2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 1 book toward her goal of 285 books.

2023 Reading Challenge

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

Book Review: Madam Tulip and the Rainbow’s End by David Ahern

About the Book

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. 

My Review

I am so delighted to be able to review this fifth installment in the Madam Tulip/Derry O’Donnell series! I have been fortunate enough to review each book as they have been ready for publication, and can honestly say that I just love the series. My reviews of the earlier books can be found: 

The characters are so real, full of quirks and foibles and frustrations that are resonant and believable – most notably so in their relationships with each other. And this is a marvelous contrast to the plots, which typically veer off into the unusual at some point and require some suspension of disbelief. But that’s part of the magic of the series for me – I love that I can picture each character in my head and imagine sitting down to tea and sympathy during their various escapades, while continuing to find their adventures just exciting and semi-fantastical enough to keep me engaged in a delightful vacation from “real” life during the course of the story!

In this latest story, Derry once again finds herself scrambling to clean up someone else’s mess – this time, the producer of her latest show, who has absconded with the takings. The resulting adventure sees her exploring everything from sunken ships to long-lost treasure, from family dynamics (both her own AND those of her new-found friend Léna) to relationship possibilities that always seem just beyond her reach… It’s a wild romp of a ride, with a cast of characters (both returning and new) that offer something for everyone.

The ongoing back-and-forth between her mother and father continues to be one of my favorite elements in the series, and it took a new and hilarious turn in this book as Jacko fled to an isolated (and utterly cut-off) island in his constant quest to foil Vanessa’s efforts to force him to be productive (and to repatriate some of his own, earlier, art). It sounds ridiculous to explain here, but their characters are so magnificently crafted, and Derry’s frustrations with them both so resoundingly realistic, that it just works and really adds a nice depth to their character arcs across the series.

If you’re looking for a fun series that features great characterization, fun(ky) plot lines, and just enough oddly prescient fortune telling to make even a skeptic start to question their beliefs, this is a great place to turn!

About 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.

Find David online at: 

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

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