From Hay House: "Don't ignore intuitive tickles lest they reappear as sledgehammers." That's the first rule of Ten.
Tenzing Norbu ("Ten" for short)—ex-monk and soon-to-be ex-cop—is a protagonist unique to our times. In The First Rule of Ten, the first installment in a three-book detective series, we meet this spiritual warrior who is singularly equipped, if not occasionally ill-equipped, as he takes on his first case as a private investigator in Los Angeles.
Growing up in a Tibetan Monastery, Ten dreamed of becoming a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. So when he was sent to Los Angeles to teach meditation, he joined the LAPD instead. But as the Buddha says, change is inevitable; and ten years later, everything is about to change—big-time—for Ten. One resignation from the police force, two bullet-wounds, three suspicious deaths, and a beautiful woman later, he quickly learns that whenever he breaks his first rule, mayhem follows.
Set in the modern-day streets and canyons of Los Angeles, The First Rule of Tenis at turns humorous, insightful, and riveting—a gripping mystery as well as a reflective, character-driven story with intriguing life-lessons for us all.
My Review: Buddhist Monk turned Homicide Detective turned Private Investigator. Here begins our relationship with Tenzing, a man who gets shot, quits his job and starts an investigation that takes us on an incredible journey. Throughout the novel we see how he came to live at the monastery, his tepid relationship with his father, why he left the Monk lifestyle to join the force, and how he continues to incorporate his Buddhist teachings into his new life.
In the beginning, a woman comes to Ten's house, looking for the previous owner. They were lovers, until she left him and joined a spiritual cult. Ten has just left his job the previous day, has no income and is a little disjointed, so he inaccurately reads the situation and turns her away without any information. The next day cops come to his house, and let him know her body was found in the park, strangled to death. Feeling guilty for not helping her out, Ten decides to take on the case himself and give her Spirit peace. He connects with the previous owner to tell him the news and find out more about this woman. In the process, he discovers this case may run much deeper than he originally realized. Mafia connections, insurance fraud, murder and that's just the beginning.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is that although it is a "serious" crime novel, the Buddhist teachings spread throughout ensure that it is never dark, never hopeless, never makes you queasy. When Ten quits his job, his partner on the force, Bill, is concerned that he won't be able to survive without money. Ten assures him that the Universe always provides, and you see him go through his own private ceremony, communing with the Buddha, meditation, etc. to bring abundance into his life. Shortly thereafter, a freebie case turns into over $15,000, with three clients paying to essentially solve what becomes one case. It's enough to get him officially set up in his practice and be comfortable for awhile.
The mystery kept you on your toes; we met a great cast of characters including John D, an elderly man living on a defunct almond farm who "adopts" Ten as his son. Together they do a lot of the investigating and grow extremely close in the process.
I highly recommend this novel. If you are interested in a great mystery, powerful characters, a bit of Spirituality, and just a tiny speckle of romance, this book is for you.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.