Tag Archives: axel crowe

Who wants to be astrologically gifted?

5 Dec

In reality, who doesn’t want to be astrologically gifted?

Are you still trying to find an appropriate gift to please that astrologer in your life this season? Here are a few options, from fiction to non-fiction, in both western and Vedic traditions.

Even non-astrologers who enjoy crime fiction will love the New Age Noir mystery series. Some reviewers have said the books are as educational as they are entertaining. Make it a unique gift for that special friend.

new-age-trilogy-v4-crop1NEW AGE NOIR: the Trilogy

Axel Crowe is a criminal analyst who applies esoteric principles taught by his enigmatic guru. A finder of wayward people and stolen possessions, Crowe profiles subjects in a distinctly unique manner, using astrology, palmistry and other unconventional techniques. Facts are gross, but the truth is subtle, his guru repeats like a mantra, and although motives for murder lie buried deep, a righteous and relentless man will inevitably unearth them.

This trilogy “box set” is available only in digital format, from Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

For those who prefer trade paperback, the three titles in this set (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) can be purchased individually at Amazon. See descriptions below.

sr3-ebook-thumbSCORPIO RISING

Axel Crowe probes the killing of a New York City heiress, and discovers her death is linked to two other murders on the same day: a dot-com millionaire in San Francisco, and the team leader of a government counter-terrorist project in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Scorpio Rising is a gripping murder mystery with a Hitchcockian twist.” ~ The Mountain Astrologer

Scorpio Rising does for astrology what The Da Vinci Code did for art history.” ~ Suite101 Book Reviews

“Annand weaves a working knowledge of a metaphysician’s world view into each page.” ~ Steven Forrest

“Axel Crowe is Agent 007 for the New Age.” ~ Midheaven

“An intelligent hero, multi-faceted in his approach to crime solving.” ~ North American Jyotish Newsletter

“Scorpio Rising is an engaging mystery with a momentum that sends you rushing to the end” ~ Horoscope Guide

“For those with a mystical blend and more than a touch of Scorpio darkness, you’re in for a treat.” ~ Dell Horoscope

fm-ebook-thumbFELONIOUS MONK

Axel Crowe investigates the murder of a reporter at a Vermont ashram. His esoteric sleuthing reveals a series of Manhattan rape-murders dating back 12 years, with connections to sex trafficking, drug smuggling and the theft of an ancient golden Buddha.

“Alan Annand tells a good, gritty tale of murder, pursuit, and finally justice. The coolest thing for me is that the detective is an astrologer and a mystic. The normal sort of clue-following fun is aided and abetted by the most practical use of various divinatory arts. There’s just enough technical astrology in the pages to make it plausible and real without ever lapsing into a tutorial. That’s a hard balancing act to get right and Annand nails it.” ~ Steven Forrest

“Incredible power as a poet in prose. A page turner and a seriously magnificent piece of work.” ~ Michael Lutin

SOMA COUNTY

Axel Crowe searches for a missing person in Napa Valley and discovers a black market in body parts. When his client’s friend is also murdered, Crowe’s investigation leads from California to India and a little man with large appetites, big dogs and grand ambitions.

“Unlike anything else you can find in crime fiction, this novel portrays an investigator using an esoteric toolkit – astrology, palmistry, numerology – in a serious way that shines new light on the so-called occult arts. All of this is written in language that’s economic and evocative, terse and tension-filled, with memorable descriptions of people and places. And when the action kicks in, as it inevitably does in all of Annand’s novels, the genre shifts from mystery to thriller to full-on action where, frankly, the pages can’t quite be turned fast enough.” ~ an Amazon reviewer

PARIVARTANA YOGA

(non-fiction)

Parivartana Yogas are said to be among the most powerful of planetary combinations, having the capacity to link the effects of two astrological houses in a chart. However, aside from what we find explicitly in Mantreswara’s Phala Deepika, there’s little in the literature – neither in the many classics of Jyotisha, nor in modern books – to help us understand these yogas.

Illustrated throughout with case studies, this comprehensive reference text describes the effects for each of the 66 combinations of house lord exchange, also known as mutual receptions.

