*I received a free ARC of this book. The decision to review, and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: 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—each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.
As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.
Madame Tulip is the third in a series of 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.
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 Derry gets her dramatic talents!
The plot, as usual, veers from the mundane to the exotic; mixing master criminals in amongst a cast of actors, crew members and a smattering of Scottish gentry. Bruce also proves himself invaluable again, with his wide array of survival skills; essential to anyone who wishes to spend any length of time around the luckless Derry and her talent for unintentional entanglement with danger.
I always enjoy the dream and vision sequences and playing the game of guessing along as to what they symbolise and how it all fits in with the more earthly clues and hints along the way. I was surprised at two points in the plot when my predictions had gone far astray and impressed at the authorial sleight of hand that gently led me in the wrong direction whilst still playing fair in terms of the information presented.
The standout aspects for me were the film shoot setting, which added a bit of glamour and excitement. It was nice to see Derry doing a bit of her ‘other’ day job, and doing it well. I also particularly liked the emphasis on Derry’s integrity in her Tulip role. It had been touched upon previously, but here there were a number of occasions where it would have been easy for Derry to agree to influence her readings, thereby furthering the plot with little effort, but both she and the author took the harder high ground. I really felt this gave a depth and detail to her characterisation: she may or may not believe in her gift, but she won’t be led into mixing the two careers.
If you enjoy your cosy mysteries with a bit of action and humour, and a lightly paranormal touch, then I can highly recommend Madam Tulip and Derry!
Silence is sometimes described as stony. This silence bore no resemblance whatever to a rock. In spite of appearances, rocks are not great listeners. You might think they are hanging on your every word, but they are not; they are ignoring you. No, the silence in which Bella and Bruce sat was more the sort of silence in which a sponge sits. Think of a dry sponge, inexorably drawing towards it every wisp of vapour, every drop of precious, life-giving moisture.
– David Ahern, Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance
The Madam Tulip series can all be purchased on Amazon.