Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree by David Ahern – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have previously loved reading the Madam Tulip mysteries, so I was very pleased to receive a free e-copy of the fourth book in the series “Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree” by David Ahern to review.

Madam Tulip and The Serpent's Tree by David Ahern

Here is the book blurb.

Actress Derry O’Donnell, moonlighting as fortune-teller Madam Tulip, finds herself in a famous pop singer’s entourage. But at the star’s glittering birthday party in the Dublin mountains, Derry finds a band riven by rivalries and feuds. Behind the trouble is a mysterious Russian guru, a shaman hated by everyone but the singer whose life she dominates.

When the shaman mysteriously disappears, suspicion threatens to tear the band apart. Was she victim or poisoner? Guilty or innocent? Dead or alive?

Two brilliant and beautiful musicians; an ambitious band manager with a shady past; a sax player entranced by Vikings–each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.

Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree is fourth in the Madam Tulip mystery series, in which Derry O’Donnell, her sidekick Bruce and best friend Bella, play the most exciting and perilous roles of their acting lives.

The story begins with Derry, an actress trying to scrape a living in Dublin, accompanying her best friend Bella to meet Pat Kelly, bar and club owner and manager of famous pop band Maramar. Bella sells them to Kelly as a theatre company who could perform at his venue. So they along with friend Bruce start to plan their first production, when Bella lets on that Kelly also wants Derry as Madam Tulip, her fortune-telling persona at a birthday party for Aileen, Maramar’s lead singer. Derry doesn’t want to do it, but Bella says that without Madam Tulip, the theatre deal is off, so Derry reluctantly agrees.

They head to an estate in the Dublin mountains for the party, where Derry as Madam Tulip begins her evening’s work by telling fortune for band member Mia who is taken ill during the reading. Has Mia been poisoned?

Readings follow for Nils, the saxophone player who particularly criticises Kira, Aileen’s shaman. Then for Aileen who is worried because Kira has disappeared.

Meanwhile, Derry’s artist dad, Jacko is writing a biography. Her mother Vanessa says it will ruin Jacko’s career and begs Derry to stop him.

The main mystery appears to be regarding Kira. Why has she disappeared? Is there something sinister? And as Derry starts to unravel it, is she in danger herself?

Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree is newly published on Amazon, currently priced at £3.10 in kindle format. Another great mystery which I thoroughly recommend. And I love how humour is wound into the story too. I certainly hope there will be a book 5.

Here are the links to my reviews of the previous Madam Tulip titles.
Madam Tulip
Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts
Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance

About the 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.

You can learn more about David Ahern and the Madam Tulip mysteries from his website

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8 thoughts on “Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree by David Ahern – book review

  1. sarahmo3w

    This sounds like a really fun read. I always like Irish fiction – there is something slightly different about the way it is written and it always seems to have a good dose of humour.



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