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Madam Tulip and The Bones of Chance by David Ahern

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller | Humour

By Swirl and Thread

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‘The 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.’

Derry O Donnell is back, in this the third novel in the series from David Ahern. Derry is a jobbing actress, who works part-time as a fortune teller, under the guise of Madam Tulip. As in the previous novels, Derry seems to always find herself caught up in real-life mysteries and drama. In The Bones of Chance , it’s not long before Derry finds herself involved in another unexpected adventure.

Derry’s mother is a successful art dealer living in the US and her father is a contrary artist living in the West of Ireland. The marriage is over and Derry, as the only child, often finds herself as a referee between the two of them. The antics of her parents always provides a humorous edge to the Madam Tulip books, even though, more often than not, it’s in parallel to some murderous activity taking place!

Derry accepts a job in Scotland. A movie is being made out on the Scottish Highlands and Derry is to play the role of a fortune teller. At the beginning Derry is slow to accept the job but with bills to pay and no other work on the horizon, Derry acquiesces to the role and is only too happy to hear that her friend Bruce is also joining the cast.

They travel to a remote location and all seems to be in order, a typical set of any movie where chaos looms, yet movies get made. The backers of the movie are two very wealthy business men, Jim Carson and Alex Dunbar, who have rather ostentatious lifestyles. Derry gets an unusual request to arrive at Jim Carson’s residence to do a reading for Sally Carson, his wife. Derry, without her fortune-telling paraphernalia, debates whether to accept this request, as she feels more comfortable when she is ‘in costume’ but this is the boss, this is for the man who pays her wages… Derry never appears fully at ease in the company of the Carson family. Derry’s instincts have always helped her in analysing a personality and in the case of Sally Carson, something is ‘off’ for Derry.

So begins another adventure for Madam Tulip. It’s not long before Derry discovers that all is not quite as it seems. There is something afoot in the Scottish Highlands and Derry soon finds herself uneasy in her surroundings while at times actually fearing for her life. With Bruce, her close friend and Ex-Navy SEAL by her side, Derry starts to unravel the truth, only to discover that the truth can be very, very dangerous indeed!

Madam Tulip and The Bones of Chance is a mischievous and entertaining read, if you are looking for something a little lighter. With an insight into both Derry’s personal life, as chief negotiator between her parents, and her rather dangerous adventures as Madam Tulip, David Ahern knits the two stories together very well.

Madam Tulip and The Bones of Chance is a madcap tale of mystery. It’s entertaining. It’s charming. It’s delightful. It’s what I would term a cosy read!

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.

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