Amanda Cadabra and the Flawless Plan (Amanda Cadabra Cozy Paranormal Mysteries #3) by Holly Bell
Read: 19th – 20th May 2019
Publication Date: 19th May 2019
Quote from Amanda Cadabra and the Flawless Plan
“Amanda found her lying on the floor of the crypt. Her head was up against a medieval stone coffin where it must have struck. One arm was hidden beneath the long raised form of the sarcophagus.
She hurried down the stone steps, her soft soles silent as the grave.
‘Please, no, not another body, oh please no,’ she murmured, gazing in dismay at the sight of her friend’s black cassock-clad body.
Amanda knelt beside the fallen rector of Sunken Madley church. There was no blood in the dark brown bobbed hair. Perhaps there was still life. Amanda laid a hand on her shoulder.
The body convulsed. The head turned. The alarmed face of the shepherd of St Ursula-without-Barnet looked up with alarm.
‘Good heavens, Amanda! You gave me the shock of my life. You really mustn’t creep up on people like that.”
Plot: 5/5 – Flow: 5/5 – Character Development: 5/5 – World Building: 5/5
Amanda Cadabra and the Flawless Plan is a cozy mystery novel (approximately 312 pages) within the paranormal genre. It is the third book written by Holly Bell, in her new Amanda Cadabra Cozy Paranormal Mysteries series and is set in the fictional English village of Sunken Madley.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers or reveal plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
An accident waiting to happen. Sunken Madley village church hall seems safe enough for a dance class. Now there’s a body. Or is it two? Only ghosts for witnesses. Covert witch Amanda and her grumpy feline familiar must look for answers in the past. But whose past?
With a spy, a saboteur, an uncooperative ghost, multiple puzzles ,and herself as the number one suspect she’s going to need backup.
There’s only one choice: the personable but intractable Inspector Trelawney. Only if Amanda can dare to trust him can they survive and solve the case before the murderer strikes again.
But who, in this peaceful English village would resort to murder?
In the words of Grandpa: ‘This one is going to be more complicated than the last one. Possibly … probably. Definitely.’
I really love Holly Bell’s writing style; it’s easy to read with intelligent prose and engaging plot-lines that is sprinkled with gentle humour. Her series centres around the purely fictional Sunken Madley which Ms Bell has populated with a host of captivating characters that I found completely believable. In other words, it’s quintessentially English!
I have fallen in love with our main characters and am enjoying watching them grow throughout this book; our resilient heroine Amanda Cadabra has got all the qualities that I look for in a female lead (she’s definitely got gumption) and Detective Thomas Trelawney is intelligent and a worthy hero. I can’t talk about our main characters without mentioning my favourite feline, Tempest; he’s Amanda’s familiar and just steals the scenes that he’s in.
With each book, we learn more about the villagers and of Sunken Madley itself; The Flawless Plan features characters from the first two books as well as new villagers and visitors alike. Ms Bell writes her characters with many of the foibles that I see in my family, friends and the people around me. I think that this make her characters more believable for me; I feel I know them which means that it’s much easier to get caught up in the adventure.
I love that this story kept me guessing; there are a few mysteries for our heroine, Amanda, to solve within these pages, but fear not dear reader, no frustrating cliffhangers here (Woohoo!) and there are enough twists and turns during this tale to satisfy any Miss Marple wannabe. 😉
I loved the fact that Amanda Cadabra and the Flawless Plan had me holding my breath on the edge of my seat, had me feeling all warm and mushy, reaching for the tissues to dry my tears as well as smiling and chuckling out loud.
There wasn’t anything about this story that niggled or didn’t work for me, hence the high rating.
I would just like to take this opportunity to say that much of the world building relating to the amazing history and somewhat mystical properties of Sunken Madley, including Amanda’s standing in the village, how and why the locals have a special place in their hearts for her was beautifully platformed throughout the first book. Jumping straight in with The Flawless Plan may mean that new readers could feel a bit perturbed about this aspect of life in the small village for Amanda.
Also, as this is only the third book in a series there are still questions left to answer about Amanda’s family, her connection to Detective Trelawney and what the future may hold. In my opinion, this is a good thing as it leaves enough of a hook – without the need for any nasty life-or-death cliffhangers – to make you keen to stay with the series and pester Ms Bell for questions about when book 4 will be available. 😉
I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It’s got everything that I look for in a great story; scenes that get the adrenaline pumping, an intelligent mystery or two to get the little grey cells buzzing, tension to make you hold your breath and well written humour (there’s even a sprinkling of romance for our heroine).
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys ‘cozy mysteries’ within the paranormal genre and I don’t think there is any content within these pages that could offend anyone. I’m looking forward to finding out what adventures Amanda gets caught up in next.
So, has my review of AMANDA CADABRA AND THE FLAWLESS PLAN (AMANDA CADABRA COZY PARANORMAL MYSTERIES #3) encouraged you to find out more? I really hope so. If I have, just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author.
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Hope you enjoy the rest of your week.