2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 265 books.

Book Review: Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree by David Ahern

This is a fun cozy series that I’ve enjoyed since the first book. By now, it feels like Old Home Week to dive back into Derry’s world – Bruce never fails to amaze and astound with his mad Ex-Navy SEAL skills, Jacko offers a marvelous madcap trip through the looking glass, Vanessa’s take – no – prisoners ice queen ruthlessness delights with its deviousness, and Madam Tulip’s genteel facade of implacable grace provides a much – needed counter to the inanity that always seems to surround Derry… It’s a fantastic blend of characters and they are definitely what drives my interest in this series.

The mysteries in each novel are entertaining, don’t get me wrong – but it’s the characters that keep me coming back for more. In this one, we got a little less focus on each than I’ve come to expect, and I found myself missing the extra tidbits that have been provided on the previous books. It’s inevitable, I suppose, that by book four the characters would be so well fleshed out that the focus would shift like that, but I still found missing wanting to spend more time on each of their heads than this novel allowed.

What we did get a lot of in this one was the insanity that permeates the music business. I enjoyed that, and the way the egos and obsession with money and fame led to the drama that comprised the mystery(ies) at the heart of the book. As always, the action and drama were just this side of over the top – it’s always a bit of a credibility stretch, but not in a bad way. It fits the cozy tone of the books just fine, and has become almost as comfortable a story element as the characters themselves.

The one place this one was decidedly NOT cozy was in the final action sequence, which features elements I had to read with one eye closed so as not to trigger all my own phobias… It’s a marvelously horrible situation that the Dynamic Duo of Derry and Bruce handle with their particular brand of aplomb and mad skills and crazy luck, as always, and even though I knew it’d end well, I was still biting my nails throughout!

All in all this was a solid entry in the series. Perhaps not my very favorite, if only because I wanted so much more from Jacko (as I always do!), but still a fun and fast read.

Thanks to the author for my obligation – free review copy.

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