldn’t leave it like that, though, would they? Didn’t think so. Okay, I’ll call Scapulus.”
“I got the gist of that,” said Eustace when Amanda had hung up.
She didn’t want to call Holmes in the worst way, especially so early in the morning. Was there anything else? “Wait a minute. Maybe that key Wink had opens this door.”
“What key?” said Eustace.
“Oh, but I don’t have it. I could ask Simon to send me a picture and we could get a duplicate made, though.”
“I don’t think any locksmiths are open yet,” said Eustace. “What key?”
“The key Wink Wiffle swallowed before he died.”
“Oh, tasty,” said Eustace. “What does it look like?”
“It’s small and—hang on. I’ll draw you a picture.”
She took her Kangaroo Egg Film Society membership card out of her bag, turned it over, and made a quick sketch.
“Nope,” said Eustace. “That isn’t for this door. It’s not for a door at all.”
“You know about keys?”
“Oh yeah. My dad’s an ironmonger.”
“You guys call it a hardware store, I think. He’s got one. I know all about that stuff.”
Amanda grabbed him and planted a big kiss on his forehead. “Eustace, you’re a gem,” she said. “We can get into this place easily. Why didn’t you say?”
“I thought you had a plan,” said Eustace.
“Unfortunately no,” said Amanda. “So what do we do?”
Eustace looked around. There was no one nearby. “Pick the lock,” he said, grinning.
You can find Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle on Goodreads:
You can buy Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle here:
Paula Berinstein is nothing like Amanda. For one thing, she’s crazy about Sherlock Holmes. For another, she’s never wanted to be a filmmaker. In addition, compared to Amanda she’s a big chicken! And she wouldn’t mind going to a secret school at all. In fact, she’s hoping that some day she’ll get to build one.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy. These are the prizes you can win:
- paperback copies of Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy (Amanda Lester, Detective #1), Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis (Amanda Lester, Detective #2) and Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle (Amanda Lester, Detective #3) by Paula Berinstein (INT)
- 2 winners will each win a paperback copy of Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy (Amanda Lester, Detective #1) Paula Berinstein (INT)