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 oddities 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.
About the Author
Paula Berinstein is the former producer and host of the popular podcast, The Writing Show. She lives in Los Angeles.
Table of ContentsThe Legatum Garage Parking Area
Houses and Common Rooms
Legatum Floor Plans
Legatum Continuatum Class Descriptions
Chapter 1: The End of the Stick Dogs
Chapter 2: The Secret Detective School
Chapter 3: A Detective's Mystique
Chapter 4: Mysterious Shapes
Chapter 5: The Inimitable Simon Binkle
Chapter 6: Funny Desserts
Chapter 7: The Monster Mash
Chapter 8: The Class Project
Chapter 9: Pink Powder
Chapter 10: Amanda the Spy
Chapter 11: Explosion!
Chapter 12: Cutting Class
Chapter 13: A Ticking Clock
Chapter 14: Holmes Productions
Chapter 15: The Garage
Chapter 16: Gluppy Things
Chapter 17: The Secret Room
Chapter 18: Slime Mold
Chapter 19: Thinking Like a Criminal
Chapter 20: Snow Globe
Chapter 21: Counting Calories
Chapter 22: Secret Room Redux
Chapter 23: Threats
Chapter 24: A Kick in the Nose
Chapter 25: 3D Printing
Chapter 26: Body Snatching
Chapter 27: Putting Two and Two Together
Chapter 28: Bunch of Nut Jobs
Chapter 29: Stowaway
Chapter 30: Monkeyshines
Chapter 31: The Sugar Factory
Chapter 32: Schola Sceleratorum
Chapter 33: Trapped
Chapter 34: Acting
Chapter 35: Confrontation
Chapter 36: The Class Project Explained
Chapter 37: More Questions Than Answers
Some Famous Detectives
Discussion Questions for Your Reading Group
Q and A with Author Paula Berinstein
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Synopsis- Amanda Lester loves directing films. It’s her passion. But since she’s descended from a famous bumbling oaf detective from Sherlock Holmes’ memoirs (Inspector G. Lestrade), her parents expect her to follow his path and become a detective too. So, doing the most reasonable thing for a parent, they send her to a boarding school for descendants of famous detectives, not caring what Amanda thought. But once there, a real murder mystery pops up, and Amanda ends up trying to solve it. Will she be able to solve the mystery before more end up dead? What I Thought- Amanda is a character you care for. She wants to be a filmmaker, but her parents want her to become a detective like their ancestor, G. Lestrade, from Sherlock Holmes’ chronicles, and even send her to a school for detectives. The story is good, and it’s interesting seeing how Amanda pieces together all of the clues, even though she hates being a detective. That was pretty ironic. I liked how it was a murder mystery, but not too gory (not gory at all, really). It is a nice mystery book with sound characters and thrilling plot twists. (Although I guessed the bad guy right away…but I like reading mysteries and picked up common character types, including those of thieves, allies who sneak around, enemies who sneak around, etc.) It was a fun story and a great read for the intended age level. *NOTE* I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book
Twelve year old Amanda Lester is a descendant from G. Lestrade, a detective that worked with Sherlock Homes. Her father, Herb, is a detective and her mother, Lila, is a well-known author of detective novels. Is it any wonder that Amanda wants nothing to do with the detective world. She wants to make movies and living outside Los Angeles is the place to do it, that is until the family moves to the UK and she is enrolled in a secret school for detectives. Only descendants of famous detective families are allowed in, but Amanda wants out, until .... The school seems rather strict and she has no choice what team she is on or who her roommates will be but she has lucked out. When they find blood droplets, pink sugar, the garage explodes and the cook gets murdered, Amanda and her friends are up to their eyeballs in clues to solve the mystery. But, is this a real crime or just part of the elaborate crime set up each year for the students to solve. When Amanda's father disappears, she begins breaking the rules to save him. Move over Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon, this is an updated to the twenty-first century female buddy crime solving series. Amanda's friends are loyal and smart, her nemesis is handsome and sometimes smart. She uses both her detecting skills and her movie knowledge to find clues to solve the mystery. Her friends stick by her even when she is wrong and does not tell them what is going on. She learns to trust others and use their skills as well as her own. I thought the cast of kids that make up Amanda’s circle of friends were well done and entertaining. There’s just enough drama, puppy love, and special skills between the lot of them to draw in a young reader. There’s also a good bit of danger. There were some spots that seemed a little long and too drawn out, but overall the plot was engaging and moved well. After the story, there’s a listing of famous sleuths, both fictional and real, and their claims to fame as well as a list of book club questions for young readers. The beginning of the book included information such as the types of classes etc which I believe would have worked better at the end of the book. To be honest, I skimmed them and went back and looked at them later in the book. This would be a great series for girls looking for a hero or role model in the 9 to 12 year old range. It might pull in some of the boys as well. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Imagine a secret school in the countryside of Great Britain where the descendants of great detectives attend classes. In this school, they are taught everything they need to know to become a World Famous Detective. Enter Amanda Lester, descendant of Inspector Lestrade, who was always needing the help of Sherlock Holmes. The problem is that she wants to be a film maker - not a detective. Sent to the school by her parents, Amanda makes new friends, experiences very different school courses, and finds herself trying to solve the mysteries of pink sugar, an explosion, a murder and a kidnapping. Written for middle school students, this entertaining series promises to be a great introduction for young people to the Worlds Great Detectives as seen through the eyes of their young descendants. Even though I am an adult mystery lover, I look forward to reading the second book in this fun series in which a descendant of Sherlock Holmes will be a new student. Hmmm "The game is afoot".
