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


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.


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


Writing Style


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.


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 |

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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Madam Tulip by David Ahern

Madam Tulip by David Ahern | Book Review

Title: Madam Tulip
Author: David Ahern
April 2016
Genre: Mystery
How I got the book: I received a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Out-of-work actress Derry O’Donnell is talented, professional, just a little psychic… and broke. Spurred on by an ultimatum from her awesomely high-achieving mother, Derry embarks on a part-time career as Madame Tulip, fortune teller to the rich and famous. But at her first fortune-telling gig – a celebrity charity weekend in a luxurious castle – a famous rap artist mysteriously dies.

As Derry is drawn deeper into a seedy world of fashion, millionaires, horses and cocaine, she must race to save her best friend from jail and a supermodel from being murdered. Her efforts threaten to destroy her friends, her ex-lover, her father and herself.

My Review:


If you know me, you know I like mystery. So I didn’t really need to think twice about this one when the author had asked me to review it.


Derry O’Donnell is trying to make her way as an actress with minimal success. Inherited from her ancestors, she’s a little bit psychic so she decides (with a little push from her friend) to become a fortune teller part-time. By doing so, she meets a few new people as clients and ends up getting herself into some trouble.

This is a new take on a murder mystery, for me, as the protagonist uses her psychic powers to help her along the way. It did remind me of the TV show Psych, except Derry, known as Madam Tulip, tends to see things by accident sometimes. Still, she uses that to her advantage to figure things out.

I thought it was an interesting take on a mystery and the psychic powers were put to good use, especially since her visions weren’t always completely clear.


I enjoyed following Madam Tulip around as the protagonist. She had a good head on her shoulders and even though she wasn’t a detective it was a classic who-dun-it story.

I also loved her father as well as her friends Bella and Bruce. Bella wasn’t in it too much as she got herself into a bit of trouble, but Bruce was a great supporting character as he helped Madam Tulip figure things out. Even her father, who is a bit out there, did his best to help out, despite not fully understanding the situation.

Each character was crafted wonderfully and they all were unique from one another with a variety of personality.


I found the author’s writing style easy to read and follow. The pacing of the novel was well done and I didn’t find any inconsistencies in tense or anything.

My only minor complaint was that there was something going on with Madam Tulip’s parents. While bits and pieces were explained about that I wasn’t sure what exactly it had to do with the storyline. This is the first book in a series so maybe more will be explained later, but for now, I found as though it wasn’t really needed.


This was a good, enjoyable read. I loved the characters and the overall plot and murder was well thought out and executed. I would recommend this book to anyone slightly interested in it and I’m sure I’ll be reading the second book in the future.

Madam Tulip by David Ahern gets…
4 stars book review 4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“I can only make the promise. You have to decide if you want to trust me.” –David Ahern, Madam Tulip

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