Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Vintage #Mystery A Clerical Error by J New @newwrites

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs here http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading A Clerical Error by J New

37889241

This review was written for Rosie’s book review team and it was purchased by this reviewer.

A Clerical Error is a cozy, the third in the Yellow Cottage Vintage Mystery series. I read the second in the series, The Curse of Arundel Hall, so I am familiar with the setting, and I was looking forward to this next adventure. What appeals to me about these books is the historical setting, the paranormal aspects of the stories, and the fact they are cozies.

The Yellow Cottage series is set in the 1930s, and the author is developing her characters and the back story with each further adventure. Following the death of her husband, Ella Bridges moves to Linhay Island, spurred by a strong suggestion from her husband’s boss, the British Home Secretary, that she move away and forget her husband. She takes up residence in a refurbished cottage that was once a part of the Arundel Hall estate – a cottage inhabited by ghosts. In this volume, only Phantom, a cat ghost and companion to Ella, remains. Ella develops a reputation as something of a local sleuth, following her solution of a murder in the previous book.

In A Clerical Error, Ella takes a bike ride around the island and meets two ladies involved in raising funds for their church. Despite their somewhat off-putting interaction, they persuade Ella to run a stall to make money for the church at the May Day Fete. The action begins with the sudden death of the vicar, Father Michael, at the Fete. The vicar had only recently returned from a sabbatical and while liked, was not well known by his [parishioners. Characters previously introduced reappear, cleverly woven into the story: Sergeant Baxter, a policeman Ella had worked with before; her ever supportive Aunt Margaret; her housekeeper Mrs. Shaw, and her Uncle Albert, the Police Commissioner at Scotland Yard.

Confounding the threads of the investigation and shocking Ella is the discovery that her husband is still alive and the fact Mrs. Shaw is not who she claims to be.

The descriptive narrative is very well done, if at times not completely necessary. I particularly liked the walled garden – I could almost smell the flowers and hear the bees. I also enjoyed learning more about the island and Ella’s cottage, both of which are characters themselves. The author does a good job of creating well-rounded and sympathetic people to populate her books, and she keeps the reader in the 1930s. Best of all she provided enough plot turns to engross the reader in finding out who done it.  While Phantom appears from time to time in the story, I would have liked to see more of Ella’s paranormal skills, and the story of her husband’s reappearance and the sequalae was somewhat of a stretch.

All in all, though, a satisfying read and one which keeps me interested in reading the next book in the series. This is a book to cuddle up with on a rainy day, and the ending does leave you hanging!

Book description

When the crime scene is pure coincidence and there’s no evidence, how do you prove it was murder?

Ella Bridges faces her most challenging investigation so far when the vicar dies suddenly at the May Day Fete. But with evidence scarce and her personal life unravelling in ways she could never have imagined, she misses vital clues in the investigation.
Working alongside Sergeant Baxter of Scotland Yard, will Ella manage to unearth the clues needed to catch the killer before another life is lost? Or will personal shock cloud her mind and result in another tragedy?

‘A Clerical Error’ is set in 1930’s England, and is the third of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mystery series.
‘Miss Marple meets The Ghost Whisperer’ – Perfect For Fans of Golden Age Murder Mysteries, Cozy Mysteries, Clean Reads and British Amateur Sleuths

About the author

J. New is the British author of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mystery series. Set on the fictitious island of Linhay in the south of England during the 1930’s, they are an homage to the Golden Age mysteries but with a contemporary twist.

J. New

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

 

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Madam Tulip And The Bones Of Chance by @DaveAhernWriter

Today’s team review is from Jessie, she blogs here http://behindthewillows.com

#RBRT Review Team

Jessie has been reading Madam Tulip And The Bones Of Chance by Dave Ahern

39109077

I’m the kind of girl who gets totally, embarrassingly, nerdily excited when they see that another book by a favorite author is getting released. When the book is something off the best seller list, I often have another book lover to gush about the up coming book with. When the book is less well known I instead kick into overzealous-crazy-book-lover-who-insists-you-must-read-this-book mode. I’m not interested in asking what my friends and family think about this behavior of mine but I like to imagine they find it useful and charming.

And look everybody, Madam Tulip is back!

Just in case you haven’t yet had time to read the first books (because I know after my recommendations they must be on your “to read” list)  Madam Tulip and Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts, I certainly recommend you start there. If, like me and my Granny, you’ve been waiting for the next installment it’s here. You should probably just go ahead and order it now. The same great cast of characters are again unwittingly getting themselves into hot water. And it is again the best kind of page turning mystery with enough laughs to keep it lighthearted and fun.

