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Amanda Lester, Detective #4

Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks' Secret

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What does a dusty old secret have to do with peacocks?

Everything, as it turns out. When Amanda is knocked off her skateboard by a rare all-blue peacock, she learns that the species harbors a vital secret she must race to uncover. But before she can unravel the mystery, a startling archaeological discovery turns all of Britain against the detectives and threatens their very existence.

As old enemies gather strength and new adversaries emerge, Amanda finds herself dealing with hysterical teachers, a disappearing mentor, a mysterious poisoner, and a would-be magician. With so much at stake and so little time, the last thing she needs is to fall in love.

362 pages, ebook

Published March 23, 2016

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About the author

Paula Berinstein

63 books357 followers
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.

She is also the author of a new time travel series for adults, Indigo.

From 2005 to 2012, Paula produced and hosted the popular podcast The Writing Show (http://www.writingshow.com). She holds degrees in English literature and librarianship from UCLA.

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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for Lola.
1,472 reviews242 followers
March 27, 2016
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

This series is so much fun! And this is another great book in this series. I like how smoothly the story continues form the previous books. It's absolutely necessary to read this series in order as else it probably will be confusing and the fun part is seeing how nicely each book progresses and continues the storylines from the previous books. Every thing that happens has results and storyline that got set up in the previous books are continued or even finished here, while other storylines progress, but still get nowhere close to being finished and new storylines get introduced as well. There's also a plot line that sees little progress the whole book and then get's neatly wrapped up at the end after all.

There's definitely a lot going on and I liked all the multiple plot lines and how nicely the author has woven them altogether and never it was confusing. This book si very well written and I always have a lot fo fun following Amanda and her friends their adventures. This book deals with everything from the detective's bible, peacocks, Nick, the bad guys, the wretches to and archaeological dig. I did have some trouble with the last one as it seemed a bit too far fetched what they dig up, I just couldn't wrap e head around it. But I did enjoy how that plot line got resolved and it suddenly made a lot more sense at the end. The science does seems to almost jump into fantasy territory, so I would classify it as a mix of both. There are also some nice twists and surprises. I was a bit sad at some of the things that happened, but also pleasantly surprised at how some things got resolved.

This series has a great cast of characters, it depends a bit on the book who get's the most attention. Some are more side characters and other just fill up a scene here and there. There are also some character who are very little in this book for story reasons. There are some interesting changes concerning the characters. Some relationships and friend bonds develop or change a bit. A few twists and bad things that happen to some. We also meet some new characters in this book, which was interesting. And in each book it feels like I get to know the characters better, especially Amanda and her friends. I really liked the Nick plot line in this book and am looking forward how that continues in the next book. Oh and I liked the peacocks, they were adorable!

There's a bit more romance in this book, not a whole lot, but a bit more than in the previous ones. It really develops in a love triangle at this point. I am team Nick, but Holmes is also a great guy, but I think Amanda and Nick are better together, but argg why doesn't Amanda explain to him how she feels? It's quite frustrating but I also enjoy how the romance develops. I just wish Amanda would figure out who she wants to be with.

To summarize: another great book in this series. This series is a lot of fun and the continuity is great. There are some storylines that were set up earlier already and continue here, some get resolved and other probably will continue further in the next book. There is lots of things going and it makes for an exciting read. It's very well written. There was one storyline I wasn't a fan of, but eventually was happy with how it got resolved. There are some nice twists and surprises in this book as well. This series has a great group of characters and it's fun getting to know them better and seeing them change and develop. There's also a bit more romance than in the previous books and it's turning into a bit of a love triangle. While it is realistically written, it's also a bit frustrating as I want her to end up with Nick. All in all another great book in this series and I am looking forward to the next one.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,305 reviews18 followers
September 13, 2017
This is book #4 in a unique new mystery series. The books can be read in any order because each story is complete but they are best read in order since each book builds from the one before it. I think that every book is better than the previous one. They are well-written with all loose ends neatly tied up. If you find a loose one you can bet that it will be fixed in the next book.

In this book the kids in the Detective training Boarding school in England continue to look for the missing Detective's Bible, the school's ultra important missing missive. Was it stolen by the Moriarities? There's so much action with other things that are also going on. There are odd blue peacocks hanging around the school. What is their secret? When the peacocks get sick Amanda and her friends know that it's imperative that they save them. Meanwhile, the students are involved with an archaeological dig conducted by Ivy's father. What he finds can change history! But for a while, it all goes wrong. And to top it all off- Amanda is still struggling with teen emotions.
Profile Image for Suba Wijesinghe.
109 reviews45 followers
May 23, 2016
"An Advanced Review Copy Provided By The Publisher Via NetGalley In Exchange For An Honest Review."

