Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com
Cathy has been reading Madam Tulip by David Ahern
Derry O’Donnell, sometime actress, latterly of Trinity College, Dublin, from where she graduated summa cum laude in Theatre Arts, has been broke and, more often than not, unemployed for the last five years. A job offer from her mother, as a PR for her art gallery, and an ultimatum regarding her rent, prompts Derry to seriously consider her best friend, Bella’s idea of using her fortune-telling talents, she’s the only daughter of the seventh son of a seventh son, to top up her non-existent bank balance. And so Madam Tulip is born.
Attending the races with her father, Jacko, and persuaded to use her talents to pick a winner, Derry spots well known supermodel, Marlene O’Mara, with her obviously rich husband, Peter Doyle. Jacko can’t help himself and brags about Derry’s abilities. One thing leads to another and Derry is invited to the Doyles’ charity event as Madam Tulip, Celebrity Psychic, complete with makeover and her assistant, Bella.
All is going well at the event, Madam Tulip is a success, and then one of the celebrities is found, on the brink of death, by Bella who then becomes a suspect and is taken into custody. As events escalate, Derry and her friends find themselves in all kinds of trouble, involving thugs and drugs. Derry needs all her acting skills to try and keep herself, and everyone else, safe.
I enjoyed this book very much, right from the start. The humorously engaging writing, the really well-rounded, memorable, and sometimes exuberant, characters. Not to mention great dialogue. Derry is down to earth and unpretentious, unlike her flamboyant father and very successful mother. Bruce is a great character too, a gay, ex navy SEAL, who is as nervous as a kitten when it comes to auditions, but he shows what he’s made of when it counts and does all he can to help Derry.
The characters’ backgrounds are integrated well into the story, giving a rounded and believable, even if slightly over the top, portrayal. The plot, although a little convenient at times is nevertheless a lot of fun, skilfully done and still holds surprises, with action, suspense and humour aplenty. I look forward to future adventures with Derry and co.