Available in digital format at all online retailers, trade paperback at Amazon.

stellar-thumbSTELLAR ASTROLOGY

(non-fiction)

Applications in Vedic astrology: a varied collection of essays on time-tested techniques, in-depth celebrity profiles, and analysis of mundane events.

This is an educational and entertaining book for both seasoned practitioners and serious students of Jyotisha.

Available in digital format at all online retailers, trade paperback coming in 2017.

mrv8-midMUTUAL RECEPTION

(for western astrologers)

As a concept, mutual reception is almost 2,000 years old, yet very little has been written about it. Meanwhile, 43% of us have a mutual reception by sign in our birth chart, ie, when two planets simultaneously occupy each other’s sign.

It’s a powerful combination linking the effects of two houses in a chart, yet one of the least understood patterns in astrology. This book, an invaluable reference for any astrologer’s library, describes the effects for each of the 66 combinations of house lord exchange.

A number of techniques make it clear how to analyse the strength of each mutual reception, identify the control planet and the affected areas of life, and determine the outcome.

Available in digital format at all online retailers, trade paperback at Amazon.

~~~

Alan Annand, astrologer and palmist, is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. He is the author of several books, both fiction and non-fiction. 

alan-varanasi-hotelHis NEW AGE NOIR crime novels feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

Websites: http://www.navamsa.com, http://www.sextile.com

You can find his books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

Felonious Monk: Axel Crowe is an astrologer action hero

14 Apr

AA_FM_1“Axel Crowe, hero of Alan Annand’s New Age Noir mystery series, is the perfect blend of detective, astrologer, mystic and martial artist. Felonious Monk, the second of the series, engages and entertains in just the right proportions. The intricate plot involves a dead guest at a Vermont ashram, a serial killer of Asian women in New York, and a golden Buddha stolen from a Bangkok temple.

Annand weaves his story with irony, wit, information and insight, not to mention some high action scenes. Crowe is a steady, humble, highly brilliant and somewhat fearless hero. But despite his attractions, he feels no need to prove himself a James Bond, rather, he’s sexually circumspect. (Think hot, but restrained.) It’s hard not to respect the way he lives, with a spiritual practice as rigorous as his martial.”

~ Julie Simmons, Astrology Toronto

Felonious 4http://www.amazon.com/Alan-Annand/e/B0052MM0POhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/alan-annand/id442957999http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/alan-annandhttp://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/Search?Query=Alan+Annandhttps://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AlanAnnand

SOMA COUNTY: New Age Noir no.3

8 Oct

NewAgeNoir3A

It’s coming. The third installment in Alan Annand’s NEW AGE NOIR series, featuring astrologer extraordinaire Axel Crowe, will be released Fall 2015.

With rave reviews from The Mountain Astrologer, Stephen Forrest, Dell Horoscope, Michael Lutin and Horoscope Guide, this series delivers literary and esoteric crime fiction unlike anything else you’ve ever read.

The 5-star reviews: https://www.pinterest.com/alanannand/scorpio-rising/

“Annand portrays an investigator using an esoteric toolkit – astrology, palmistry, numerology – in a serious and effective way that shines new light on the so-called occult arts. Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope. ” ~ an Amazon reviewer

 

FELONIOUS MONK: the NCGR book review

2 Jan

FM ebook thumbThis book review, written by Donna Van Toen, first appeared in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of the NCGR Memberletter.

~~~~~~~~~

Axel Crowe is back! And who is Axel Crowe? He’s the astrologer-detective who solves murders while throwing out snippets of Vedic astrology, amazing his friends and irritating his enemies in what Alan Annand calls his NEW AGE NOIR series.

While Felonious Monk is the second book in the series, it won’t take you long to get to know Axel, so don’t think you have to read the first book in the series (Scorpio Rising) before reading this one. Just jump right in – you can go back to the first book later.

The story opens at an ashram in Vermont where a retreat is in progress. However, not all of the participants are exactly peaceful. There’s a reporter there hot on the trail of a story. There’s also an ex-CIA agent who specializes in smuggling antiquities in and out of countries. We first meet them as the smuggler is slugging the reporter. Fortunately, they are observed by the head of the ashram. The smuggler is sent on his way; the reporter is taken back to the retreat house to deal with the damage to his head. Later, the reporter is found dead.

