🧙‍♀️’Some of my absolute favorite book friends’. @barbtaub reviews #cosymystery Madam Tulip And The Rainbow’s End by @DaveAhernWriter, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT🧙‍♀️

Today’s team review is from Barb. She blogs here https://barbtaub.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Barb has been reading Madam Tulip And The Rainbow’s End by David Ahern.

My Review: 5 stars out of 5

The cast of the Madam Tulip series includes some of my absolute favorite book friends, starting with the young actress, Derry O’Donnell—permanently broke and scratching for the next job in the Dublin theater scene, consistently dating the wrong flavor-of-the-week, while waiting for The Big Break—and her alter ego Madam Tulip*, celebrity psychic and fortune-teller. (*That’s Madam without an “e”, because she’s not married to Monsieur Tulip.)

As always, Derry’s supporting cast includes her parents, long-divorced but tied by bonds far deeper than mere matrimony—Vanessa is agent to internationally-famed painter Jacko, and their epic battles and schemes constantly threaten Derry’s finances and, with alarming frequency, her life.

In fact, experts have established that the murder of artists by their agents and vice versa exceeds even the shocking homicide rate between couples in television dance competitions, although well below that between partners in bridge.

This episode opens with Derry being roused from a well-earned rest in a hotel in the North West coast of Ireland where she and her fellow actors had celebrated their brilliant performance the night before. There is a mysterious text from her friend Bella, the show’s co-producer. Then Derry’s friend Bruce (gay ex-Navy Seal, actor, computer expert, and total eye-candy) breaks the bad news. The main producer has disappeared with the box office takings which were supposed to have been disbursed that day. The rest of the troop discretely decamps in the night as well, leaving Derry and Bruce with massive hotel bills they couldn’t hope to pay. Derry is considering a quick exit via fire-escape, but her best friend Bruce—not only an officer and a gentleman, but also an American and thus subject to unfortunate fits of integrity—insists on facing the music. Derry realizes that can mean only one thing: Madam Tulip must come out of retirement.

With a back-story involving recovery of Jacko’s early (and thus valuable) paintings, Derry agrees to allow Madam Tulip to tell fortunes for a local fundraiser, partly to repay the hotel owner, and partly to get her parents off her case.

Madam Tulip, a character created by Derry with the help of her theatrical friends, was a fortune-teller of elegant dress and mature years. She had an uncanny ability, whether with Tarot, cards or crystal, to help her clients answer those questions asked by people of all ages, genders and orientations since the beginning of human history. ‘Does he or she love me?’ ‘Will I be happy?’ ‘Will I be rich?’ What’s more, Madam Tulip was no kind of fraud. As the daughter of the seventh son of a seventh son, Derry O’Donnell had inherited modest abilities some would call psychic, although she had once described her gift as being about as useful as a lipstick in the shower.

But now that Derry has grudgingly accepted the accuracy of Madam Tulip’s fortune-telling, she begins to see the darker side of the people she meets, including a recently bereaved family who own several of the paintings her parents want to recover, and a devastated sister seeking answers in her brother’s death.

Madam Tulip’s adventures are full of humorous takes on the people Derry and Bruce meet, and The Rainbow’s End is no exception. But Derry’s growing belief in her alter-ego Madam Tulip’s predictions make her suspect almost everyone of sinister motives, a darker outlook that worries the naturally-optimistic Derry. “She wondered what was wrong with her. Had she always been so mistrustful of everyone? Of herself? Her innocence seemed to have ebbed away unnoticed while she had been doing other things.”

Madam Tulip and the Rainbow’s End is faithful to the tropes of the (slightly paranormal) cozy thriller. Like trope-definer Nancy Drew, Derry is captured, tied up, and rescued. But this adventure goes darker, their adversaries more chillingly amoral, Derry’s dark moment truly terrifying. Interestingly, Madam Tulip takes on a more three-dimensional reality even as the hunt intensifies for the missing code to accessing the physical unreality of a bitcoin fortune. When Derry dons her disguise, it’s Madam Tulip who speaks her own truths. “More than once she felt the shiver of recognition as that vista shyly revealed itself. And in those moments, Tulip felt the peace of knowing that the future could be befriended but never tamed.”

As I’ve said about earlier books in this wonderful series, for anyone who enjoys plenty of wisecracking banter, a cast of offbeat characters willing to risk their lives for each other, and a rollercoaster thriller plot, I really can’t recommend this series enough.

Desc 1

On the private island of a wealthy banker, a young and talented stonemason falls from a cliff. A tragic accident? Or murder?

The dead man’s sister is obsessed with justice and will stop at nothing.
A glamorous French widow and her heart-throb son are certain they have been cheated of their legacy.
A daughter is bequeathed an island mansion beyond her means.
An enigmatic letter hints at a hidden fortune.

After the collapse of her theatrical tour, actress Derry O’Donnell must work to pay her way in a West of Ireland village. As Madam Tulip, she tells fortunes for a local charity only to be drawn into a maze of mystery and intrigue.

Madam Tulip and the Rainbow’s End is the fifth in the Madam Tulip series of mystery-adventures, in which out-of-luck actress Derry O’Donnell finds the promise at the End of the Rainbow may not be what it seems.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

‘A fun, entertaining series’ @CathyRy reviews Cosy #Mystery Madam Tulip and the Rainbow’s End by @DaveAhernWriter

Today’s team review is from Cathy. She blogs here https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Cathy has been reading Madam Tulip and the Rainbow’s End by David Ahern.