I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. Don't think that just because Amanda Lester is descended from Inspector G. Lestrade that she's interested in going into the family business. She wants to be a filmmaker, not a detective, although admittedly her film club isn't really coming together since her control freak tendencies are driving members away. Amanda's life changes dramatically don't give her any choice and suddenly enroll her in a boarding school for the descendants of well-known detectives - and it's halfway around the world in the United Kingdom. She resists as much as she can when she gets there, but once she and her new friends notice blood droplets and a strange pink substance in weird places she realizes she has to know what's really happening. Is it part of a real mystery or part of an elaborate class project the teachers assign each year? When Amanda's father goes missing and the school cook is found dead with her head stuffed in a bag of sugar, the kids realize that they are right in the middle of a very real mystery. Amanda realizes she's going to have to embrace her family name and discover the truth. Here's the thing, it looks as if Blixus Moriarty is involved, a descendant of Professor James Moriarty, the arch-nemesis of Sherlock Holmes, and he doesn't like kids interfering in his criminal enterprises. Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy by Paula Berinstein is easily a new favorite middle grade novel featuring a fantastic mystery for any fan of the genre. I was absolutely hooked by the premise of the story and shortly after I began I realized I couldn't put it down. I would love to study at the school Amanda attends, which in it's own way reminds me of Hogwarts from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series in that it's a secret boarding school in the U.K. that teaches very specialized classes. In this case, it focuses on detective work, rather than witchcraft and wizardry. Who wouldn't want to go to a school for the descendants of some of history's greatest detectives, right? Well, Amanda wouldn't, for one. She has no plans to follow in the footsteps of G. Lestrade - the bumbling Scotland Yard Inspector who sometimes worked with the brilliant Sherlock Holmes - and I don't blame her for not wanting his name hanging over her head for the rest of her career. However, once she begins to get into the swing of things at the school and make some friends, she begins to realize that detective work isn't all that different from film making. Amanda is a great leading character - she's independent, driven, smart, and very capable. That said, she isn't without flaws, for example, she's a bit of a control freak and she can sometimes jump into things without thinking them through. However, she is able to recognize her flaws and try to do better, and it was a pleasure watching her character grow over the course of the story. The rest of the cast of characters, including Ivy, Nigel, Amphora, Simon, and Nick, plus school professors, are all as well-written as Amanda. While I enjoyed getting to know her friends, but I believe Ivy was my favorite of the group, as she manages to steal all of her scenes. I loved the fact that she doesn't let her disability, blindness, dictate what she can and can't do - and Nigel is just the best guide dog there is. Nick is also an intriguing character, and I loved seeing what he becomes. There's also the barest hint of a possible romance between him and Amanda, but the
Title: Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy - Amanda Lester Mystery 1 Author: Paula Berinstein Published: 5-22-15 Publisher: The Writing Show Pages: 335 Genre: Teen & Young Adult Sub Genre: Mystery and Detectives, Children's Fiction ISBN: 9780986030482 ASIN: B00Y41B470 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Twelve year old Amanda lives to create films, living in L.A. that is not surprising. When her latest project goes south and her actors quit, because of her micromanaging and her pushy style, her parents decide to send her to a secret Academy for the descendants of famous detectives. Amanda does not want to be there and is not about to give up her dreams of becoming a film maker just because her ancestor was Inspector Lestrand of Scotland Yard who sometimes worked with Sherlock Holmes. When she begins to find drops of blood and an odd substance in strange places. She, at first believes it may be a test set up by the teachers so she was not too worried at first. Then her father disappears and the school cook is found dead. Amanda must embrace her talents as a detective and her new friends at the Academy to find her father and solve the mystery of the Pink Sugar Conspiracy. A wonderful book for readers both young and those young at heart. Whether you are ten or Fifty you will find the Amanda Lester series an enjoyable read. To help the reader understand the different classes discussed in the book there is an explanation of what each class involves as well as floor plans and maps. The help the reader to picture the different places and events as they happen in the book. I would rate this series close with the potential to match the popularity of the Harry Patter series. Follow the clues and be drawn into the world of Amanda Lester and never want to leave.
To summarize: I loved this book, I was hooked from the start and enjoyed figuring out the pink sugar conspiracy alongside Amanda and her friends. The story is really well written, kept my attention and had a consistent pace. There is a great plot twist towards the end. I only figured out what was going on with the mystery and who was behind it alongside Amanda and her friends. The characters are great and I really liked Amanda, she was smart and capable, but also had some flaws. There are also some great side characters, like Ivy, Simon, Nick and Amphora. The floorplan and cover made it easy to imagine how everything looked and I liked the extra's in the book like the class descriptions, reading group questions and a Q&A with the author. I could vividly imagine everything and I had a lot of fun reading this book. It's a great book suitable for readers of all ages. I can't wait to read the next books in this series and experience more of Amanda her adventures!