Crowe is called in by the head of the ashram, who knows him from time spent in India, where they had studied Vedanta together. In fact, Crowe chose the electional chart for the ashram. So of course he’s going to help. But before he can do much, the police arrest his friend for the murder.

The plot twists and turns like a winding road – from Montreal to Vermont and New York, to Thailand, to Maine and back again. Along the way, there is the NYC Riverside rapist, sex trafficking, heroin smuggling, and of course all those antiquities being smuggled in and out of countries. And Crowe who, with the aid of astrology, manages to solve a number of mysteries and close some cases.

Annand writes well. His descriptions of people and places are vivid. The plot grabs you and refuses to let you put the book down. And Guruji’s pithy sayings show up at regular intervals, providing wisdom and lead-ins to astrology and Vedic metaphysics. The mix is good – intense and dark in spots, with enough levity and irony to keep it from being too dark.

If you like crime fiction as well as astrology, come and hang out with Axel Crowe. If you’re like me, you’ll never settle for Alex Cross again. In fact, I’m anxiously awaiting the third book in this series, which is due out in 2015. By the time you finish this book, you may be too.

ncgr
The National Council for Geocosmic Research, Inc, is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, education and research organization dedicated to raising the standards of astrological education and research. For more info, visit their site at http://geocosmic.org/

Donna Van Toen is a Canadian astrologer and organizer of the annual SOTA Conference that brings together Canadian and American astrologers, typically on the cusp of the Ontario/New York state border. For more info, visit her site at http://donnavantoen.com/

~~~~~~~~~

Alan Annand is a Canadian astrologer and palmist with an education spanning both eastern and western astrology. He has diplomas from the American College of Vedic Astrology, as well as the British Faculty of Astrological Studies for whom he was their North American correspondence tutor for several years.

He is also a writer of crime fiction, including his NEW AGE NOIR series (Scorpio RisingFelonious MonkSoma County) featuring astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

Websites: www.navamsa.com, www.sextile.com

Read the highlighted reviews of Scorpio Rising on Pinterest.

Buy Annand’s New Age Noir series and other crime fiction on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Flipkart, Kobo and Smashwords.

~~~~~~~~~

SCORPIO RISING book review: “Speak to the stones and the stars answer.”

28 Jun

SR3 ebook thumb7th-star heaven! 

Every now and again, I get a book review that makes me feel guilty. First, it’s so good I don’t believe it, so I keep going back to re-read it. Make sure there’s no hidden sarcasm, some kind of back-handed compliment.

But no, it is true and well written, as Papa would say. I get a warm fuzzy feeling from re-reading it. Somewhere out on the west coast, a smart sensitive woman is stroking me, and I like it.

But it reminds me again of why I write for this niche – because I know my tribe is out there, and I write for them.

Here’s what Laura of Oregon posted on Amazon:

Seven stars (out of five) to Alan Annand!

As book one in a series named “New Age Noir,” Scorpio Rising lives up to its series name in every way. With spare, yet brilliant prose, multi-faceted character development and seamless dialogue, the complex stories within stories unfold, and suspense gathers momentum surrounding the many esoteric and intuitive profiling techniques of the humble and honest protagonist, Axel Crowe.

I will begin book two, Felonious Monk, immediately. Then I will set about reading everything Alan Annand has written to date. His intelligence, his mastery of his craft, his humor, and his keen insight into the precarious toe dance on the high-wire we humans are set upon to undertake is profound.

I have to say, without explanation, that there is a certain subtle balance inherent throughout this book. While in any murder mystery there are the inevitable terrible and dark elements, in Scorpio Rising the presence of the light and conscious elements are woven into the vast tapestry that comprises all life – not as opposites, not as existence being black or white, nor it being good or evil – but as necessary parts of a grand dance in which everything is connected in mysterious ways.

