Monday, May 6, 2019

Review: Amanda Lester and the Black Shadow Terror by Paula Berinstein

Amanda Lester, Detective Book 8
by Paula Berinstein
Young Adult Mystery / Time Travel
303 pages

There’s no such thing as a ghost . . . or is there? 

When a cyberattack causes a glitch in Simon Binkle’s history machine, Amanda and Nick are thrown back to Victorian London where they must confront a huge black shadow monster that’s been terrorizing the city. Suspecting that it may have something to do with Professor Moriarty, they gain entry to a high society ball they believe he’s targeting. 

Young, attractive, and vivacious, they’re the hit of the ball and no one suspects who they really are. But then the hostess is murdered and Amanda is arrested by none other than her great-great-grandfather, Inspector Lestrade, who is convinced of her guilt. 

Now, alone in the 19th century, Nick finds himself powerless to save the girl he loves unless he can pull off a miracle: find a way to enlist the help of the one man he fears, Sherlock Holmes. But success is by no means guaranteed. Holmes is asking a price that might just be too high for him to pay.


This is the eighth book in the series, and one of my favorite.

After the troubles of book seven, the detective school is trying to continue and has moved to a new location. Amanda suffers nightmares thanks to the Moriartys. Nick is blind but determined to stay by Amanda's side. While the Moriartys are planning something sinister again, Amanda and Nick have their hands full as they accidentally are transported back in time. When Amanda is suspected of a murder, Nick is left to try to save her and hopes to find help through Sherlock Holmes.

These novels should be read in order as each one builds off of the other one. 

It was a joy to see Amanda and Nick experiencing this adventure as a team. Both, as well as the other characters, have come a long way. Of course, Amanda has her hands full. Again. And must overcome her own fears as well as put trust in Nick. Nick has also matured and settled better into his own skin, but now has to deal with other issues. Both are believable and fun to root for every step of the way.

As always, the author has laid out a nicely spun tale. While the mystery is layered and holds many surprises, this book also held another treat with the shift back in time and meeting with Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty. The time travel aspects flow in very naturally, allowing imagination to take flight while still holding everything a tense mystery needs. It was simply a delight to read.

And here she is...

Paula Berinstein (Paula B) is the author of the Amanda Lester, Detective middle-grade/YA series, which features a descendant of the Sherlock Holmes character Inspector Lestrade and is set in the English Lake District.

From 2005 to 2012, Paula produced and hosted the popular podcast The Writing Show ( She holds degrees in English literature and librarianship from UCLA.

You can find out more about Amanda Lester:

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