Thank You very much to the author for the review copy.
Publisher: Malin Press
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release date: 01 05 2016
Price*:Kindle £0.99 (GBP)/ Paperback £7.99 (GBP)
Kindle $1.30 (USD)/ Paperback $11.48 (USD)
Pages: ~ 309
My rating: 8/10
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What I learned from this book: Be careful when you choose your friends.
Description of the book: Living in Ireland, out-of-work American 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.
Madame 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.
How this book made me feel: When I read the description of this book, I knew it is going to be a fun read, and I was right. This book was my first try of cosy mysteries and I really enjoyed this well deserved treat to my brains, after reading some intense psychological thrillers.
The blurb above, describes this book quite accurately. Derry is broke actress who is “teeny bit psychic”. So, when the chance comes to earn some (good) money out of it, she decided to try. But soon she got involved into murder “investigation”, where she knew more than the police.
The characters used in this book were very well chosen. This is a book about actors and celebrities, so, of course, there were some eccentric, artistic characters, whose charm and charisma has to shine. I really enjoyed the great balance between the “over the top” characters and the casual, “down to earth” ones. Ahern kept a wide variety of well rounded characters to choose from, so I think everyone can find their favourite one, according to their taste. My favourite was Derry; I loved her simple personality and sharp way of thinking, even though her parents are really crazy.
The plot of this novel was very entertaining and enjoyable. I liked the smooth flow of the story, with unexpected findings and turns. The whole story was told from Derry’s perspective, but that was fully sufficient to understand the characters well. As it says in the description below, Ahern grew up in a theatrical family, I think that is why the theatrical life details used in this novel were so accurate and detailed, and I absolutely enjoyed reading all those bits and pieces about actors and theatre.
The writing style of this novel is really pleasurable, filled with Irish spirit. The language used in this book is easy to read and understandable. The chapters are decent length, and divided into smaller parts as well, so it doesn’t drag along and didn’t leave me bored. The ending of the book was unexpected and filled with action, and left some unresolved issues, which, I believe, might come up in other books of Madam Tulip. So to conclude, I think this book was a great introduction to Madam Tulip and her capabilities, and I was very pleased to witness this metamorphosis. I really enjoyed all this extra-ordinariness combined with simplicity and casualness, and I think it is a great read for these cold autumn evenings.
About the Author: David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs. Madame Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’d ever had with a computer. The second in the Madam Tulip mystery series, Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts, was published in autumn 2016. He is now writing the third Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work. David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.
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