Nadaness In Motion is the book blog owned by Nada Adel Sobhi and it is where honest book reviews meet author interviews, guest posts, and personal writing ranging from poetry to short stories alongside the Takhayyal/Imagine writing prompt challenge. ---
“You cannot kill a breeze, a wind, a fragrance; you cannot kill a dream or an ambition.” - Michel Onfray
"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 his lap."
Madam Tulip by David Ahern is the first
instalment in the fast-paced, exciting, Ireland-set paranormal mystery series
O'Donnell is an unemployed actress and with a possible ability to see
the future through tarot cards and visions she cannot understand.
is offered an opportunity to pose as a Madam Tulip at a charity event. Invited by
the dashing supermodel Marlene, Derry goes to the event at a castle,
accompanied by her actress friend Bella.
"Derry O'Donnell was fully qualified for
unemployment in three different dialects."
the event, Derry and Bella discover a host of celebrities and Bella chances
upon one of them before they drop dead.
the mystery does not take place till the middle of the book, there are lots of
events in between, with Ahern carefully building the setting of the novel and
the series to follow.
Narrated in the third person, Madam Tulip casts a host ofquirky characters and features some
absolutely farcical situations.
loved Derry, her friend – although no hopes of being a boyfriend – Bruce, the
army guy who switched into an acting career. I'm glad to learn that Bruce will
be appearing in the next instalments of the Madam Tulip series.
"Next to Marlene, Derry felt like a hobbit - a hobbit
overweight and round even by the famously relaxed standards of hobbits."
is character development for Derry, hardly any for her father or the other
characters. But this is normal for mystery books and series. Although doubtful
of her abilities, which she had previously limited to free teacup readings, Derry
slowly learns more about herself and her vague abilities as the book
progresses. At one point she doubts her ability to glimpse the future and
wishes it would all go away.
from the characters and setting, Madam Tulip is filled with beautiful
imagery and lots of laugh-out-loud moments. (There were so many parts I would
like to quote but had to be picky).
tend to tread carefully when it comes to humour, but Ahern has a knack for it. Derry is absolutely hilarious and the book is full of laugh-out-loud moments.
"What do you say to an internationally famous
supermodel? Slept with any rock stars I know of? Eaten any good celery lately?
How are your legs— still long?"
Last but certainly not least, Ahern builds his novel from his previous work in the acting and art industry, which gives depth to the novel and characters, and how they act and react. It was a lot of fun reading about what actors do, how they try to be free at any time so their agent can get them a job but at the same time they struggle to pay their bills and with their lives.
book does not have an open ending. Each book promises a mystery with tonnes of humour for all.
Overall, Madam Tulip is
a laugh-out-loud, exciting, paranormal mystery; a must-read by all standards.
rating: 5 stars
received a copy of Madam Tulip from its author David Ahern in exchange
for an honest review. Update: Check out myexclusive interview with David Ahernand learn more about his books and writing process.