But instead of waxing on about the third book in a series I’ll trust you’ll start with the first and keep on reading.

In the meantime David Ahern himself agreed to answer a few questions!  

1) First things first. Does daily life begin with caffeinated beverage of choice?

Three caffeinated beverages of choice. And nothing fancy, either. Straight from the jar. Milk no sugar. I might, just might, stumble into life midway through #2.

2)  In the Madam Tulip books the main character Derry’s dad often seems to be the one who sees  “signs” in what his daughter says. How about you? Do you have any sure signs your day is going  to be fantastic… or not….

As a writer, never a clue. Sometimes you think a day is going to be like pulling teeth, and then for no discernible reason you find yourself on a roll. Other days you breeze to your desk feeling mighty clever, to find your brain instantly turns to mush and you wouldn’t trust yourself to write a shopping list.    

3) They say pictures are worth a thousand words. Could you describe Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance using nothing but emojis? (And no, I don’t think emojis are worth a thousand words but I’m curious anyway. ??)

Haven’t a clue. I’m from the emoticon age :).

4) Having lived in both Scotland and Ireland it’s possible you may be qualified to tell us who has the best whiskey. If that’s too controversial of a question, is there something about Scotland (where much of this book takes place) that you wish you could take with you where ever you live?

Scotch whisky is the hands down winner, and frankly we Irish don’t even put up a fight about that. On the other hand, we invented Scotland, but don’t tell anyone I said it. As for what I wish I could take with me, the hospitality of the people of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland is something very, very special.    

5)  During Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance Derry is acting for a movie that she doesn’t seem to think will be the next blockbuster, or even close. What “awful” movie do you love despite itself.

Zardoz, a wonderful Sean Connery turkey directed by John Boorman. And I’m not saying why.

6) In my own little world I prefer for everything to end with dessert. What’s your favorite treat to end things with?

A laugh.

Thank you David for being willing to do a little Q & A with us!

And as for the book…

Would I recommend it? Without a doubt! These books should be on the best seller lists!

Book description

A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager—each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.
As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.

Madame Tulip is the third in a series of thrilling and hilarious Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

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. He is now writing the fourth 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.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

 

Rosie’s Reviewers #RBRT Madam Tulip And The Bones Of Chance by @DaveAhernWriter #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Barb, she blogs here http://barbtaub.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Barb has been reading Madam Tulip And The Bones Of Chance by David Ahern

39109077

My Review: 5 stars out of 5 for Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance

I don’t watch TV. I don’t even own a television. But if I did, I imagine waiting for a new episode of my favorite series each week would feel a bit like reading the next Madam Tulip. Certainly all the ingredients are there. You have your (attractive of course) 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.

Derry’s supporting cast includes her mother Vanessa—successful American art gallery owner, artist’s agent, and force of nature. Vanessa is divorced from (but still agent to) Derry’s father, Jacko—famous Irish artist whose painting skills are second only to his ability to gamble (and lose) money. Then there are Derry’s acting friends, Bella (black, Belfast-born actress with catch-phrase ‘Say No to Negativity!’), and Bruce (gay ex-Navy Seal, actor, computer expert, and total eye-candy). [note: and in case you didn’t get the gay part, his remarkably prescient parents did, in fact, name him “Bruce”.]

As with favored TV shows, the point is here is not the actual mystery that needs to be solved each week/book, but the way Derry’s character and those of her friends develop and change over the course of each episode. Each episode begins with Derry trying to avoid a day job that involves the phrase, “And would you like fries with that?” or even worse, working as her mother’s Personal Assistant. (“Life as Vanessa’s P-anything would be like being trapped inside a hall of mirrors with a shopping list written in hieroglyphics.”) Derry’s only marketable skill—some psychic abilities which for the most part are both unreliable and fairly useless—lead to the birth of Madam* Tulip, celebrity psychic and fortune-teller. (*That’s Madam without an “e”, because she’s not married to Monsieur Tulip.) 

But Madam Tulip, in her two previous outings, has shown an unfortunate tendency to stumble over crimes and dead bodies, while pitching Derry into life-threatening situations. So when a figure from one of those narrow escapes offers a no-audition role in a movie (at almost Hollywood rates!) being filmed in the Highlands of Scotland, Derry stuns her acting friends by turning it down. Bruce is particularly overcome.

