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Madam Tulip

(Madam Tulip #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Suspense, mystery, action, a little romance and lots of laughs.

Derry O’Donnell, out-of-work actress, is talented, a teeny bit psychic … and broke. Spurred on by an ultimatum from her awesomely high-achieving mother, and with a little help from her theatrical friends, Derry embarks on a part-time career as Madam Tulip, fortune-teller to the rich and famous. But at her first
Paperback, 308 pages
Published April 3rd 2016 (first published 2016)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  147 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Come in, sit down and relax. What can Madam Tulip do for you? Do you want me to work the cards? The crystal ball? What is an unemployed actress with “the gift” supposed to do to pay the rent? Derry is determined to make it as an actress, but little did she know she was about to become the Seer to the rich and famous. Too bad on her first day as Madam Tulip, a famous rapper dies from ingesting cocaine laced with poison.

Derry finds herself going from picking Dad’s sure fire winners at the track to
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Madam Tulip is the first book in what promises to be a refreshing new mystery series. In this blend of mystery, suspense, humour, a whisper of the supernatural and a hint of romance, Irish writer David Ahern deftly combines different elements to spin a tale that will have readers enchanted.

In a genre overloaded with predictable plots and tired twists, Madam Tulip is a breath of fresh air. Instead of the usual over-rehearsed routines, Madam Tulip’s encounters are anything but usual, creating a wh
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, light-reads
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This book was a light, easy read although I have to say this reader found it mildly humorous rather than laugh out loud funny. The author has laid the groundwork for future books in the series by giving us a little of Derry’s back story and creating a cast of colourful characters, not least of which are Derry’s mother and father who despite be
For my full review of this novel, visit:

What a joyful romp of a read that was! I suppose you could class it as a humourous ‘cozy’ mystery. I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed it, as I don’t usually care that much for cozies. If I had to tell a stranger about Derry O’Donnell I would say she is a cross between Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Mahone and Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones.

Derry’s ex-love, Lawrence FitzAllen of the Metropolitan Police plays a minor role
Joanne Robertson
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was really attracted to this book, first by that fabulous cover and then by the blurb as I'm always on the look out for something a little bit different, a story to surprise me and take me away for a few hours. And thankfully Madam Tulip did just that! The adventures of Derry O'Donnell, who has her dad to thank for her psychic abilities due to him being the seventh son of a seventh son, made for a great few hours reading. When issued with an ultimatum by her mum, jobbing actress Derry decides ...more
Oct 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
Full review on

Though this is categorized as a mystery I found it to be much more than that as it fit under a wide variety of genres. It had a cozy mystery feel to it as well as humor and bit of romance. Set in Ireland, it had a certain charm that I don’t think would have been there had it been in a different country. While not filled with my usual preference of tension and intrigue, this still had enough heart to keep me engaged.

Derry is a great character, she’s funny and a b
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime, spiritual
This is exactly the kind of shenanigans that goes on in Ireland! Also- I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

First of all, you’re all probably wondering what does a frog have to do with anything? Let me assure you, in this book, we won’t be dealing with a frog-to-prince scenario. That little bugger is indirectly connected to the story! I also think it was a really cool idea by David Ahern.

I have a strange relationship with mysteries. I do.. I love ’
Clare O'Beara
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: irish-crime
This is a madcap jaunt into the life of a not-so-busy Dublin actress, who decides to pass herself off as a Tarot reader during a festival weekend at a country mansion. The tale starts quite gradually as our pal Derry (who gets occasional flashes of second sight) sits gloomily with her friends and counts her debts, then goes to meet her dad at a racecourse and haphazardly predicts some race outcomes. A few predictions later, dressed as Madam Tulip among the glitzy and famous, Derry is involved in ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-readers
I was pleased to have won 'Madam Tulip' in a recent Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

This was a little different to the usual mysteries that I enjoy and made a welcome change. I enjoyed this book and whilst I seldom write what a story is about for fear of spoiling for others, I do recommend. I hope to read more by this author.
Cathy Ryan
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 ba
Reads A-Lot
Jun 29, 2016 rated it liked it
“Ask anyone about Madam Tulip’s legendary talent with tarot and crystal ball or her astonishing knack for detecting crimes, and you’ll be told her father is the seventh son of a seventh son. Everybody knows that in Ireland seventh sons of seventh sons have extraordinary powers and can do all kinds of mystical things.” (9)

Madam Tulip’s story begins with Derry O’Donnell, who was as broke as you can get. And just a little bit psychic.

