I have been following Amanda's work since her first book, It Walked Among Us, and was excited to get my hands on Ella's Paradise. I purchased the hard back copy first but then grabbed the kindle version when she put it up for free just so I could have the extra copy to listen to while I worked.
Ella's Paradise, a treat for lovers of mystery/ghost stories, will have you wondering what will happen next with each page you turn. I'm a sucker for old houses and the history that follows them so this book had me interested from the beginning. The fact that it's around Halloween and the ghosts was an added bonus. Do not be discouraged by the number of pages listed. The paperback has close to 200 pages but the kindle only lists 152.
Leigh is a down on her luck woman who inherited her Uncles house (Ella's Paradise) after he mysteriously dies. Strange things start to happen pretty much as soon as Leigh moves in, from fresh flowers being left in the ballroom, to the sound of a giggling little girl echoing through the house in the middle of the night. With each new character brought into the book, Marin being my favorite, my mind was skipping ahead to see how this would change the story and what part they would each play in the end. Marin is Leigh's best friend and she had me cracking up. For example, "I prefer life among the living, thank you very much. That was beyond a close encounter, okay?" The book is a little slow at first as each new character is introduced but I promise the action picks up fast and you will not want to put it down until the end. The ending had a twist that I did not see coming and had me thinking how in the world did I miss this while reading. I found myself rereading the beginning that I thought was slow only to discover the hidden clues that were there for me to find.
This book gets five stars from me and I can't wait to read her next one. Amanda is going to be one of those writers I will be glad I've followed from the beginning.