‘No…?’ he said, but couldn’t utter the actual word. Bruce’s pathological fear of auditions was well known to his friends. Remarkably, a man who thought exiting a submerged submarine while carrying a full load of limpet mines a hoot, was terrified to the point of nervous collapse by the prospect of an audition. Now his face shone like that of a saint glimpsing the promised land. The very idea that auditionless casting existed somewhere in the universe promised to change life’s whole complexion.

When the movie company not only offers to change Madam Tulip’s name, but also to cast Bruce, Derry reluctantly agrees. In barely related subplots, her parents also head to Scotland to open a gallery (Vanessa) and recoup his finances with an exhibition (Jacko). This allows for plenty of snide Irish/Scot comparisons (‘Scotland seemed to consist of countless miles of nothing at all…’), and even more snide American/British comparisons (‘But, being half Irish, Derry knew that when someone laments the fact they would soon be buried under the sod, the statement was to be filed under the general heading of weella, weella, wallya or, alternatively, ochone, ochone, ochone. Such lamentations were mostly about the tune, not the words.’). Of course, there’s plenty of obligatory kilt-ogling, and Derry’s developing attraction to both the local millionaire castle owner, and to the delicious Scottish accents of his estate manager, Rab, especially with his ‘Aye’ of agreement.

Derry breathed out as quietly as she could. A small but distinct and unambiguous tingle had developed at the nape of her neck. Could she try one more time?

‘Did you say an estate manager was called a factor here?’

‘Aye,’ answered Rab, gloriously.

Without adding spoilers, I think it’s fair to say the movie shoot doesn’t go well. Derry manages to get through the scene that gives the book its name, in which her character, a gypsy fortune teller, throws some prop bones and reads portents into their runes. Only…in her hands, the bones take on a sinister life of their own, bringing a vision warning of impending doom. A shaken Derry finds herself under attack from the media, maneuvered into giving a seance at the castle as Madam Tulip, shot at, and in peril.

As with many cozy mysteries, the character development, banter, and growing relationships with supporting characters are far more fun than the actual plot. That’s actually a good thing because the bad guys’ identities are telegraphed early on, but it doesn’t matter. Derry and Bruce stumble from one clue to the next, Madam Tulip’s psychic gifts illuminate the motives, and Derry is once more in the villains’ crosshairs. Meanwhile, Derry continues to choose the wrong guy for romance, her parents continue to battle, and Bruce continues to save everyone (while obsessing over his next scene).

I loved the descriptions of the settings, from Ireland to Scotland, and especially the Highlands (“An island-studded sea sparkled, blue and other-worldly. The water was stunningly transparent, so clear you could see a dark band of weed stretch out under the swell for a hundred yards before the sea bottom dropped away and the colour changed to a deep azure. A heather-covered hillside, golden red, rose steeply inland.”)  Later, Derry rides the train used for the Hogwarts Express, “…sweeping around a curving viaduct thrown casually across a broad heather-covered valley of breathtaking beauty.” She’s right. I’ve ridden that train and the scenery is stunning (although I’ve never seen red heather…).

But my favorite part was the relationship between Derry, her parents, and her friends. As with any good series, this just keeps getting better and better. Without it, this would be a much lesser book, but I don’t hesitate to give five stars and say that I can’t wait for the next book. Maybe poor Derry will have a nice date at last.

Book description

A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager—each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.
As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.

Madame Tulip is the third in a series of thrilling and hilarious Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

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. He is now writing the fourth 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.

David Ahern

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #mystery A Clerical Error by @newwrites #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Jenny R,

#RBRT Review Team

Jenny has been reading A Clerical Error by J. New

37889241

5 Stars

I enjoyed this book so very much.  The story unfolds at a nice pace and is very easy to keep up with. There is nothing confusing or complex in the way that the author has built up and unraveled the plot.  The story is well written, so much so that I could feel myself visualizing the scenes, the people and the unfolding of the plot.

The description and feel of the little village is warm and welcoming, the characters are well placed, and I especially love the way that Jocaster manipulates Ella into helping out at the village fete. I myself have come across this in my village.  I think that village life is actually like that, so to use this in the story is a lovely touch.

Ella Bridges, what a fine sleuth she is along with her aunt and sidekick ‘Phantom’ This is a cosy read, you can snuggle up on a winters evening with this book and you will not want to put it down.

The substance in this book is simply perfect.

Book description

When the crime scene is pure coincidence and there’s no evidence, how do you prove it was murder?

