Derry O’Donnell is a fully qualified, out of work actress who lives in Dublin. Her father, Jacko, is a charming artist, fond of gambling, while her mother, Vanessa, is an assertive, successful Gallery owner in New York.
Derry’s friend, Bella, suggests that Derry uses her psychic talents, as the daughter of a seventh son of a seventh son, to create the persona of a mystic called Madam Tulip. After meeting a friend of Jacko at a race course, Derry is persuaded by supermodel Marlene O’Mara to give Madam Tulip her first performance, giving consultations and predictions to clients at a Charity Bash taking place in a castle, the following weekend. Among the guests are Mojo, a rapper from London and his partner Sony a Dee, an American R n B singer.
Derry finds Bruce, an old friend and also a “resting” actor, working at the castle. In addition, he is an ex US navy SEAL with special skills which she will soon need to rely on. Mojo is found dead in suspicious circumstances and Bella is arrested. When it looks as though Derry might also be framed for murder, she decides to find the real culprit, but she is hindered by the lack of co-operation of her old flame, Fitz, an aristocratic policeman from London, who is working incognito.
Derry is a brave, likeable heroine, who inspires loyalty from her friends. She relishes danger, although unsure of the advantage of her ability to sense people’s secrets and predict consequences. The second half of the novel is full of drama and adventure. It is clear that Derry or Madam Tulip could continue with other thrilling investigations since you can trust her and enjoy her sardonic humour.
This story fits into the “cozy mystery” genre but there is also a touch of Irish feyness which reminds me of the books of David’s namesake, Cecelia Ahern. A most enjoyable read.