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Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance

(Madam Tulip #3)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  29 reviews
A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a
Kindle Edition, 362 pages
Published April 12th 2018 by Malin Press
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Whispering Stories
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Reviewed by Jill on

“If something sounds too good to be true, then it is,” Bruce confirms. But what could possibly go wrong?

Derry and Bruce have both been hired to act in a film shot in Scotland, and they’re earning good money. Not only that, Derry, cast in the role of fortune teller (of course), has two very appealing men circling around her, and one is a powerful castle-owning multimillionaire.

True, the director of the film is perfectly obnoxious, and the male lea
Derry O’Donnell is an actress. She is also Madam Tulip, the celebrity fortune teller who gets caught up in an unpredictable game of greed, conspiracy and betrayal in the Scottish Highlands where getting out alive may be as difficult as understanding her eccentric parents.

MADAM TULIP AND THE BONES OF CHANCE by David Ahern is another quirky mystery where even the most prodigious armchair sleuth will find that predicting the outcome is just one too many twists away from possible! Secrets will be sh
Susan Hampson
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have already had the pleasure of reading the first two books in the series and really got involved with the quirky characters and totally off the cuff entertaining stories. This book though has to be my favourite so far. I just loved returning to these now much-loved characters to see what mischief Derry’s ‘talent’ could lead them into. The books are more on the cosy mystery side to curl up with as they really are pure gems to try to work out the who and why events are happening, that everyone ...more
Cathy Ryan
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Derry O’Donnell aka Madam Tulip, society fortune teller, has a habit of getting herself into situations she would much prefer to avoid. As she and her two good friends, Bruce and Bella, mull over the idea of starting their own theatre company Derry’s agent phones with an unheard of proposition—a movie role to be filmed in the Scottish Highlands, with no audition. The problem was that the offer is initiated by someone Derry has no wish to meet again. Bruce and Bella are stunned when they realise ...more
Ellie Mitchell
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Our leading lady, Derry is passionate about her work as an actor and is thought of as both a talented and professional individual. From the start of the story, I sensed that things were not about to go to plan for our heroine when she is offered a mysterious role in a film that is to take place at an old Scottish castle.

Something niggled at the back of my mind- a feeling I often get when reading Ahern's work. His tension building skills are amazing and kept me on edge from the first page to the
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
Many people doubt psychic powers exist, but the doubters do not include actors. Everyone in showbusiness knows that as soon as one actor learns of a casting, actors of all ages, ethnicities, creeds and genders are instantly aware of every detail. Einstein claimed that faster-than-light communication is impossible. Einstein was not an actor.

But not even the actors that Derry, Bruce and Bella knew had an inkling of the dash of good fortune h
Barb Taub
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don’t watch TV. I don’t even own a television. But if I did, I imagine waiting for a new episode of my favorite series each week would feel a bit like reading the next Madam Tulip. Certainly all the ingredients are there. You have your (attractive of course) young actress, Derry O’Donnell—permanently broke and scratching for the next job in the Dublin theater scene, consistently dating the wrong flavor-of-the-week, while waiting for The Big Break.

Derry’s supporting cast includes her mother Van
Mairead Hearne (
'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 cau
Jessie Stevens
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm the kind of girl who gets totally, embarrassingly, nerdily excited when they see that another book by a favorite author is getting released. When the book is something off the best seller list I often have another book lover to gush about the up coming book with. When the book is less well known I instead kick into overzealous-crazy-book-lover-who-insists-you-must-read-this-book mode. I'm not interested in asking what my friends and family think about this behavior of mine but I like to imag ...more
Steph Warren
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
*I received a free ARC of this book. The decision to review, and my opinions are my own.*

This is the third Madam Tulip book, and my favourite so far!

Bones of Chance can be read as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend following the series through in order. Derry and the gang have settled into their rhythm at this point and the relationships are natural and familiar. As usual Jacko and Vanessa steal more than their share of the limelight during their brief appearances: no need to wonder where Der
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
*Thank you to the author who gave me a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book Cover

Like the first two books before this one, I like the cover. The colors go nicely together – as far as green and orange can go together. Yet, the orange really makes the green title pop and it works. The bird makes sense, even if the title doesn’t suggest so.
First Thoughts |

I enjoyed the first two books of the series, so when approached by the author to read this one, I was more than happy t
Jill Elizabeth
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This is such a fun series... I've read and reviewed the first two books in the series (reviews here and here), and when the author asked if I would be interested in the third, it was an easy and obvious yes. Derry O'Dell is a lovely character who finds herself in the most unusual circumstances. Said circumstances *should* by rights render the stories unbelievable. Derry has the most appalling luck, managing to stumble into violence, death, and mayhem more often than any regular human being shoul ...more
Gayle B
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you have enjoyed the first two Madam Tulip books, I see in my crystal ball, the 3rd in the series is coming out April 12. (you can preorder it).
Things are looking up for Derry. She has been offered a role in a movie, filming in Scotland. She is to play a person who tells fortunes. Should be easy for her, right? Her good friend Bruce, is offered a role also, so off they go to Scotland.

There are a lot of "characters" in this story (meaning interesting personalities), and Derry ends up right in
Mike Siedschlag
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Author David Ahern provided an e-copy of Madam Tulip and The Bones Of Chance for review.

This is the third entry in the Madam Tulip series, and for me the strongest so far. The story is more focused, tighter. As I gave the first two books high marks, this is saying something. Set in the Scottish Highlands, our hero is ostensibly there to make a movie. But as fans of the series know, trouble is never far away (I'd be really worried if Derry, aka Madam Tulip, moved into my neighborhood).