As poet Theodore Roethke wrote, “Speak to the stones and the stars answer.”

 ~~~~~~~

Alan Annand is an astrologer and writer of crime fiction, including his New Age Noir series featuring astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, a criminal profiler with a horoscope.

AmazonAppleBarnes&NobleSmashwords

  ~~~~~~~


SR for print spread v3 jan 2013 web

New Age Noir: #1 Scorpio Rising, #2 Felonious Monk

8 Feb

thumb_SRThe long-awaited sequel to Scorpio Rising, #1 in the New Age Noir series by Alan Annand, is coming soon.

In Scorpio Rising, criminal profiler Axel Crowe investigates the killing of a New York heiress, and discovers her death is linked to two other murders on the same day: a dot-com millionaire in San Francisco, and the team leader of a CIA counter-terrorist project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. A finder of wayward people and stolen possessions, the enigmatic Crowe profiles subjects in a distinctly unique manner – using astrology, palmistry and other esoteric techniques. Facts are gross, but the truth is subtle, Crowe’s guru used to say. And although the truth behind this three-way conspiracy lies buried in the past, Crowe is relentless until he uncovers it.

The reviews thus far:

Scorpio Rising does for astrology what The Da Vinci Code did for art history.” ~ Suite101 Book Reviews

Scorpio Rising by Alan Annand, the first of his New Age Noir series, is a gripping murder mystery with a Hitchcockian twist.” ~ The Mountain Astrologer

“Annand is a terrific mystery writer who weaves a convincing working knowledge of a metaphysician’s world view into each page.” ~ Steven Forrest

“Axel Crowe, the brilliant investigator of Annand’s Scorpio Rising, is Agent 007 for the New Age noir set.” ~ Astrology Toronto

“Annand has done a masterful job in creating a whole new type of hero – astrologer as detective.” ~ North American Jyotish Newsletter

“Incredible power as a poet in prose – in the style of Hammett and Hemingway – to describe places and people.” ~ Michael Lutin

“If you like detective stories featuring astrology and palmistry, this is a terrific read that will keep you flipping the pages.” ~ NCGR Newsletter

“Scorpio Rising is an engaging mystery with a momentum that sends you rushing to the end.” ~ Horoscope Guide

“A fascinating murder mystery, and a wonderful book for anyone with even a little knowledge of astrology and palmistry to enjoy!” ~ Ray Merriman

“For those with a mystical blend and more than a touch of Scorpio darkness, you’re in for a treat.” ~ Dell Horoscope

winged helmet

For more on these reviews, see Scorpio Rising on Pinterest. 

Because Mercury retrograde doesn’t always spell disaster, Scorpio Rising will be available for the whole of February and March as well, for an introductory price of only $0.99, after which the price will return to $2.99. 

The ebook is available at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, KoboSmashwords and Sony.

The second installment in the New Age Noir series will be released on April 6, 2014. Pre-orders are now available at Apple, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

thumb_FMIn Felonious Monk, a  reporter is found dead on a Vermont ashram. Summoned by an old friend who runs the retreat, astrologer Axel Crowe barely has time to assess the situation before the police arrest his friend for murder.

Believing him innocent, Crowe suspects instead a mysterious devotee who may be ex-CIA, and the beautiful Thai woman who accompanied him to the retreat. But when Crowe follows them to New York, the woman disappears and the man threatens to make Crowe disappear.

In exchange for NYPD help, Crowe agrees to take a look at a cold case file – the Riverside Rapist – who killed eight Asian women over 12 years. The timing of the murders intrigues Crowe, who sees in it an astrological signature of the killer.

Coincidence or not, the cold case overlaps some of the stories the reporter was working on – sex trafficking, heroin smuggling and the theft of religious antiquities  – all from Southeast Asia. None of it hangs together until Crowe goes to Thailand, and then it all makes perfect, horrible, sense.

Note: You can subscribe to future posts by clicking the [+ Follow] button in the lower right corner of this page.