Awesome Story! Exciting Novel As Same As The Other Books In The Series. Absolutely Great Novel. Satisfactory Detective Story. Dying To Know Where The Plot Twists & Turns Lead me In The Forthcoming Book Of Amanda Lester Detective Series. Recommended To Every Middle Grade & Y/A Readers.
3D Animated GIF Glitter Graphics Birds | Glitter graphics » Peacocks Glitter graphics
Profile Image for Margo James.
454 reviews5 followers
December 25, 2020
They're twelve year olds for heavens sake.

I enjoy the story of the detective school and the adventures the children go on. I do have exceptions about the faculty though. However, its fits with the unrealistic theme that permeates these books. All the talk about love, and soul mates, and kissing...its just disgusting. They are 12, not 22. Kids that age don't know anything about love and shouldn't be in situations for that type of contact to be permitted. Some very dangerous ideas are being planted in the minds of children and teens who read this and believe they should indulge in this behavior. Won't be keeping these books in my library and certainly won't be reading any more. Sad really since the concept of the detective school could have been awesome.
Profile Image for Saundra Wright.
1,563 reviews5 followers
June 14, 2020
Nick is back and so are Amanda’s confusing secrets! Another great mystery for Amanda Lester.

Amanda is sure her feelings for Holmes are still strong, though he is quite hurt. But when Amanda has an accident, being knocked off her skateboard by a rare peacock, she wakes up on Nick’s boat. Was that kiss a dream or did Nick really kiss her?

There is too much happening for Amanda to spend much time on her love life. One group of teachers has left the school. Amanda’s cousins and several of the students along with the headmaster are still with their kidnappers, and there is a huge archeological find near the school.

With so many things to be involved with, how can Amanda hope to solve any of the mysteries? After finding a page of the missing Detective’s Bible She is also immersed in trying to break its code with Holmes. Which feelings will win out? Holmes vs Moriarity on a whole new level!
Profile Image for DelAnne Frazee.
2,027 reviews18 followers
March 27, 2016
Title: Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacock Secret - Amanda Lester, Detective 4
Author: Paula Berinstein
Published: 3-23-2016
Publisher: The Writing Show
Pages: 362
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Sub Genre: Children's Fiction; Fantasy & Supernatural; Detectives, Young Adult
ISBN: 9781942361046
ASIN: B01BXB9GZO
Reviewer: DelAnne
Reviewed For: NetGalley

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Paula Berinstein continues with her delightful Amanda Lester series. Amanda is a descendant of in famous Sherlock Holmes and dreams of being a famous filmmaker one day, but for now she attends the Legatum Continuatum School for Descendants of Famous Detectives. After a spill on her skateboard she awakens to find herself on Moriaty's boat with Nick standing over her. He explains that she was knocked off her board by a blue peacock and he brought her to the boat to watch over and ensure her safety. He tells he has changed and wants to divorce his father and shows where he has been repeatedly beaten by him. He wants to return to Legatum and become a real detective. Amanda doesn't believe he has changed and is trying to trick her again. She gathers her things and leaves.


Since the disappearance of Amanda's cousins, Headmaster Thrillkill, Ivy's sister Fern and others along with the loss of the Detective's Bible the school has been in near chaos. Many of the professors have left the school and now new teachers are being hired to replace them; like the rude and arrogant pirate looking professor and none other than Amanda's mother, much to Amanda's displeasure. Things are changing at Legatum and not necessarily for the better. The search is still on for the Detective's Bible and those taken by the Zombies. Blixus Moriarty is still on the loose and he and his youngest son Hugh continue to make trouble for the detectives and their professors. Then there is David Wiffle and Editta Sweetgum whoran off to join with Moriarty after Editta killed Nick and Hugh's mom, Mavis. Amanda and the detectives must figure out what their enemies are up to, what is going on at the archeological dig and what the blue peacocks have to do with the Detective's Bible.


Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacock Secret is sure to hold your interest from beginning to end. The characters continue to grow and develop over the course of this series. Paula Berinstein just keeps getting better. You have zombies, criminals secret agendas, magical birds, espionage and intrigue. What more could you want? New storyline begin and some of the old conclude. A bad boy trying to be good and a boy and girl becoming more evil. I am definitely on the lookout for the next story which I hope will be soon. Any hints on what book six will be most welcomed. Any hints Ms. Berinstein?


Although the fifth in a series Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacock Secrets can be read as a standalone. The author gives enough back story to explain the references without detracting from the story. Although you might want to read them for your own enjoyment and a more in depth history of the story and the events spoken about.


Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01...

Barnes and Noble link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/amand...

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

The Reading Room link: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.ph...
Profile Image for Wendy.
2,310 reviews39 followers
March 27, 2016
"Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks' Secret" is the fourth book in an amazing series that begins when Amanda revives after a rare all-blue peacock knocks her off her skateboard to see the face of young criminal Nick Moriarty looming over her. Angry, refusing to admit her attraction to the boy who spurned her love she quickly learns that Nick needs her help not only to find a lawyer so he can divorce his abusive father Blixus but to return to the Legatum School for Detectives. But this is only the beginning of an adventure that will have Amanda and her friends unraveling clues to a mysterious disappearance and a remarkable archaeological discovery.

