Madam Tulip Review

Friday, 14 April 2017

Madam Tulip by David Ahern
Rating: 4/5
Source: Ebook from the author
Released: 1st May 2016

Out-of-work actress Derry O’Donnell is young, talented, a teeny bit psychic … and broke. Spurred on by an ultimatum from her awesomely high-achieving mother, and with a little help from her theatrical friends, Derry embarks on a part-time career as Madam Tulip, fortune-teller to the rich and famous. But at her first fortune-telling gig - a celebrity charity weekend in a castle - a famous rap artist will die.

As Derry is drawn deeper into a seedy world of celebrities, supermodels and millionaires, she finds herself playing the most dangerous role of her acting life. Trapped in a maze of intrigue, money and drugs, Derry's attempts at amateur detective could soon destroy her friends, her ex-lover, her father and herself.

Madam Tulip is the first in a series of Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.
I was really excited to read this book for two reasons, one being the description of the book -different from the mystery novels I'm used to reading, Derry O'Donnell is a fortune-teller-turned-detective and I thought this was such an original and intriguing idea that I couldn't wait to get round to reading it. The second reason I was looking forward to this book so much was that it is my first read and review request, as a new book blogger getting an email from David Ahern asking me to review his book was an honour, so thank you so much for that David -now on with the review!

Derry is an aspiring actor but her successful mother is pressuring her to get a job and if she can't find one within three weeks she must concede her loss and move to New York to work in her mother's art gallery. Pushy, controlling parents aren't typically a trope of crime fiction but it drives Derry to pursuing a career as Madam Tulip, and exploiting her gifts in the art of fortune-telling.

Madam Tulip is a very safe read, take it to the beach on a Sunday afternoon or on holiday like I did and enjoy reading a quirky book, full of well-plotted characters without having to do much thinking as the story unfolds quite neatly for you.

One of those well-plotted characters is Bruce, I loved reading about Bruce. Honourably discharged from the Navy for being gay, Bruce is another aspiring actor currently out of work -if anyone is looking for actors last minute my best bet would be to check Ireland if there's any truth in this book. There's something very Bridget Jones about Derry and her friends, Bruce and Bella and then Derry's quirky father Jacko, and no Bridget Jones-esque story would be complete without a love interest, though in my opinion the less said about him the better, I wasn't overly drawn to him but maybe that's just me.

As I mentioned the book is set in Ireland, I've never been to Ireland and I'm not sure if that's why I got a little english town/city vibe from the book -I might just be applying what I know to the book and I read a lot of crime fiction set in the North East of England, which is where I live and I could picture Madam Tulip working just as well if it said it was set here or in Scotland, but that could be said for a lot of books, I just didn't get an overly Ireland vibe from the description.

I think the premise behind this series is incredible and I'm so glad David Ahern reached out to me as I'd never heard of these books, there's a second out right now; Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts, and Ahern is working on a third! The second book is on my TBR pile and I'll be keeping an eye out for the third. I'd recommend the Madam Tulip series to anyone who enjoys a tamer crime novel, it's more about the characters and mystery here than being overly gruesome, even I'll admit it was a nice change of pace and I've been enjoying darker books lately. I'll have a review of Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts coming out in the summer, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

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