The first book in this series, “The First Rule of Ten” introduces the reader to the main protagonist, Tenzing Norbu. With a background ranging from a former Tibetan Buddhist monk to a LAPD police officer in the Robbery/Homicide division, Tenzing is not your normal private detective. After quitting his job as a police officer, Tenzing begins to ponder where his life is headed. Enter Barbara, the drug-reformed ex-girlfriend of Tenzing’s former landlord. After a bizarre conversation where she reveals she escaped a religious cult, Barbara turns up in a park dead, and Tenzing gains his first client as a detective, even though she cannot pay him.
While investigating Barbara’s murder, Tenzing meets a host of characters including a sexy chef who he cannot get enough of, a group of religious cult members, shady insurance salesmen, and John D, an almond farmer. Discovering connections between all of these characters, Tenzing slowly begins to uncover a plot that involves more than just Barbara’s murder.
“The First Rule of Ten” starts off a bit slow, as Hendricks and Lindsay develop Tenzing’s persona, which proves crucial toward the end of the novel. Tenzing is a flawed character, in that he clearly has issues with his parents and analyzes his issues with intimacy after one date. However, these flaws, while some seem unrealistic and forced, add to the bizarreness of this character. How often do you find a Buddhist monk who owns a Wilson Combat .38 Supergrade gun and drives a 1965 Shelby Mustang? Tenzing holds on to his spirituality and love for simplicity as his navigates through this labyrinth.
As a lover of mystery novels, this book certainly had some twists that had me speeding through the pages. I was waiting for the different aspects of the story to connect, and I felt that Tenzing was waiting for the same thing. Combining spiritual faith with logic, he serves as the modern Sherlock Holmes. Quirky and a loner, Tenzing takes the reader on a journey as the clues start to fit together, revealing an intricate web of lies, corruption, and death.
Released in January 2012, “The First Rule of Ten” will have you waiting for Hendricks and Lindsay’s sequel, “The Second Rule of Ten.” I recommend this book to readers who want a detective novel that brings Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s hero to the modern age.
**I received a free copy of this book from Hay House Publishers.