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ARC Review: Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets (Amanda Cadabra #2) by Holly Bell

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Flora Reviews… Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets (Amanda Cadabra #2) by Holly Bell

Publication date: 16th December 2018.

Read: 2nd – 5th December 2018

Publication Date: 16th December 2018

My Ratings

Overall: 5/5

Plot: 5/5 – Flow: 5/5 – Character Development: 5/5 – World Building: 5/5

Quote from Amanda Cadabra and the Cellar of Secrets

“It is all the same energy. Like electricity. You can use it constructively or destructively. What counts is the intent.’ (Talking about using magic.)

So what’s Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets about?

Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets is the second book written by British author, Holly Bell, in her new Amanda Cadabra Paranormal Mystery series and is set in the fictional English village of Sunken Madley.

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the book or influence the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I'll receive a small commission from the sale.

ARC Review: Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets (Amanda Cadabra #2) by Holly BellMy Rating:
Title: Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets (The Amanda Cadabra Cozy Paranormal Mysteries, #2) by Holly Bell
Series: The Amanda Cadabra Cozy Paranormal Mysteries #2
Genres: Cozy Paranormal Mystery
Formats Available: eBook, Paperback
No. of Pages: 311
Source: ARC
Purchase Links:Amazon UK ¦ Amazon US

Amanda Cadabra, covert witch with irascible feline familiar, always said that was no place for a research centre. The lost village in Madley Wood, where the leaves don’t grow, and the birds don’t sing.
An old secret. A new build. A body. Only one witness. Only one person who can see that witness: Amanda Cadabra.
Only one place that can tell the story: the Cellar of Secrets, in 1940. And only one person who can go there: Amanda Cadabra. With, of course, only one grumpy cat.
Only one person who might help: the personal but intractable Inspector Trelawney. But this is a peaceful English village … who would do anything as criminal as murder? Will she find them before they find her?


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 So, what did I like about Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets?

I really like Holly Bell’s writing style. I find her writing style easy to read and with the quality of a seasoned author. The plot-lines are engaging, she uses intelligent prose and sprinkles her stories with gentle humour. Holly’s setting and characters have been created with wonderful depth. She’s given us a believable village full of captivating characters. In other words, it’s quintessentially English!

I fell in love with our main characters when reading the previous book – Amanda Cadabra and the Hidey-Hole Truth (see my review here).

I loved watching them grow throughout this tale too. 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. Oh, and I can’t talk about our main characters without mentioning my favourite feline, Amanda’s familiar, Tempest or as one of the characters refers to him Don Tempestioni . Lol! He is an amazing character and I love all the scenes that he dains to appear in.

I enjoyed getting to know more about the fictional village of Sunken Madley; its history during World War Two and the neighbouring villages.  The cellar of Secrets features characters from the first book as well as new villagers and visitors alike. Holly writes her characters with many of the foibles that I see in my family, friends and the people around me. This makes characters more believable for me and they begin to feel very real which means that it’s much easier to get caught up in the tale.

Amanda Cadabra and The Cellar of Secrets 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 my Miss Marple side.

So, um, was there anything I disliked about it?

There wasn’t anything about this story that niggled or didn’t work for me, hence the 5 star rating.

However, I would just like to take this opportunity to say that much of the world-building was beautifully platformed throughout the first book. For example, the amazing history and somewhat mystical properties of Sunken Madley, Amanda’s standing in the village, how and why the locals have a special place in their hearts for “Our Amanda”. Jumping straight in with Cellar of Secrets 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 second book in a new series there are still questions left to answer about Amanda’s family, her relationship with Detective Trelawney and what their future may hold. In my opinion, this is a good thing as it leaves enough background story arcs to continue into the next book and beyond.

So, basically what I’m saying is…

I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. Amanda Cadabra and the Cellar of Secrets had me on the edge of my seat holding my breath, taking a moment to revel in wonder, reaching for the tissues to dry my tears as well as smiling and chuckling out loud.

In short, it’s got everything that I look for in a 5 star read.

Great scenes that get the adrenaline pumping and nail-biting tension. An intelligent mystery or two to get the little grey cells whirling plus well-written humour. There may even be a bit of romance on the horizon for our heroine. 😉

I don’t think there is any content within these pages that could offend anyone. Therefore I’d recommend The Cellar of Secrets to anyone who enjoys cozy paranormal mysteries. I’m looking forward to finding out what adventures Amanda gets caught up in next.

So, has my review of AMANDA CADABRA AND THE CELLAR OF SECRETS (AMANDA CADABRA MYSTERIES #2) encouraged you to find out more? I hope so. If I have, just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about this magical series and its author.

The Amanda Cadabra Cozy Paranormal Mysteries Series

This is a quintessentially English cozy paranormal mystery series. Our heroine, Amanda, is a village witch in the fictional village of Sunken Madley. In each book, Amanda has various things to deal with, from solving age old mysteries, to helping catch a killer and unlocking the secrets to her family’s mysterious deaths. All the while keeping her magic a secret from her friends and Villagers.

Books in the Series

It’s never too late to step into the charming world of Amanda Cadabra and her tenacious cat, Tempest. Click any of the links below to read my reviews or buy the books yourself.

Buy AMANDA CADABRA in print and ebook.

Amazon UK ¦ Amazon US

Or read for free using your Kindle Unlimited subscription!

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About Author

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog - www.florasmusings.com

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