BLOG TOUR.EXCERPT & TOP 10 LIST : 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).
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.
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
Genre: Mystery/ detective
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
You can find Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis on Goodreads
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?
You can find Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle on Goodreads
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)
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle newsagent excerpt:
When they arrived at Penrith they decided to reconnoiter for a few minutes, then start asking people if they’d seen anything strange. They were hoping they’d find zombies right away, which would mean they wouldn’t have to draw attention to themselves. However after ten or fifteen minutes they’d seen nothing but the usual small town activity so they split up, with Simon and Ivy taking one shop and Fern and Amanda another.
“Uh, hello,” said Amanda to the clerk at the newsagent’s.
“Hullo,” said the spotty young man. He reminded Amanda of the guy who worked at the ice cream store back home in Calabasas—the one who wouldn’t let her start a tab when she was hungry and had no money with her.
She hesitated. She didn’t want to just come out with, “Seen any zombies lately?” What should she say?
“We’re ghost hunters,” said Fern before she could decide. Amanda was shocked. Fern had done almost exactly what she thought was a bad idea.
“Do tell,” said the kid. “Aren’t yew a little young for that?” He spoke in a faint Scottish brogue. Amanda thought he was easier to understand than Professor McTavish, and way clearer than Mr. Onion.
“We’re prodigies,” said Fern, causing the kid to eye her suspiciously. “We’ve heard that there are a lot of haunted places around here.”
“We don’t want no prodigies around here,” he said.
“We’re licensed,” said Fern, pulling out her British Museum membership card. She waved it in front of his face, then quickly stuck it back in her bag.
“Ten quid,” he said.
Amanda and Fern looked at each other. Was he asking for a bribe?
“Five,” said Fern almost before he’d finished.
The kid didn’t flinch. “Eight.”
My Top 10 Favorite Mystery Books
By Paula Berinstein, Author of the Amanda Lester, Detective series
Any and all of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. Most people don’t think of these books as mysteries, but they are. There’s no reason not to combine mystery and fantasy, and Rowling has done that beautifully, as Harry and the wizards attempt to solve the puzzle of his connection with Voldemort. Expecto patronum!
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. This book is not only my favorite Sherlock Holmes story, but my almost favorite mystery of all time. You can’t beat the setting: creepy, isolated moors with treacherous bogs and wild animals; dark and foreboding houses; and odd denizens. And then there’s the hound, a supernatural villain if there ever was one. Brrrr. Let’s light a couple of candles and snuggle under an afghan. I’m getting freaked out.
The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew, #2) by Carolyn Keene. I’m tempted to select the whole series, but that would be cheating, wouldn’t it? The Nancy Drew books are the reason I write mysteries, and the reason mystery has been my favorite genre all my life. As far as The Hidden Staircase is concerned, who doesn’t love a haunted mansion? Are you detecting a theme here? I just love mysteries with a hint of the supernatural.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Again, I could select the author’s entire catalogue, but you must be getting tired of my fudging, so I’ve picked the story that truly is my favorite. Oddly, this one has no supernatural elements, although the setting is exotic and I like that too. I also love the detective, Hercule Poirot, although I have to admit that I enjoy reading about Miss Marple too. Sigh. I really am a glutton, aren’t I? (Can I also vote for And Then There Were None? Please?)
Playing for the Ashes, by Elizabeth George. George is my favorite mystery writer and this is my favorite of her books. I particularly like the setting—a country cottage, which is the scene of a murder—and the fact that the detectives, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers—clash with the local authorities whose turf they’re invading. Plus George is absolutely at the top of her game as far as the writing is concerned.
The His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman (The Amber Spyglass, Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife). This trilogy is another mixture of fantasy and mystery, and I can’t praise it highly enough. Set in an alternative England, the stories are so inventive and the heroes, Lyra and Will, so beguiling, that they simply must make my top ten list. By the way, another combination of mystery and fantasy.
White Fire by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I love these guys. Their Agent Pendergast series is so much fun to read, and guess what: they often combine mystery and the supernatural too. A lot of their work centers around museums and archaeological expeditions and natural history, which is stuff I don’t know that much about and love learning about. This particular installment takes place in Colorado rather than the usual New York, and it’s a nice change of pace. It’s very scary, and one of the most suspenseful in the series. There are many that come before it, though, so while you can read it first, it’s probably better to go in order, ish.
The Likeness by Tana French. I’ve just discovered this author, and is she amazing. This is her second Cassandra Maddox story, and it’s both creepy and magical at the same time. It’s about an Irish undercover cop who assumes the identity of a dead woman who looks exactly like her. Some of the reviews complain that such a premise is unrealistic, but my feeling is that if you want to enjoy literature, you have to suspend your disbelief, and this is one time when doing so will reward you immensely. French is a bit gritty, so be forewarned. Her style is also a bit on the literary side, but after the first few pages, I adjusted and really got into the story.
A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman. Tony Hillerman wrote about Navajos, so you will find mystical elements in his mysteries. Sigh. I guess I can’t escape the combination, can I? I so enjoy his Southwestern setting and his Native American detectives. This is not his first book, but it’s one of my favorites. Like some of Preston and Child’s work, it incorporates anthropology, archaeology, and artifact thieves. Love how he gives his protagonists tormented private lives as well.
Open Season by C.J. Box. I just love Box’s Joe Pickett stories. First of all, the writing is always breezy and engaging. Second, a Wyoming gamekeeper as a detective? How original and cool is that? Joe is kind of a sleeper as far as detectives go. He’s smart, honest, and dogged, but people underestimate him and he’s always getting into bureaucratic trouble. He’s really a character you can root for. Plus the settings Box uses—mountains and forests of the Intermountain West—gorgeous (and very, very perilous)!
Dracula by Bram Stoker. I know I’m only supposed to pick ten books, but how can I leave out Dracula? I know, I know—another combination of mystery and the supernatural, and not a book people usually think of as a mystery. But it is, and wow! The original vampire!