Until then, remember, Mercury retrograde isn’t all bad.

~~~~~

Scorpio Rising: book review by Dell Horoscope

22 Apr

SCORPIO RISING, by Alan Annand

What astrology needs to show its authentic depth is a super-hero in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade, and Hercule Poirot. Since astrologers have inside information about how the universe works beyond the apparent three dimensions of our manifest world, they should make great detectives. So far, our justice system remains skeptical about how astrologers might help, but a few writers have begun creating protagonists who use the celestial arts to solve murder cases.

Author Alan Annand has created Axel Crowe, an astrology-savvy hero in Scorpio Rising. In this dramatic tale, three murders take place simultaneously in three separate locations across the USA. Axel Crowe has been hired to investigate one of those murders. At first, all he knows about is the one that took place in New York. The other two murders take place in San Francisco and Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Due to the wealth of all three of the murder victims, and the anti-terrorism work of the victim from Los Alamos, all kinds of police investigators and FBI agents are called in. Naturally, they don’t have a clue about whodunit, but Axel Crowe starts figur­ing it out after 300 pages or so. His first insight comes from noticing a variety of threes and triangle shapes during his investigation. The trail is interrupted by some violence, a few sex scenes, and a tangled narration that jumps from one location to the other every few pages.

When he arrives at a place relevant to the case, he adds up the digits in the address to get a numerological clue. He notices whether a corporate building is designed according to vastu (akin to feng shui) principles. When he’s offered a drink, he asks for mango juice (“rich in anti-oxidants”). He quickly sizes peopl­e up according to their ayurvedic body type or the shape of their hands and fingers. He reads signs, coincidences, and is always ready with an appropriate quote from his guru. What more could you ask for in a New Age hero?

Most importantly, Axel Crowe has an iPhone with an astrology app. When he arrives on a scene, he checks the current transits. He can guess a suspect’s rising sign with uncanny accuracy, and thus also derives a natal horoscope to check out character and alibis. As it turns out, the murder he’s investigating took place when Scorpio was rising, hence the title. Most people associate Scorpio with death, sex, and the dark side, and much of this book’s content provides ample fulfillment of this connection.

Take one of the main characters, Carrie Cassidy. In her opening scene, she meets a handsome, studly fellow on the elevator while on her way to visit her mother: “Fit as an athlete and squeaky clean, just the way she liked them.” She quickly hooks up with the stranger to indulge in an afternoon quickie, and still has time to visit her mother without being too late. For most of the story, Carrie appears to be an ambitious, lusty writer trying to make it big with her first novel. She’s spent the last three years working on it and just wants to get the thing pub­lished.

Those interested in astrology will find some satisfaction with Crowe’s analysis and interpretation, and the story line is a welcome entry into twen­ty-first century fiction. Naturally, Axel Crowe is skilled in the martial arts, and toward the end, he has a merry chase through the craggy terrain of New Mexico. In the last chapter, he explains to his client and the hapless mainstream detectives how the murders were all connected.

Spoiler Alert: The plot was akin to Alfred Hitchcock’s film Strangers on a Train, where each stranger agrees to kill the other stranger’s intended victim, a wife and a mother, respectively. In this way, the out-of-town killings would provide foolproof alibis. Hitchcock’s story involved two murders, while in Scorpio Rising, there are three.

Scorpio Rising is a step forward in the New Age detective genre. For those with a mystical blend and more than a touch of Scorpio darkness, you’re in for a treat. Just remember that, as Crowe’s guru was fond of saying, “The subtle has the capacity to penetrate the gross, but not vice versa.”

– Chris Lorenz @ Dell Horoscope

For all the latest REVIEWS of Scorpio Rising, see: http://pinterest.com/alanannand/scorpio-rising/

To purchase Scorpio Rising (digital $2.99, paper $11.99)


Scorpio Rising: book review by Horoscope Guide

20 Mar

 SCORPIO RISING, by Alan Annand, Sextile.com

358 pages, paper $11.99 (available at Amazon.com or Createspace.com). Digital versions for all ereaders available ($2.99) through Smashwords.com.

Independent investigator Axel Crowe has promised to look into the murder of a friend’s sister, who was found dead under odd circumstances on a New York street. Having been allowed access to the detectives assigned to the case, he asks first for the basic details of the murder: where it happened, approximate time of death, and so forth. As the cops give him the requested information, he is thumbing his smart phone, glancing at it from time to time, not the kind of gesture that gets much attention from anyone these days of course. What he is doing, though, is having an astrology app do the chart, and a Vedic chart at that, for the date, time, and place of the murder. He glances down at it and thinks to himself:

