Author: David Ahern
Published: March 2022 by Malin Press
Category: Cosy Murder Mystery
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.
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.
They came in ones and twos, women and girls, old and young. They seemed impressed by Madam Tulip’s costume and demeanour, perhaps expecting the traditional fake gypsy and instead meeting a woman of style and substance. After each had spent their allotted twenty minutes with Tarot, cards or crystal, they had departed with smiles and fulsome thanks. Madam Tulip was a hit, of that Derry was left in no doubt.
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.
I chose to read and review Madam Tulip and the Rainbow’s End for Rosie Amber’s book review team, based on a digital copy kindly supplied by the author.
David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland. He worked as a stagehand, a piano mover, a research psychologist and an IT guy before becoming a television writer, director and producer. He created international documentary series and won numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.
He played in great bands, all doomed to obscurity, and wrote equally obscure plays before taking to novel-writing. He now creates the Madam Tulip mysteries, mostly to make himself laugh and scratch his head. David Ahern loves pretending this is actual work.
David lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, a cat, a tame pheasant, a clan of badgers and a vegetable garden.