Yes, there is some prestige to being an actress, but, of course,
Whispering Stories
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mix together a fashion model, a navy seal, an artist, a very British love interest, a few Colombian drug dealers and the most delightful heroine you can imagine — a fortune telling, slightly overweight, less-than-successful actress. Then drop everyone into the verdant Irish countryside for a highly unrealistic but humorous romp.

Madam Tulip isn’t a mystery per se: there are no clues for the reader to knit together; we know who the bad guys are right from the beginning; we know the gaggle of good
Leigh Holland
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Madam Tulip: An Irish Cozy Mystery by David Ahern, 309 pages, Malin Press, May 1st 2016, Genre: Mystery/Cozy Mysteries. Warning: May Contain Spoilers.

Review by Leigh Holland.

    Madam Tulip is a delightful cozy mystery with quirky, interesting characters and just the right blend of mystery, suspense, and fun. The pacing was excellent; I completed it in one evening. The plot was intriguing and the villain, human and believable. The twist to this novel is the O’Donnell’s gift of visions. I found t
Sherry Chancellor
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was a delightful read. It starts a bit slow and this reviewer wasn’t sure it would be enjoyable, but luckily, it picked up speed as well as the reader’s interest by the second chapter. Don’t give up on this one based merely on the first few pages. Keep going for a richly described tale with compelling and fully fleshed-out characters.
Derry O’Donnell is a financially strapped actor and, needing to earn some cash, with some help from her friend, recreates herself as Madam Tulip. She nat
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a book crammed with improbability, non-credibility, silliness and a bit of nonsense. Totally, totally delightful.

Derry O'Donnell is an American actress living in Ireland, struggling to find work. Needs must…and so Madame Tulip is born, fortune-teller for hire. Derry assumes she’ll walk away from her first engagement at a celebrity-attended charity ball with nothing more than a happier bank balance and a healthy name-dropping list. But when one of the attendees, a famous rapper, dies, sh
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Madam Tulip A.K.A Derry O’Donnell is an actress (when she has a job). Bella is Derry’s friend and is the one behind the advice for Derry to use her psychic abilities for gain. Leading them to a world of glitz and glamour that initially sounds wonderful until a deadly side to this social world reveals itself.

This is a wonderful introduction into what I feel will be a really good series. It has the feel of an old style cost mystery with a female sleuth but in a modern setting. The characters are a
Barb Taub
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
He had me at “Derry O’Donnell was fully qualified for unemployment in three different dialects”. I fell in love with the hapless heroine of David Ahern’s new cozy urban fantasy mystery as she’s confronted by her mother, Vannessa.

[QUOTE:]Her mother had never understood her career path. More than once she had demanded to know how it was possible to be an artistic success, as Derry insisted she most certainly was, and a financial failure? To Vanessa that sounded suspiciously like Communism. [END QU
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Madam Tulip gets caught up in a tangled web

Madam Tulip, an alter ego of an Irish actress, has seventh sight and finds herself caught up in a tangled web of intrigue and deceit as she tries to help a supermodel acquaintance with the help of her friends. There are many wonderful examples of typical Irish humour which made this such an enjoyable and entertaining read I read it far into the night until I finished it. Kudos to the author.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Set in Ireland you really get a sense of the wonderful Irish countryside through out this novel. The luxurious castle that Derry finds herself visiting, I especially would have loved to have been able to stay at, though hopefully when there is less mayhem going on there.

Derry is a likeable character who somehow finds herself being talked into becoming a fortune teller. Even though she does have a slight gift, which has been passed down the generations in her family, she probably isn’t the most c
Susan Hampson
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: author-reads
There are times when you just need something quite light to read, a book that you can cosy down with a hot chocolate and a packet of digestive biscuits, well this is how I felt with David Ahern's debut novel. It had loads of vibrant colourful characters that thoroughly entertained me as the mystery was unravelled by Madam Tulip. I think that David Ahern and myself most have got our humour from the same place because he continually made me giggle, which I love in a book.

