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

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I received a free ARC from the author. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.

Title: Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree
Author: David Ahern
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Thriller

Series: Madam Tulip, book 4
Publisher: Malin Press
Publication Date: March 14, 2020

Plot

I was eager to jump back into this series again. It was refreshing to go on another adventure with Derry, also known as Madam Tulip.

While the plot of this was is unique from the others, there is a pattern with the books. Derry gets an acting job and something goes wrong and she finds herself deep inside a murder investigation. This isn’t a complaint. I think the overall structure of each book and therefore the series as a whole is well done.

Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree has a lot of twist and turns within its pages. It keeps you guessing until the very end.

Characters

As always, this book has a great case of characters. Derry is a fun protagonist along with her friend Bruce and her parents popping in from time to time.

I even enjoyed the side characters and the antagonists in this one. They’re all unique from one another and from the books before it. The development is well done.

Writing Style

This book is written in the third person which is how I personally prefer mystery stories to be. The author’s writing is easy to follow along with a good amount of well-done descriptions and funny quips within the dialogue.

Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree by David Ahern

Conclusion

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

I think this one was my favorite Madam Tulip book so far. The book is well-rounded in every aspect of writing a book, in my opinion. I would highly recommend this one.

5

Favorite Quote

The thing about issues is that as you get older, they become ever more dangerous.

David Ahern, Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree

About The Author

David Ahern, Author | RachelPoli.com

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.

After stints playing in great bands, all doomed to obscurity, and writing equally obscure plays, he took to novel-writing. He now creates the Madam Tulip mysteries, in part as a tribute to the way actors never give up dreaming, but 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.

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Yage (Tom Regan Thrillers Book 2) By Aidan J. Reid [Book Review]

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Book Review: Yage by Aidan J Reid | Tom Regan Thrillers | Mystery | Suspense | Book Blogger | ARC | RachelPoli.com

I received an ARC from the author.

Summary:

An ancient jungle medicine.

A lost backpacker.

Evil has found a new home.

In a small town on the border of the Amazon rainforest, a series of accidental deaths devastate the tourist economy. The victims, backpackers on the gringo trail, all share the experience of having recently taken the hallucinogenic medicine, Yage.

Fr Tom Regan is in Peru for missionary work. His niece is backpacking through the country. Their paths are on course to meet. At least, that was the plan…

In his second outing, Tom Regan returns in this race against time thriller, where he has to use all his sleuthing experience to piece together the clues before the jungle claims another victim.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe cover is dark and mysterious, just like the book itself. I enjoyed the colors and I felt the placing of the title, it’s font and size, worked well. Plus, it matches the cover of the first book, Sigil. This is a well designed cover.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI had read the first book in this series and enjoyed it, so I’ve been looking forward to this one.

Plot | RachelPoli.comYage takes the Tom Regan series up a notch. This story really raises the stakes for Father Regan and the people he loves. This was a page-turner and I found the retreat and the Yage drug to be great plot fodder. My only complaint would be that I felt the beginning of the story took a little while to get into the actual plot.

Characters | RachelPoli.comIt was great to read another story with Father Regan again. He’s a great protagonist and all the supporting cast – Father Gonzales, Chrissie, Louise, and the like – were all great as well. There wasn’t anyone who I felt was out of place or got annoying to the point where I didn’t enjoy them.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

I enjoy the way Aidan J. Reid writes his books. The description isn’t overwhelming but it’s informative and the dialogue flows and is realistic. The plot carries throughout the book. Once the beginning picked up, the book flowed really well and I enjoy reading the words as they’re written.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was another great read from Reid. I enjoyed reading about Tom Regan again and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Yage (Tom Regan Thrillers Book 2) by Aidan J. Reid gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“All paths lead nowhere. Ultimately. But if you want to live a life worth living, choose the path with a heart. The path that is fulfilling. The path that connects with an inner part of your being.” -Aidan J. Reid, Yage

Buy the book:

Amazon

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Bells, Spells, And Murders By Carol J. Perry [Book Review]

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Book Review: Bells, Spells, and Murders by Carol J. Perry | ARC | Reading | Paranormal Mystery | Cozy Mystery | Book Blogger | Blogging | Creative Writing | Witch City Series | RachelPoli.com

I received a paperback ARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Someone’s spreading deadly holiday cheer through Salem, Mass . . . 

Lee Barrett has landed her dream job at Salem’s WICH-TV. As the new field reporter, she’ll be covering events live as they’re unfolding. Next on her holiday checklist is an interview with the beloved chairman of a popular walking tour through Salem’s historic districts. But it may be his ghost walking this snowy Noel season after Lee finds him murdered in his stately offices, bloody Santa hat askew.

With her police detective boyfriend working the case and a witch’s brew of suspects–including some bell-ringing Santas–Lee chases down leads aided and abetted by her wise cat O’Ryan and some unsettling psychic visions of her own. When a revealing clue leads to another dead body, not even a monster blizzard can stop Lee from inching closer to the truth . . . and a scoop that could spell her own demise this killer Christmas.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comAs always, the book cover is always spot on with this series. The covers are eye-catching and it really showcases some events of what happens in the novel.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comThis is book number seven in the Witch City series. I spent my summer reading this series starting with the first book leading up to this latest release. I was looking forward to it.

