Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Adventures of a Reluctant Sleuth

Sherlock Holmes meets Harry Potter.

It’s hard not to think that when you hear the premise of the Amanda Lester series: A tween-aged descendant of Inspector Lestrade, who hates the very name of Sherlock Holmes, is forced by her parents to join a secret school for detectives in England called Legatum Continuatum.

But it would be a mistake to think that this series is J.K. Rowling without the magic, although author Paul Berinstein readily admits the Rowling influence. Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy, the inaugural volume, has a magic of its own.

Amanda is a flawed but likeable character, smart and unstoppable in pursuit of an objective. Her goal of being a filmmaker makes for a very troubled relationship with her parents, a prosecuting attorney and a mystery writer. In the end, though, her budding filmmaker’s understanding of conflict helps to save her life.

The plot is so inventive that a spoiler-free summary is essentially impossible, but suffice it to say that you may never look at your sugar bowl the same way again. Despite two murders, the tone of the book remains light. This is reflected in the whimsical names of some of the characters, such as headmaster Gaston Thrillkill, dean of admission Drusilla Canoodle, and secrets teacher Saliva Snaffle.  

Almost inevitably, Amanda comes to love the school and the friends she makes there – notably Amphora Kapoor, Simon Binkle, and the blind Ivy Halpin and her service dog, Nigel. They are characters that should wear well in books to come.

So far the series stands at four, with more on the way. Each book builds on the last as Amanda goes from tween to teen, so the young Sherlockians in your family can grow along with Amanda. Be sure to start with this one. 

Meanwhile, check out her website.

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