With Scorpio rising, a fixed sign suggested murder connected with a family member. The seventh house was Taurus, a female sign, and its ruler was Venus, a female planet. Together, they indicated a female killer. Venus in dual sign Pisces implied more than one person involved. An exalted Venus, in planetary war with Mars, described an aggressive professional who was into sports or martial arts…   

And neatly with a few strokes of a thumb and a not insubstantial fund of knowledge gained from his former guru, Crowe has outlined the clues that begin to lead him to the murder. Earlier in the book Crowe’s guru had cut him loose as someone too much taken with his vices (relationships, drinking, and gambling) to give proper attention to spiritual tasks.

That kind of character work I found refreshing almost from the start of Scorpio Rising, as over the years I’ve read probably most of the small number of works of astrological fiction published, and a major fault in most (with the exception of Barbara Shafferman’s Addie Price in The President’s Astrologer, published in 1998) is that the main character tends to be a type, not a person. One can’t imagine them falling in love, having any bad habits (if they have habits at all), and certainly one can’t conceive of them ever making a mistake. Crowe is good at what he does, but he is not perfect, and he is good at being human, though again not perfect.

Though I’ve started this review with a quote that is firmly astrological, protagonist Crowe is also a palmist and uses other intuitive and symbolic techniques such as vastu shastra (similar to feng shui, though there is only a partial overlap between the two). Mostly though, he is a smart, observant detective who knows how to put together little bits and pieces of clues to make the big picture that leads him to the culprits. While there is no doubt that astrology, supported by these other techniques, is a central player in the untangling of the mystery, that app on Crowe’s smart phone is introduced only where it makes a difference and this is done in such a way that the reader isn’t required to know much, if anything, about the subject.

The story revolves around three murders that occur on the same day in geographical locations far removed from each other, and though from very early in the book we have an idea of who the culprits are (by nature if not by name), just how the murders might be linked, and how that could relate to the motives is always just a chapter or two ahead of the reader. I happen to gravitate toward mysteries in my off-hours reading (and more so since the advent of the Nook and library e-loans), and they tend to fall into two categories: those you read to the end in order to find out what happened, and those you read (sometimes grudgingly) to the end to confirm what you already know.

The first category is the best of course, and Scorpio Rising falls firmly into that class. Around page 150, though I was enjoying the read, I was quite sure that I had figured out most of the key elements of the mystery, but two chapters later I had to stop patting myself on the back when a couple of additional details told me that I had totally misjudged two of the characters, derailing most if not all of my detective work. And so it went, all the way to the end.

What it comes down to is that Scorpio Rising is an engaging mystery with twists and turns that keep you reading all the way to the last page of the last chapter. Axel Crowe is a new kind of character on the mystery scene, who is a quick study when presented with a baffling murder in part because he combines his own mix of intuitive methods with a thorough understanding of methods used by police and crime labs the world over. Though his intuitive insight may give him an edge and put him a level or two above the more tedious tasks of police work, Crowe is not some shiny mystical figure travelling on a higher plane, but rather someone who deals every day with the limitations of his own imperfections.

A good mystery all the way around!

~ Kenneth Irving, editor, Horoscope Guide

For all the latest REVIEWS of Scorpio Rising, see: http://pinterest.com/alanannand/scorpio-rising/

To purchase Scorpio Rising (digital $2.99, paper $11.99)


Scorpio Rising: book review by Astrology Toronto

13 Mar

SCORPIO RISING by Alan Annand

(book review by Julie Simmons)

Usually when I read a book I like I just say to whomever I think might enjoy it, “You should read this book. It’s great.” I don’t think of myself as a reviewer. But here I am reviewing Alan Annand’s book, Scorpio Rising. Before I get into the telling details, let me just say, “You should read this book. It’s great.”

Everyone loves a good mystery. Astrologers might love mysteries more than most because we are all detectives on some level although most of us are not called upon to solve the perfect crime. Rarely if ever do we find a mystery novel (worth reading) that features a major character who is an astrologer as well as a palmist with an active spiritual life.