Plot | RachelPoli.comLee starts her new dream job as a field reporter for WICH-TV when she finds the man she’s supposed to interview dead in his office. Between staying up with the case for her job, Pete, her detective boyfriend, and her natural Nancy Drew skills, Lee has a lot on her plate.

This was executed well even if the process is similar in a way to the other books. The author knows how to make it all unique from the other books. I will admit, I missed Lee investigating purely because she’s curious, wants to help, and has connections with her boyfriend. The TV reporter was certainly a nice touch but it was a definitely different. This isn’t a bad thing though. In fact, it was cool her job seemed to come full circle.

Characters | RachelPoli.comThe characters are well established at this point – Lee, Aunt Ibby, Pete, O’Ryan, and River North. They’re a great cast and Lee especially is a fun character lead.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

I love the way Perry writes. She’s spot-on with the cozy mystery aspect and the paranormal side is an awesome touch. The book is easy to read and follow along with, it’s fun, and there’s no scratching your head or hardcore confusion as you try to figure things out alongside the characters. Everything makes sense.

The book is a decent length but it’s a quick read and hard to put down.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis is another great installment to the Witch City series. I’d certainly recommend it.

Bells, Spells, and Murders by Carol J. Perry gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Mr. Doan characterized the man as ‘dumb as a brick but with great pipes.'” -Carol J. Perry, Bells, Spells, and Murders

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Kill The Beast (Beast Hunters 1) By Michele Israel Harper [Book Review]

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Book Review: Kill The Beast by Michele Israel Harper | Fairy-tale retelling | Reading | Book Blogger | Blogging | ARC Book Review | Blog Tour | RachelPoli.com

I received a free digital ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Ro remembers the castle before. Before the gates closed. Before silence overtook the kingdom. Before the castle disappeared. Now it shimmers to life one night a year, seen by her alone.

Once a lady, now a huntress, Ro does what it takes to survive–just like the rest of the kingdom plunged into despair never before known.

But a beast has overtaken the castle. A beast that killed the prince and holds the castle and kingdom captive in his cruel power. A beast Ro has been hired to kill.

Thankful the mystery of the prince’s disappearance has been solved, furious the magical creature has killed her hero, Ro eagerly accepts the job to end him.

But things are not as they seem.

Trapped in the castle, a prisoner alongside the beast, Ro wonders what she should fear most: the beast, the magic that holds them both captive, or the one who hired her to kill the beast.

A Beauty and the Beast retelling.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comI like the book cover. It’s realistic. The colors match the tone of the book and it’s fairly simple. However, at first glance before I realized it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I thought this was going to be Little Red Riding Hood hunting the wolf.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comIf you’ve been following my blog for long, you’ll know that I love my fair share of fairy tale retellings. So, I wasn’t going to say no to this one.

Plot | RachelPoli.comI found this one to be an interesting take on Beauty and the Beast. Rosette – or Ro for short – is a huntress who is hired to kill the beast. As a retelling, it’s easy to assume what the ending will be like. However, there are a lot of twists, turns, and lore packed into this one. It was darker than most but very well done and unique.

Characters | RachelPoli.comWhile the story itself was good, I had a hard time clicking with the characters. I had a hard time caring about Ro’s family and her sister Cosette mostly because we don’t see them much until later. So I just had to take Ro’s word for it and I didn’t click with Ro, so I didn’t really care too much about what her goals were.

The characters were very different from one another and had their own voices, though they developed kind of fast. I had a hard time connecting with Ro because of this.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The author does a great job getting the story across the page. It’s well written, easy and fun to read, and it’s overall just a great story. However, it’s almost 500 pages long and I didn’t feel as though the story really got started until halfway through. The description and dialogue were both great, but I felt there was a lot of filler that might not have been needed.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was a good read. I’ll admit, it wasn’t my favorite, but it was a good retelling. The characters were interesting, it was written well, and the plot was unique. I’ll be interested in reading the sequel.

Kill The Beast (Beast Hunters 1) by Michele Israel Harper gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“She almost matched him growl for growl.” -Michele Israel Harper, Kill The Beast (Beast Hunters 1)

About Michele Israel Harper:

Michele Israel Harper spends her days as a work-at-home mom and her nights typing away  furiously on her laptop. Sleep? Sometimes… She has her Bachelor of Arts in history, is  slightly obsessed with all things French—including Jeanne d’Arc and La Belle et la Bête— and loves curling up with a good book more than just about anything else. Author of  Wisdom & Folly: Sisters, Zombie Takeover, Beast Hunter, and Kill the Beast, Michele prays her  involvement in writing, editing, and publishing will touch many lives in the years to come.

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Preorder the book, out September 25, 2018:

Amazon | Barnes & NobleLove2ReadLove2Write Publishing

Release Party:

Facebook – Thursday, September 27, 2018, 8-10 PM EST
Book Signing – Irvington Vinyl & Books, Indianapolis, IN, Saturday, September 29, 2018

What do you think of this book? Does it pique your interest? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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