Ella Bridges faces her most challenging investigation so far when the vicar dies suddenly at the May Day Fete. But with evidence scarce and her personal life unravelling in ways she could never have imagined, she misses vital clues in the investigation.
Working alongside Sergeant Baxter of Scotland Yard, will Ella manage to unearth the clues needed to catch the killer before another life is lost? Or will personal shock cloud her mind and result in another tragedy?

‘A Clerical Error’ is set in 1930’s England, and is the third of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mystery series.
‘Miss Marple meets The Ghost Whisperer’ – Perfect For Fans of Golden Age Murder Mysteries, Cozy Mysteries, Clean Reads and British Amateur Sleuths

About the author

J. New is the British author of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mystery series. Set on the fictitious island of Linhay in the south of England during the 1930’s, they are an homage to the Golden Age mysteries but with a contemporary twist.

J. New

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT @CathyRy reviews vintage #mystery A Clerical Error by @newwrites

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs here http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading A Clerical Error by J New

37889241

This is the third book in the cozy mystery series set in the 1930s, featuring
Ella Bridges and her ghost cat, Phantom. Ella’s life has taken a very unexpected turn. Having believed her husband, John, had died two years ago, she now knows that to be false after a telephone call out of the blue and a conversation with the Home Secretary. With the help of her Uncle Albert, Ella finally learns the truth about John and his activities. Her housekeeper, Mrs Shaw, also proves not to be who, or what, she had claimed. A visit with her Aunt Margaret goes someway to helping Ella to absorb the shocks, put her feelings of anger and distress in perspective and restore her composure.

Ella returns home feeling much more positive and looking forward to a return visit from her aunt. A near miss while out on a bicycle ride brings about an acquaintance with two ladies involved in raising funds for the church and Ella is soon persuaded to run a stall at the May Day Fete. Sergeant Baxter, the policeman Ella has worked with previously was attending the fete, along with the vicar, Father Michael, recently returned from a sabbatical. The fun was cut short drastically when a suspicious death occurred.

Another entertaining mystery, well written with a well crafted and twisty story line. As with the previous books the atmosphere of the era is brought to life perfectly, with suitable dialogue, lifestyle and descriptive prose. Realistic, developing characters and relationships add to the appeal. Despite Ella’s personal problems, she and Sergeant Baxter work together and follow the clues, some of which, understandably, take Ella a little longer to process this time round. It’s useful, however, having friends in high places who are only too willing to help.

There’s less of the paranormal in this story but I was glad Phantom made several appearances. A well thought through and interesting mystery, the reveal coming as a complete surprise. The threads running through the main story line were all wrapped up too, which was good. These are the perfect cozies; engaging characters, no sex or gratuitous violence and a very enjoyable story in a vintage setting.

Book description

When the crime scene is pure coincidence and there’s no evidence, how do you prove it was murder?

Ella Bridges faces her most challenging investigation so far when the vicar dies suddenly at the May Day Fete. But with evidence scarce and her personal life unravelling in ways she could never have imagined, she misses vital clues in the investigation.
Working alongside Sergeant Baxter of Scotland Yard, will Ella manage to unearth the clues needed to catch the killer before another life is lost? Or will personal shock cloud her mind and result in another tragedy?

‘A Clerical Error’ is set in 1930’s England, and is the third of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mystery series.
‘Miss Marple meets The Ghost Whisperer’ – Perfect For Fans of Golden Age Murder Mysteries, Cozy Mysteries, Clean Reads and British Amateur Sleuths

About the author

J. New is the British author of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mystery series. Set on the fictitious island of Linhay in the south of England during the 1930’s, they are an homage to the Golden Age mysteries but with a contemporary twist.

J. New

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT MADAM TULIP & the KNAVE OF HEARTS by @daveahernwriter

Today’s Team Review is from Barb, she blogs here http://barbtaub.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Barb has been reading Madam Tulip and the Knave Of Hearts by David Ahern

32180530

My Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts by David Ahern

I fell in love with Derry, the hapless heroine of David Ahern’s cozy mystery series, in Madam Tulip, the first book of this terrific series, as she supplemented the vicissitudes of an acting career by capitalizing on her inherited psychic gifts. As the glamorous and mysterious Madam* Tulip, world-famous psychic and fortune-teller, Derry reluctantly finds herself telling fortunes for well-heeled clients. (*That’s Madam without an “e”, because she’s not married to Monsieur Tulip.) 

