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Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth: A humorous British cozy mystery (The Amanda Cadabra Cozy Paranormal Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
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- File Size : 2483 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publication Date : August 30, 2018
- Print Length : 289 pages
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Publisher : Heypressto; 2nd Edition (August 30, 2018)
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- ASIN : B07GZQH8P8
- Language: : English
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #293,101 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I’m kidding folks. Just wanted to start this review off a little different than I normally do. Also, it is my way of giving notice that some terms used by the author, as well as the tone, will be different and might confuse American readers.
Having so warned, in my clumsy way, I will proceed with my review.
There are some aspects of this writing that I found interesting, and some that I felt could be improved. Simply put, the writing is what some instructors of the craft refer to as ‘passive.’ What I mean is, the author seems not to trust readers to understand what a given character is thinking, so she tells us. The excerpt below will highlight this.
POV: Omnipresent, which presents some challenge to the story and is a primary disappointment for me, as a reader. Of course, part of my disappointment stems from my desire to NOT know every thought of every character. I’d rather know just the thoughts of the central person. Any thoughts that I might wish to know of others can be hinted at by the observations of that central character. Then, if his/her suspicion turns out to be in error, a twist is possible that shows how he/she (and us) have been fooled. With the omnipresence tactic, that is problematic.
What I did enjoy, however, was the friendly tone. I couldn’t help but think that this writer will become a highly successful storyteller with the right editor. She displays an uncommon skill at sucking us into the story without second-guessing her plot and motivations of the characters.
To say much more might disclose a spoiler, so I will pull back a little.
BLUSH FACTOR: No worries here. Clean language throughout. No sex scenes.
‘…‘Thank you,’ Trelawney accepted politely, sitting down on the sofa.
Amanda gave him a glance of rueful sympathy due to a man under test by Granny. She sat down beside Trelawney, pulled the lid off the vintage tin, cut a slice and passed it to him on a delicate rose-patterned plate, with a white linen napkin underneath it. Senara eyed him keenly while he sampled the cream, jam and sponge confection.
‘This is excellent,’ he remarked with genuine appreciation, relieved that he would not have to dissemble.
‘Organic free-range eggs,’ she declared. ‘From Henpecke Farm. Local,’ Senara added, to put the outsider in his place.
Trelawney was unabashed. He laid his cake fork on the plate, applying the napkin to his lips to ensure they were crumb-free before continuing. ‘I expect it’s especially important for your granddaughter to eat healthily.’ His glance returned to Amanda. ‘In view of your … condition.’ He added pointedly, ‘Especially considering the work that you do.’
‘It’s important for a girl to have meaningful work, Sergeant. I’m sure you agree,’ Senara stated, receiving her cup and saucer from Amanda. ‘Thank you, dear.’ She took a sip and redirected her piercing gaze at Trelawney. ‘I myself drove an ambulance during the War.’
Yes, for three weeks before it ended, said Amanda wryly to herself, handing her grandfather his tea.
‘Just like Mrs Uberhausfest in Rattling Bridge Row,’ Senara announced. ‘We all did our bit. Of course, she did it for Other Side, but that’s all in the past and I’m the first to say that I’m glad we’ve buried the hatchet!’
‘I agree, Mrs Cadabra, that it’s important for everyone to have work that is meaningful.’ Trelawney was not to be diverted. ‘But it does seem an odd choice for someone whose condition is surely aggravated by a workshop where carpentry takes place.’
Mr Cadabra supplied the response. ‘I trained little Amanda from when she first took an interest.’ He stirred his tea and continued mildly, ‘She used to toddle up the path and bang on the door, demanding for me to let her in. Not to be denied, were you, Amanda? I had to adapt a mask for you. All the same, Sergeant, I got used to keeping the workshop very clean just to be certain. And after all’s said and done, you can’t dampen enthusiasm, can you? So I started her off with bit of painting when she was just three years old, didn’t I, Ammy?’ he said to her, then looked back to the sergeant. ‘And it…’
Bell, Holly. Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth (The Amanda Cadabra Cozy Paranormal Mysteries Book 1) (Kindle Locations 373-394). Heypressto. Kindle Edition.
I tossed and turned while trying to rate this story. Tossed between three stars and four. Finally, though, the friendly tone won out.
Four stars out of five.
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All in all this was fun, with enough hints dropped that there are stories yet to be told. I really enjoyed Thomas Trelawney, and of course, Mike Hogarth. I wondered how Thomas could "smell" magic. What does Mike know about Thomas' suspected abilities, and how does he know it? Yes, I'm invested in the characters.
Buy it, read it, and enjoy it, just for the fun of it. I'm now anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.
Slow-paced, interesting characters, a few surprises, and a few laughs.
The beginning was a little disjointed with the back and forth from the present to up to two thousand years previous.
The story kept my interest throughout and I will probably be reading more from this new to me author.
Top reviews from other countries
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries within the paranormal genre and I'm looking forward to finding out what adventures Amanda gets caught up in next.
You can read my full review on my WordPress blog Flora's Musings...
I now regret completely binging on all four of the books so far in this series, and will have a long wait for the next one...
The weak puns in some of the character names are a bit laboured, and it could have done with better proof-reading before going to print, plus there are a couple of places where the flow of the narrative seems to jump as if a paragraph of explanation has been skipped, but don't let that put you off - the background is intriguing and story on the whole is a good'un.
An effortless read and a heap of potential for a future series.