Axel Crowe, the brilliant investigator of Annand’s book, is just such a character. He manages to present and defend his use of astrology to the cops in such a way that they accept him. We can all use some of that. His view of the world as a seamless web of connections is always present. I had the feeling that synchronicity itself is the unnamed character in this book.

One of my favourite things in this novel is the way Crowe rectifies a chart. It’s as though he pulls information from the air. And he’s cool, so cool he steps up to sit in with the band at a blues club on New York’s legendary Bleecker Street.

Axel Crowe is Agent 007 for the New Age set. He’s a pacifist at heart, but knows how to handle himself in a fight. He doesn’t drink and he lives a moderate life despite having access to plenty of money for a more excessive lifestyle. He is a genuine student of the mysteries and lives in a world he has charmed into speaking to him thanks to his years spent sitting at the feet of his guru.

Then there is the actual plot. The supposedly perfect crime can only be solved by reading clues and connections that only an astrologer could find. Crowe reads the twisted minds, hearts and personalities of the criminals and tracks them to their lairs. He can see a lot in a fingerprint or the chart of the moment. We are never bored as he journeys to different cities and encounters the good, the bad and the ugly. There is even a car chase and shoot-out in the desert.

Personally I enjoyed every minute of this book at many levels. I was entertained, intrigued and delighted to be along for the cosmic ride. Annand refers to his book as the first in a New Age Noir series. I look forward to reading more and it’s not just because I’m a Scorpio rising.

Julie Simmons is a full-time astrologer in Toronto, Canada. She writes a monthly astrological column for Vitality Magazine and has published two books on astrology: Passion Signs, and Earned Wisdom. http://www.juliesimmons.ca

For all the latest REVIEWS of Scorpio Rising, see: http://pinterest.com/alanannand/scorpio-rising/

To purchase Scorpio Rising (digital $2.99, paper $11.99)


Scorpio Rising: book review by NCGR newsletter

2 Mar

SCORPIO RISING, by Alan Annand

(reviewed by Donna Van Toen)

And now for something completely different… It’s not common to see a novel where astrology plays a major role, but that’s exactly what we’ve got here.

The protagonist, Axel Crowe, is a criminal profiler, finder of missing people and things, damned fine detective, and just for good measure a Vedic astrologer and an excellent palmist as well. When we meet him early on, he is also a follower of a guru, known only as Guruji. Guruji dismisses Crowe early on, but his pithy comments appear throughout the story – which is definitely not the story of an aesthete living in an ashram. There are murders, there is mayhem, and there are plenty of women.

The action takes place all over the map – in Toronto, in New York, in California, and elsewhere. Annand has a good eye for setting tone, a good ear for dialogue, and excellent ability to whip up a fast-paced plot. And he throws in just enough astrology and palmistry to pique our interest. Not gratuitous astrology or palmistry either – it’s an integral part of Crowe’s bag of tricks and definitely a part of the story.

Annand is a seasoned writer of detective stories and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s fast-paced and has enough twists and turns – as well as enough astrology and palmistry – to keep you turning those pages and distract you from your more mundane chores. I enjoyed it immensely. I did wonder though, how someone of non-astrological bent might relate to it. So I passed it along to a non-astrological friend. The verdict – he liked it too. “But,” he asked, “is all that stuff about palmistry for real?” I assured him it was, and that the author – in addition to being a good writer, was a pretty fine astrologer and palmist as well.

If you like thrillers and detective stories, this one is a terrific read. You may even be able to justify reading it as “study” because chances are that you will learn a few tidbits here and there. My one caution would be: Don’t lend it until you’re really ready to let go of it. When I went to track down my copy, it had already been loaned to a second person and it took me two weeks to get it back so I could do this review. The borrower did, however, give me a pound of cashews by way of an apology. Guruji would not have been pleased, but I’m pretty sure Crowe would have smiled. He’d know that just like cashews, this is a book to indulge in.

Donna Van Toen is an astrologer, teacher, and author of “The Astrologer’s Node Book” and “The Mars Book.” She coordinates the annual State of the Art (SOTA) Conference, and speaks for groups and conferences throughout the world. http://www.donnavantoen.com.

Scorpio Rising, Sextile.com, 2011,  348pp paper $11.99, digital $2.99

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