 

Just as her acting career seems poised to take off, disaster strikes their venerable old theater, and Derry is forced to take a job for her wealthy American mother Vanessa—art gallery owner, agent, and force of nature. At the same time, Derry attempts to dodge the more extreme scheming of her Irish father Jacko—famous artist, compulsive gambler, and womanizer. At times Derry wonders if she’s the only one who remembers that her parents are divorced, as she’s caught in the middle of their ongoing battles/attraction.

But in the midst of these scenes from her regular life, Derry is approached by a friend from Book 1 with a command performance request for Madam Tulip from a wealthy Countess. Reluctantly, Derry agrees and along with her conscripted sidekick Bruce, is soon ensconced in the aristocratic estate and lives of a compulsive gambler Earl and his family.

As a reader, that was about the time that I started to add up the ways that author David Ahern was systematically both using and subverting the standard Cozy Mystery tropes.

The sweet old lady amateur detective is a gray wig and a costumed role for a young woman who prefers the cash to solving the crime. “Derry and Bruce were different people in as many ways as you could imagine. But they were both actors. To be insulted by offers of money was, therefore, an existential impossibility.”

Her gay best friend is not only a handsome fellow actor but he’s also a competent ex-Navy Seal and computer expert who—in contrast to Cozy genre norms—doesn’t cook, own a small dog, or give fashion advice. (Although he is somewhat-unfortunately named Bruce, so there’s that…)

Neither the police nor local medical providers are the least helpful.

The murdered body itself might be offstage, but bits of it have taken to turning up in particularly graphic ways.  Despite body bits, liberal clues, and red herrings that point to the bad guys and accomplice early on, the actual motivating factor isn’t revealed until the end, when it almost doesn’t matter.

In keeping with the Cozy ethics, there is no swearing, unless “gobshite” counts. But there are no cats, no knitting, and not much use for cupcakes either. “The neighbours of the Palace Theatre were mostly bars catering to stag parties—hordes of drunken revellers whose uses for a cupcake could prove unorthodox.” 

Instead of a cozy little village, the action moves to an aristocratic estate that can only be called ‘familiar’ by Downton Abby fans. There are several sightings of “HER”, and in addition to the Queen, members of the Royal family play roles. One thing that makes American-raised Derry (and Americans like me) wonder is the whole concept of the Queen and British royalty. Like Derry, we can’t quite figure it out.

‘I’ve never understood why the Irish are so keen on the British Royal Family,’ observed Derry to Jacko in a whisper. ‘You know—all that bad history. You’d think they’d have a grudge.’

‘Sure what has history to do with it, at all?’ replied Jacko. ‘Isn’t it a grand show, with all the parades and marriages and scandals galore? All paid for by the British taxpayer, God bless them. We Irish say think you very much’ do carry on.’

The book’s pacing works well, with the scene set at the aristocratic estate, eccentric characters such as the ex-showgirl Countess, and occasional arrival of random body parts. My only complaints with the book start when the cozy mystery escalates into a thriller mode that’s less convincing, with James Bond style over-the-top villains and complex rigged death scenes that frankly would have been much more easily arranged with a strategic bullet or two and some judicious arson. Indeed, Derry willingly puts herself at risk because she feels guilty over something she had no control over or responsibility for. While this enables the thriller-style finale, I think the judges would agree that it doesn’t really make sense. Sure, if Derry had been English, she would have apologized for everything from the weather to her own incompetence in briskly ferreting out the murderer. But Derry is Irish-American. And the Irish aren’t about feel guilty about bad things happening to the English, while the Americans aren’t going to apoligize for anything except possibly Donald Trump.

And finally, there is a ‘you’ve probably wondered why I’ve called you all here’ scene that’s almost an afterthought, and a bit of cozy-mystery cheating as the final motivating clue isn’t revealed until after all the action.

But you know what? These complaints are absolutely minor next to the character building, scene setting, and snarky conversation. I love this series, highly recommend it, and suggest that readers treat themselves to both books in order. I would give Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts an equally-enthusiastic four stars. As I said with the first book, if you’re up for a funny, well-written genre mashup with memorable characters and a great sense of voice and style, I think you’ll love this series.

And of course, I can’t wait for Madam Tulip’s next appearance.

