Book Review: The Second Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay—and a Giveaway!

The Second Rule of TenThe Second Rule of Ten
A Tenzing Norbu Mystery
Book Two of the Dharma Detective Series
Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay
Hay House, January 2013
ISBN 978-1-4019-4102-4
Trade Paperback

From the publisher

Ex–Buddhist monk and ex–LAPD officer turned private eye Tenzing Norbu is back with a new case, a new love, and a whole new set of problems in this fresh installment in The Tenzing Norbu Mystery series.

In The Second Rule of Ten, Norbu investigates the unexplained death of his former client Hollywood mogul Marv Rudolph and searches for the sister, lost during World War II, of wizened Los Angeles philanthropist Julius Rosen. With two cases and an unforeseen family crisis that sends him back to Tibet, Ten finds himself on the outs with his best buddy and former partner, Bill, who is heading the official police investigation into Marv’s death. Cases and crises start to collide. When Ten mistakenly ignores his second rule, he becomes entangled in an unfortunate association with a Los Angeles drug cartel. As he fights to save those he loves, and himself, from the deadly gang, he also comes face to face with his own personal demons. Working through his anger at Bill, doubts about his latest lady love, and a challenging relationship with his father, Ten learns to see the world in a new light—and realizes that in every situation the truth is sometimes buried beneath illusion.

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Every now and then, a protagonist will grab my attention from the very beginning and that is the case for me this time. Tenzing Norbu is a private detective (almost) that I would hire in a skinny minute and then I’d like to have a celebratory drink with him because I’m quite sure he’d find the answers I’d be looking for. Ten is, quite simply, a good man. He also has a fabulous 18-pound Persian named Tank. No, this feline doesn’t talk to Ten or do other fantastical things. He’s just a great cat.

Ten is an ex-cop who was raised in India as a Tibetan Buddhist monk and learned to love detecting by reading contraband mysteries as a teen, especially the hardboiled kind. Much of this background, along with why he’s now living a modern life in Los Angeles, influences his thoughts, his moves, his decisions, and this has a lot to do with why I find him so interesting and so unique in the crime fiction world.

Helping out as a police consultant on a death with few answers and working on a windfall case of his own should be enough to keep a man busy but Ten is also trying his best to develop a relationship with a certain attractive woman and deal with a personal situation that takes him back to his unhappy past. As painful as it is, though, it’s his past that makes Ten the man he is, a man I like very much.

Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay have created a rather unusual and appealing detective and a series that I will gladly follow wherever it leads. I’m already wondering what the third rule of Ten might be but I guess I’ll have to wait till next winter to find out.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, March 2013.

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Leave a comment below and you’ll be entered in the drawing for print

copies of the first two books in the Dharma Detective series, The First Rule of Ten

and The Second Rule of Ten. The winning name will be drawn on the evening

of Friday, March 8th. Open to residents of the US and Canada.

Book Reviews: The First Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsay and Barnstorming by Laura Crum

The First Rule of TenThe First Rule of Ten
A Tenzing Norbu Mystery #1
Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay
Hay House, January 2012
ISBN 978-1-4019-3776-8
Trade Paperback

What happens when a former monk turned homicide detective decides to quit the force and become a private investigator? How does he cope without a steady paycheck? Or with his worries over disappointing his Tibetan father? Or with a new girlfriend who can cook up fabulous meals? And will his cat continue to respect him? This is the story of Tenzing Norbu and his venture into private practice. Get your Zen on with the first in a new series, sure to be popular.

After dodging a serious gunshot injury, L.A. Homicide investigator and former monk Tenzing Norbu, turns in his badge to go private. The next day an ex-wife of Ten’s former landlord, an ex-musician named Zimmy, shows up and gives an enigmatic warning. The next day, she’s found dead. Ten calls Zimmy to find out he’s been harassed by an individual wanting to ‘help’ Zimmy collect past due royalties. Zimmy, however, is not the first and Ten has to make the connection between a hustler, a pig farm, and a enigmatic cult.

The inclusion of various monk training regimens was well done and kept the story a little different from the normal PI mystery. Likeable characters (including the cat) and a complex plot keep the story interesting. Don’t expect too much noir style bullets flying but rather a steadily flowing story, rather like the peaceful hoeing of a sand garden, moving you toward a satisfying conclusion full of inner calm and…huh? Too much Zen? Don’t worry, The First Rule of Ten will satisfy your mystery craving.

Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, October 2012.
Author of Night Shadows, Beta and Alpha.

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BarnstormingBarnstorming
Laura Crum
Perseverance Press, April 2012
ISBN 978-1-56474-508-8
Trade Paperback

In Crum‘s latest novel, Gail McCarthy once again horses around with murder. With plenty of suspects from which to choose, this novel kept me guessing until the end. It’s a tale filled with nature and animals, and of course a main character with a lot of horse sense.

After ten years of raising her child, Gail McCarthy is considering returning to her former profession as a horse vet. She’s enjoying retirement, however, and the freedom to ride her horse around the countryside. Her life is disrupted when she comes upon a corpse of a fellow horse rider. Enter Detective Jeri Ward, an old friend of Gail’s to act as lead investigator. There is a plethora of suspects with a variety of motives from jealousy to a marijuana farm and even a nearby housing development with folks who are anti-horse. As the evidence is collected and tensions heighten, Gail discovers a second corpse.

I mention the heightened tension, but I didn’t get a sense of urgency. Gail does a good job of amateur sleuth but I didn’t feel a good connection with her. I did enjoy the excellent knowledge displayed by the author. She knows her horses and any story with animals gets a second look from me. This is a fine continuation in a long series of novels and shows how life catches up with us all and our reflections of those changes.

Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, August 2012.
Author of Night Shadows, Beta and Alpha.