There is a saying that the
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
**RATING 4.5**

MADAM TULIP by David Ahern is the perfect blend of cosy mystery and comedy which will keep you entertained from start to finish. Derry is just trying to make a living doing what she loves, but when her mother threatens to stop helping her financially, she knows she has to do something and fast. So Derry decides to use her slight psychic abilities and become Madam Tulip, and when she is booked to attend a celebrity bash in the countryside, what could go wrong? Everything as it so ha
Mairead Hearne (
‘Everybody knows that in Ireland seventh sons of seventh sons have extraordinary powers and can do all kinds of mystical things….Hasn’t the gift been male since time immemorial? But Tulip isn’t in the least concerned.

Times change even in the realms of the supernatural.’

Madam Tulip is a novel with a difference!!

After reading a number of psychological thrillers recently I was looking for something a little lighter and whimsical. I had received a copy from the author David Ahern a few weeks bac
Rebecca Stobart
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was really excited to read this book for two reasons, one being the description of the book -different from the mystery novels I'm used to reading, Derry O'Donnell is a fortune-teller-turned-detective and I thought this was such an original and intriguing idea that I couldn't wait to get round to reading it. The second reason I was looking forward to this book so much was that it is my first read and review request, as a new book blogger getting an email from David Ahern asking me to review hi ...more
Nada Sobhi

Note: I received a copy of Madam Tulip from its author David Ahern in exchange for an honest review.

"An image materialised in Derry’s mind like an apparition. Where had it come from? The effect was like a thousand different parts of her brain had caught fire all at once as her terrified grey matter blazed out a storm of random thoughts. And out of the chaos, in a slow-motion explosion of colour, emerged a man on a throne, the man with the magnificent headdress, the man with a severed head on
Robin Goodfellow
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Madam Tulip, by David Ahern, is a heartwarming mystery about a young psychic who is thrust into a world of money and drugs. As she tries to prevent innocent lives from being taken, her strength of character and her admittedly frustrating relationships help her realize an inner strength she didn't know she had. 

The novel begins with Derry O’ Donnell, a struggling actress whose mother is trying to convince her to find a conventional job, and whose father is running away from a love he keeps forget
Steph Warren
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
*I received a free ARC of this book. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

I loved Madam Tulip. It was the kind of bright and breezy read that brings a breath of fresh air to my reading pile, and the genuine warmth and humour the author brought to the characters had me smiling (and occasionally grinning) as I read.

The standout for me here was the author's style, which deftly brought the characters and setting to life and carried the (somewhat far-fetched) plot with a cheeky wink. De
Courtney Giraldo
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was provided to me for free in exchange for an honest review. 

Living in Ireland, Derry O'Donnell is hard pressed to find work as an actress. Hailing from America, she hasn't be cast in anything successful and is on the verge on being financially cut off from her mother when her best friend Bella convinces her to use her...unique make some money and keep her head above water. As the daughter of a seventh son of a seventh son, Derry is a psychic; mainly doing readings for fr
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Derry is an American/Irish actress. She lives in Ireland in an apartment that is larger than a phone booth, but not by much.

Her American mother, Vanessa, has issued a declaration. Derry must return to America and become part of her mother’s very successful business. She has bee subsidizing Derry’s life for quite some time.

Vanessa believes that Jacko, her ex- husband is not only a bad influence but also a liar and a thief. Jacko is an artist. He likes horse racing. He likes women. And he is not
L. S.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Aiming for the high-flying life of an actress, Derry’s quest isn’t going so well. With a bit of help from her pre-cognitive abilities, Derry dons the alter ego of Madam Tulip after a bit of luck at the race tracks. Things went a little awry at the party she performed at, and now Derry’s trying to prove her friend’s innocence…with a little help from her abilities, of course.

I felt like Madam Tulip had a little bit of everything—except for romance, really, but that was alright in my book. Derry’s
Book Inspector
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
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When I read the description of this book, I knew it is going to be a fun read, and I was right. This book was my first try of cosy mysteries and I really enjoyed this well deserved treat to my brains, after reading some intense psychological thrillers.

The blurb above, describes this book quite accurately. Derry is broke actress who is “teeny bit psychic”. So, when the chance comes to earn some (good) money out of it, she decided to try. But soo
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David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland. He become a research psychologist in Scotland and the Netherlands, before inevitably his genes kicked in and he 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.

He played in great bands, all doomed to obs

Other books in the series

Madam Tulip (4 books)
  • Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts (Madam Tulip, #2)
  • Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance (Madam Tulip #3)
  • Madam Tulip and the Serpent's Tree (Madam Tulip #4)

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