I reviewed Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts for Rosie’s Book Review Team

***I received this book from the publisher or author to facilitate an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

 

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 and taught in major Universities but could never explain to his granny why he didnít own a stethoscope. Finding the challenge of pretending to know things exhausting, David Ahern shaved off his beard and absconded once more, this time to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series. He won numerous awards, but found nobody was much impressed. For want of a better plan, David Ahern took to writing fiction. Madame Tulip isn't his first novel, but writing it was the most fun he's ever had with a computer. He is now writing the third in the series and enjoys pretending that this activity 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. To find out more about Madam Tulip and David Ahern, visit www.davidahern.info

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 and taught in major Universities but could never explain to his granny why he didnít own a stethoscope.
Finding the challenge of pretending to know things exhausting, David Ahern shaved off his beard and absconded once more, this time to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series. He won numerous awards, but found nobody was much impressed.
For want of a better plan, David Ahern took to writing fiction. Madame Tulip isn’t his first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the third in the series and enjoys pretending that this activity 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.

Twitter @daveahernwriter

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT MADAM TULIP & The Knave of Hearts by @DaveAhernWriter

Today’s Team Review is from Jessie she blogs at http://behindthewillows.com

#RBRT Review Team

Jessie has been reading Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts by David Ahern

32180530

I’m so grateful that I was once reeled in by a cute frog on the cover of a book. That book, Madam Tulip, introduced me to Derry O’Donnell and her accompanying, charmingly over the top, literary comrades.

David Ahern’s newest book cover isn’t as cute…… but that’s alright because I loved it even more!

Would I recommend it? Yes! This is the new series I’m recommending to anyone who loves a humorous mystery! It made me giggle (so many times) and almost gag (there’s an eyeball…) and had me on the edge of my seat (Well, that’s just a lie on my part. I was reading in bed. But it did have me refusing to put the book down and go to bed at a reasonable time) all at once. A perfect fun, quick read!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

Book Description

Madam Tulip! Actress, fortune-teller, psychic, sleuth!
When out-of-work actress Derry O’Donnell moonlights as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip in an English Stately home, she’s trying to make some cash. Instead, she is drawn into an alien world of wealth, titled privilege and family secrets. 
A countess once a chorus girl, a gambling earl and his daughters, a cultured and handsome art expert—all caught in a terrifying web of ghastly threats, murder and abduction. As an aristocratic engagement party turns into a nightmare, Derry and her friend Bruce face the prospect of a gruesome and infamous death. 
Madame Tulip and the Knave of Hearts is the second in a series of thrilling and hilarious Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.
 

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT MADAM TULIP by @DaveAhernWriter “constant humour”

Today’s Team Review is from Jessie, she blogs here http://behindthewillows.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Jessie has been reading Madam Tulip by David Ahern

There is a frog on the cover of this book and it’s pretty. And so I decided that I needed to read this book. (I’m pretty sure that’s what you call successful cover art!)

Would I recommend it? Maybe you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but you sure can choose one. Frog loving isn’t even required to enjoy this book! I mean, you should love frogs anyway but amphibian love is unnecessary to appreciate a book with a main character who, rather accidentally, gets caught up in the world of celebrities when she decides to become a fortune teller. Unfortunately, as she soon finds out, there are some seriously shady sides to a few of those celebrities.  The action is fast, the humor is constant and frogs are discussed. But it wasn’t the frogs that have me recommending this book, it’s the just slightly over the top characters and the just a little bit crazy plot.  Something about the tiny bit of excess in both turns this from just another female lead action book to a book that you really need to bring along next time you hit the beach!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT MADAM TULIP by @DaveAhernWriter #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Cathy has been reading Madam Tulip by David Ahern

29769343

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.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT LOVE IN THE TIME OF MURDER by @denaehaggerty #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review comes from Karen, she blogs at, https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Karen chose to read and review Love in the Time of Murder by Dena Haggerty

Love in the time of murder

My Opinion

This book focuses on Dee, freshly separated. Her grandma being one of the gray-haired knitting detectives, it does not come as a surprise that Dee is ‘persuaded’ to file for a restraining order and the circle’s matchmaker tries to set her up with an adequate partner. When her estranged husband’s body is found, she is the number one suspect.

With Love in the Time of Murder, D. E. Haggerty has created another expertly worded and pretty funny suspense story with a romantic touch. The story comprises a broad variety of characters with sufficient depth, hilarious moments and interesting interactions to solve the murder case. I had a great time reading Love in the Time of Murder – it is a very fun read. I was drawn into the story right away, chuckling about the cute gray-haired knitting detectives and their ways, not always seconding Dee’s thoughts. On second thoughts, I came to realise that my reactions in case of others trying to meddle with my life are not than different from hers.

This is for you if you like female sleuths, hilarious situations as well as a great combination of (cozy) suspense, humour and romance.

A funny and suspenseful book and/or series to read again.

Recommended!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com