Madam Tulip and the Rainbow’s End, the fifth instalment of this popular series, finds Derry O’Donnell and her fellow thespian and good friend, ex Navy Seal, Bruce, left to pick up the pieces when the rest of the cast desert the touring production they were involved in, without paying. Not only that, they made off with the box office takings leaving Derry and Bruce with the hotel and bar bill for everyone.

Luckily Derry has her alter ego, Madame Tulip, to fall back on, so while Bruce searches for a job, Derry dons her Madame Tulip costume to tell fortunes at a charity event to help work off their debt. Derry’s uncanny gift is the result of her being the daughter of the seventh son of a seventh son. Madam Tulip is the character created by Derry and her friends and transforms her into an elegant, mature lady who has a natural affinity with Tarot and crystals, which helps her clients to find answers to their questions.

As a result of being forced to stay on, Derry and Bruce get caught up in a mystery and a crypto currency puzzle involving an inheritance. And who, if anyone, was responsible for the death of a talented stone mason. Derry and Bruce are on the case although it’s anything but straightforward.

This is a fun, entertaining series, due in no small measure to Derry’s parents, Jacko and Vanessa, and their one-upmanship antics, which always frustrates Derry as she is in the middle, implored by both sides to make the other see sense. The characters are well developed and their relationships and interactions believable. Derry has grown more comfortable and self assured in her role as Madam Tulip, especially since she stopped telling fortunes at celebrity events and parties as it seemed to lead her into the sort of company she’d much rather not keep.

The character driven plot has enough suspects for confusion, cryptic clues to a puzzle, danger and a great setting.

Desc 1

On the private island of a wealthy banker, a young and talented stonemason falls from a cliff. A tragic accident? Or murder?

The dead man’s sister is obsessed with justice and will stop at nothing.
A glamorous French widow and her heart-throb son are certain they have been cheated of their legacy.
A daughter is bequeathed an island mansion beyond her means.
An enigmatic letter hints at a hidden fortune.

After the collapse of her theatrical tour, actress Derry O’Donnell must work to pay her way in a West of Ireland village. As Madam Tulip, she tells fortunes for a local charity only to be drawn into a maze of mystery and intrigue.

Madam Tulip and the Rainbow’s End is the fifth in the Madam Tulip series of mystery-adventures, in which out-of-luck actress Derry O’Donnell finds the promise at the End of the Rainbow may not be what it seems.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

‘Clever, warm, and way more wrapped up in crypto currency than I think anyone was expecting.’ Jenni reviews cosy #mystery Madame Tulip And The Rainbow’s End by @DaveAhernWriter

Today’s team review is from Jenni. She blogs here https://jenniferdebie.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Jenni has been reading Madame Tulip And The Rainbow’s End by David Ahern

Abandoned by her acting troupe and bereft of any meaningful funds, the opening of David Ahern’s fifth Madame Tulip adventure finds the indominable Derry O’Donnell bartering her skills for room, board, and a little breathing room while she figures out her next move. As her wise and mysterious alter ego, Madame Tulip, Derry reads fortunes for the good people of the small, costal community where she has been stranded, but the more fortunes she reads, and the more people she meets, the deeper Derry is drawn into the intrigue that haunts the town. A stonemason was killed in a terrible accident, a mysterious billionaire has died and left his fortune and property to his daughter rather than his widow, no one is exactly who they say they are, everyone has a motive to lie, and the more Derry tries to distance herself from the whole situation, the more entangled she gets.

There are many authors who would lean heavily into the vaguely supernatural elements of Derry O’Donnell’s character. As the daughter of the seventh son of the seventh son, she does have some legitimate abilities as a fortune teller, but Ahern is careful to keep his protagonist from relying on her preternatural skills too much. Yes, Madame Tulip is a lynchpin to the story, but it’s Derry who makes the discoveries, unravels the mystery, and ultimately wins the day.

This is Ahern’s fifth outing with Derry and the Madame, but Madame Tulip and the Rainbow’s End stands nicely on its own. There are probably some character relationships that would be more nuanced if the reader had four other books worth of backstory to deepen them, but for the most part Ahern is deft in delivering the necessary context without obvious plot dumps. The relationship between Derry’s parents, an eccentric artist and a sharp art dealer who have a divorce, a child, and an annual painting quota keeping them in each other’s lives, was a particular gem that I enjoyed seeing sprinkled throughout the novel. Again, four books worth of previous story probably would have added some depth to those interactions, but as it stands you can still get plenty of enjoyment out of Jacko and Vanessa without them.

Clever, warm, and way more wrapped up in crypto currency than I think anyone was expecting, Madame Tulip and the Rainbow’s End is a fun read from an author who knows the importance of a judicious hand when it comes to backfill, and the power of a good setting. I can’t tell you how many more Madame Tulips Ahern has under his hat, but if they all read this smooth, this reviewer will happily read again.

4/5

Desc 1

On the private island of a rich banker, a young and talented stone-mason falls from a cliff. A tragic accident? Or murder?

After the collapse of their theatrical tour, actress Derry O’Donnell and sidekick Bruce must work to pay their way in a West of Ireland village. As Madam Tulip, Derry tells fortunes for a local charity only to be drawn into a maze of mystery and intrigue.

The dead man’s sister obsessed with justice and who will stop at nothing.
A daughter bequeathed an island mansion beyond her means.
A glamorous French widow and her heart-throb son certain they have been cheated of their legacy.
Add an enigmatic letter hinting at a hidden fortune, and the reader is in for a gripping and humorous mystery adventure.

Madam Tulip and the Rainbow’s End is the fifth in the series of  Tulip mysteries, in which out-of-luck actress Derry O’Donnell finds the End of the Rainbow may not be what it seems.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS