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The First Rule of Ten: A Tenzing Norbu Mystery    by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsay order for
First Rule of Ten
by Gay Hendricks
Order:  USA  Can
Hay House, 2012 (2012)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's a new cozy mystery series with a unique hero - ex-cop Tenzing Norbu started life as a Buddhist monk! His mother met his father, while travelling in India. When Tenzing was born, she took him with her to Paris, France where they lived until her untimely death. Then Ten joined his father at his monastery in Dharamshala. He grew up, reading contraband detective novels, yearning to be Sherlock Holmes. When opportunity knocked, Ten took the chance to work in an Los Angeles outreach program teaching meditation to teens. He subsequently joined the police.

As The First Rule of Ten opens, Ten has decided to leave the police force and start his own PI business, to the dismay of his friend and partner, Bill Bohannon, a father of twins. In his new role Ten often consults his 'own private Dr. Watson', Mike Koenigs, a genius with electronics whom Ten helped in the past. In addition to solving mysteries, Ten works on life-rules, which he shares with his close friends Yeshe and Lobsang back at the monastery. Rule Number One is: 'If you're open to learning, you get your life-lessons delivered as gently as the tickle of a feather.' If not, they come with a sledgehammer!

Ten's first job comes to him, in the form of a woman fleeing a cult - he suspects her motives, to his regret - she dies soon afterwards. In addition to the Children of Paradise cult, Ten's investigation turns up a music royalty scam, serial killings, mobsters, a pig farm, and Dead Peasant life insurance policies. He almost dies himself before it's over, but he does solve the case and avoid karmic boomerangs along the way, while learning the importance of following his first rule.

It's an engaging series, enriched by elements of Bhuddist wisdom and practice. And though Ten's relationships with women don't tend to work out, he does get on very well with his cat, Tank. If you're looking for something new and different on the mystery scene, this Dharma Detective series fits the bill.

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