Paula Berinstein sets the stage for this fast-paced and action-packed story at the Legatum School for Detectives that's been devastated not only by a violent earthquake, but the loss of its missing Headmaster and the breakup of the teaching staff. In an atmosphere of mayhem and uncertainty threads of this intoxicating plot follow a search for Headmaster Thrillkill and the missing captives held hostage by the "wretch society"; the discovery of ancient Merlin scrolls at Liam Halpin's archaeological site; a secret hidden in each blue-peacock's feathers; and Amanda's struggle to help Nick Moriarty break away from his father's control. As the mystery and secrecy deepens, with each new challenge the suspense intensifies as Amanda and her friends tackle a rude, humorless teacher; her ruthless and domineering mother; a fraudulent magician; a poisoner; and the evil schemes of the Moriartys.

Yet amid all her troubles Amanda finds her heart trapped between loving the steady and amiable Scapulus Holmes and bad boy Nick Moriarty who her friend Simon Binkle contends is her soul-mate. Desperate to find answers, to unravel clues to the weird artwork and blood found in the tunnel, to the death of several peacocks and to a magician who claims to be a descendant of Merlin, Amanda tries to stifle her feelings for Scapulus who's dating her schoolmate Amphora Kapoor, and to distance herself from her attraction to Nick. But as the story progresses quickly and smoothly to a violent confrontation near the end Amanda will have to face her feelings for both boys only to find an answer she doesn't expect.

When you think you know what the characters are like after reading all the Amanda Lester novels, Paula Berinstein adds a further complexity to their personalities as they struggle with their flaws and faults. Strong-willed, independent and stubborn Amanda Lester avoids dealing with and offers no defense against her overbearing, narcissistic and dangerous mother Lila Lester who's deaf to her feelings. In contrast Simon Binkle the exasperating, cocky and argumentative geek faces his relationship troubles head-on, apologizing for his mean remarks while finally succumbing to the warmth and sweetness of Ivy Halpin. Funny, logical and cordial Scapulus Holmes who can't bring himself to hurt Amphora by breaking up with her, shows a vindictive side in his scheming to keep Nick away from the girl he loves. It is these characters and others that add flare and high-energy to this thrilling young teen detective story.

Like all the Amanda Lester novels "Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks' Secret" is an exciting page-turner you can't put down until the end. I loved this roller-coaster adventure with its twist and turns and unanswered questions at the end which I hope means another story brewing.
Profile Image for Beth G..
301 reviews15 followers
April 28, 2016
What was Nick Moriarty, her ex-best friend, now her mortal enemy, doing in her bedroom? And why was that old red Formica table there, and that tiny oak cupboard, and that awful yellow beanbag chair?

Synopsis: Waking up on board the Moriarty family's boat face-to-face with Nick - once her best friend and now her sworn enemy - is just one more confusing thing for Amanda Lester to cope with. The split between the factions of teachers at Legatum Continuatum sent half the instructors to Scotland to establish a new school, and the headmaster, several students, and Amanda's cousins are missing. The acting headmaster is hiring new instructors, and Amanda's mother is among the applicants. As if that's not enough going on, her filmmaker idol is coming to England, her mother is dating a new guy, and her complicated feelings toward Scapulus Holmes are compounded by his relationship with her friend Amphora. Then there are the rare all-blue peacocks who have become mysteriously ill and an archaeological discovery that may turn the public against the detectives. Amanda and her friends have to keep a running list of the problems they need to solve!

Review: The fourth book in the series is packed with a lot of things happening at once. Background information is provided in the first few chapters, but it's probably best not to jump into the series with this volume. The relationships between the characters take on great importance, whether they are bonds of family, friendship, or romance. The main characters all gain some development over the course of the novel. Ivy's family plays a significant role in the story, providing details to round out her character. The perspective of the novel occasionally shifts away from Amanda, giving the reader a chance to glimpse what else is going on. The cliffhangers at the end of the book ensure that readers will be eager for the next installment! The Q&A section with the author in the back matter provides links to further information about the scientific facts that play a part in the story.

Personal Thoughts: Okay, I'm hooked. In my not-so-humble opinion, Berinstein's writing gets better with each book, and I can hardly wait to see what she comes up with next.

Source: Kindle e-book courtesy of Lola's Blog Tours
129 reviews1 follower
September 2, 2016
Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks' Secret

In the fourth book of the series, Amanda Lester and friends find that Blue Peacocks are gathering around the detective school. Is their presence related to the missing object from the school? Why are they sick? Were they poisoned and, if so, by whom?
Amanda faces increasing problems with her emotional life as her heart and mind must decide which boy she loves; faces increasing problems for the school; and her, now divorced, parents. In addition, she faces further challenges that will determine the future of the detective school.

The fourth book in the series continues to delight the reader. Some series work well and pulls the reader into the stories and the Amanda Lestrade books form just such a series.
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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