As readers
Sandy S
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars--

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 12, 2018

A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager
Marie’s Book Boutique
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You can check full review and a Q &A with the author here

I really like the orangey redness of the background to this cover. It's striking, eye-catching and it's simplicity is what makes it so. As on the last two covers Madam Tulip is written in swirly writing and the P at the end of Tulip has a tulip flower at the end; which I think is a perfect touch to the cover (this was a favourite bit from the deigned from the other two) There is a crow like bird tak
Hannah Charlesworth
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the third book in the Madam Tulip series and I have to say it is my favourite so far. I have given previous books in this series four stars each, but this one definitely deserved a five star rating. I really enjoyed the setting of this book much more than the previous books and this had a big impact on my rating as well. The way Ahern has written this book and developed the characters through the series shows and I can say without a doubt that Derry and co. are growing along with the ser ...more
Gordon Long
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Be careful what you ask for. I’ve been an avid reader all my life, but now I read professionally, and sometimes it can be, quite frankly, a bore. So it’s a great pleasure when I’m offered a book that I actually enjoy. I have always liked David Ahern’s Madam Tulip stories, but this one is even better than the rest.

Ahern’s writing is maturing. The usual theatrical chitchat that he always starts out with is quicker and wittier than it used to be. The usual conflict, which always involves just a lit
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Derry is back waiting for that next big audition. When she is given a spot on a movie with no audition she is very skeptical. Especially when she finds out she was recommended by someone she does not trust. After some negotiating she and Bruce get onto the movie. Things get dicey when she puts on her Madam Tulip costume and finds herself deep in a mystery. As always she gets more involved than planned as she tries to figure out what is going on.

In an Oyster Shell -  I feel like this was the best
Ela The Queer Bookish
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: do-read
I didn't know what I expected but this was not it.

Because it was better. When I accepted this arc I thought I'd get an ordinary mystery, be somewhat entertained and never think about Madam Tulip again. And to me it's okay if that happens, because reading just to pass time is nice, too.

But it's been 2 months since I read The Bones of Chance and my life's been more than simply stressful so there are quite a few reasons why I should've forgotten about Madam Tulip, but I did not.

I can't even put my
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Madam Tulip is back in this third installment of the Madam Tulip series, and she’s managed to get herself mixed up in yet another set of strange occurrences. With her close friend and fellow thespian Bruce, Derry (AKA Madam Tulip) quickly learn that there is more than just hunting going on in the Scottish Highlands. Or at least game hunting.

As with the first two books, I happily curled up to read this latest book, knowing that I was in for an enjoyable story, full of intriguing characters, suspe
Ieva Strupisa
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
3,5 out of 5

The beloved psychic Derry is back with new adventures! I was expecting a lot and, honestly speaking, I felt disappointed.
First of all, I had a feeling that Derry is starting to lose her "edge". She is this super unique character - a young actress, who has psychic abilities on top! And in this book it was barely there.
Secondly, the book was way much calmer than the previous ones. Apart from two moments in the book there was no big action happening. I was often catching myself thinki
Book Inspector
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This novel is the third book in Madam Tulip Mystery series, and overall, it left me longing for the mystery and Madam Tulip herself. In this novel, Derry and Bruce have to travel to Scotland to shoot a movie, where they meet and befriend some rich people. The shooting doesn’t go as well as planned, and like always, Derry is left empty-handed and involved in some serious criminal activities.

Through the pages of this novel, we not only, once again meet Derry’s closest friends and her eccentric par
Carrie Westmoreland Kurtz
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Once again, David Ahern has done it. Another well-written, funny book! This is the third Madam Tulip book and possibly the best! They just keep getting better!

I am a lover of cozy mysteries, especially if they make me laugh too! This one does just that. It could actually be read as a stand alone but I think you get more out of it if you read the three books in order.

If you enjoy cozy mysteries then you'll like this one, I'm sure of it! I'm so glad that I was given this book to read!

*Note: I rece
Courtney Giraldo
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Back again with another fun Madam Tulip adventure! After reviewing the previous two books by David Ahern, he graciously gifted me an ARC of the newest installment of Madam Tulip.

Derry O'Donnell gets an offer she just can't refuse (which granted, isn't saying much when you're an unemployed actor). A part in a film being shot in Scotland, playing a (you guessed it) fortune teller. No audition necessary, cushy pay, and all expenses paid. Her BFF and fellow actor, Bruce is also given a part, same co
RoseJean Bell
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cosy Mystery with Celtic Flair

Another great installment of Madam Tulip. The 3 books are all stand alone. But reading them in order, gives characters relationships time to make more sense. The twist and turn in The story leaves you flipping pages to the very end. Loved it can't wait for the next one.
Myra Ball
Adventurous mystery

The books in this series are highly addictive. The mystery plots are well-written with lots of twist that are unexpected but make sense by the end. The author is a master at placing subtle clues throughout the book that come together at the conclusion.
Kerensa Draumr
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Pos.: villains and motives less predictable than in previous novels, Derry is finally doing what she studied for, love interest emerges.

David Ahern has a knack for writing mysterie novels with the right amount of humour without impairing the dramatic scenes.

For a full review go to

Kerensa J. Draumr
Brenda Woods
rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2019
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Apr 15, 2019
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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 (Madam Tulip #1)
  • Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts (Madam Tulip, #2)
  • Madam Tulip and the Serpent's Tree (Madam Tulip #4)

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