Tag Archives: ebook

HARM’S WAY by Alan Annand: Top 10 in hard-boiled mystery!

12 Dec

thumb_HWFor the past three months, HARM’S WAY has been in Amazon’s Top Ten category for hard-boiled mystery thrillers.

Originally published by St.Martin’s Press in 1992 , I extensively rewrote this book for re-issue as an ebook in 2011.

Lee Harms, investigator-for-hire, is on the cusp of an on-and-off-again love affair with confidante and astrologer Celeste when fate serves up a witch’s brew of trouble.

Start with a broth of sexual intrigue, toss in a troubled redhead, stir in two kilos of cocaine, dissolve a few pages from a psychiatrist’s notebook, and bring to a boil the fury of a crime family whose son dies in a midnight bacchanal. Money ignites the fire under this cauldron, but sex, violence and the darker forces of human nature keep it bubbling.

As dangerous as it gets, Harms must rely on his own wits to out-maneuver crack-crazed thugs, libidinous porn stars, and a deranged young woman with a troubled past. But when criminals kidnap his own ten-year-old daughter, he plunges into their underworld to rescue her from harm’s way.

Upon its initial release, here were some of the reviews at the time:

“For Canadian writers setting hard-boiled stories in Canada, the closest thing yet to a US-style private eye is Montreal investigator Lee Harms in Harm’s Way by Alan Annand.” ~ Rara-Avis Reviews

Harm’s Way is a solid P.I. thriller, a nastier-than-you’d-expect slab of pornography, cocaine, gangsters, incest, madness, torture and vengeance.” ~ Thrilling Detective

“Energy, superior punch-‘em out sequences, and humor.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“Underneath the New Age trappings, divorced ex-cop Harms is plenty hard-boiled, using fists, guns and sheer wit to escape the many tight spots here.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly

In its latest reincarnation, HARM’S WAY has garnered 20 reviews on Amazon averaging 4.0 stars. http://www.amazon.com/Harms-Way-Alan-Annand-ebook/dp/B005LVXIA2

On Barnes & Noble, there are 18 reviews averaging 4.2 stars. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/harms-way-alan-annand/1106579631

And on Apple iTunes, there are 46 reviews averaging 4.5 stars. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/harms-way/id471751935

More good news: just in time for Christmas, HARM’S WAY is now priced at only $0.99 for the ebook edition.

And for anyone who still enjoys a physical book (now just $7.65), see Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Harms-Way-Alan-Annand/dp/0986920622

~~~~~~~~~

Hide in Plain Sight: book review by Val Tobin @ Suite101

9 Oct

Take one rich twin and one poor twin, throw in a bipolar wife, shake violently, and you have the makings of another delicious crime novel by Alan Annand.

Alex Carson’s life has turned into a country song. He owes the government thousands of dollars in taxes, courtesy of his fraudulent accountant; his wife, Connie, is bipolar and his dog is dying. What he doesn’t realize is, things are going to get much worse. During a visit to Alex’s wealthy brother Dave, which Connie turns into a quest to get financial assistance, Connie causes Dave’s death after a heated argument.

Alex decides that the only way out of this mess is to take Dave’s place and allow Connie to go establish an alibi, thereby avoiding the ordeal of having to ‘fess up to the police about what had transpired. The execution of Alex’s creative solution makes for a crazy wild ride as we tag along in Alex’s first person narrative.

Inside the Mind of Alex Carson

According to Annand, who agreed to talk with Suite101 about his book, his use of the first person was designed to, among other things, “oblige the reader to suffer in sympathy with Alex, no matter what morally questionable actions he had to follow through on.” And suffer the reader does. Exquisitely.

During this charade, Alex must share a bed with his beautiful sister-in-law, a woman stolen from Alex by Dave years before. He must also maneuver his way around Dave’s various existing relationships, including one with the housekeeper, with whom Dave may or may not have been having an affair.

Following Alex on his adventures in Dave Land makes compelling enough reading, but the questions that arise about what was going on in Dave’s life at the time of his death compound the intrigue and the tension. When you also factor in the logistical issues with which Alex must contend, reading the story becomes an addiction.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder and How to Dispose of a Corpse

Annand, as always, has done his research to make everything in his novel authentic and credible. Dave suffered from Guillain-Barré Syndrome, something with which Annand was familiar via an extended family member who had the disease. Having Dave suffer from GBS was a unique twist that makes things more demanding for Alex playing Dave, and of course makes it more entertaining for the reader. Connie’s bipolar disorder also spices things up, but it also provides a glimpse of what it might be like to be married to someone who is bipolar.

The most intriguing questions presented by the novel, and dealt with deftly by Annand, however, relate to Dave’s body and how Alex deals with it: How can Alex store the corpse? Where will he keep it? How can he obscure the time of death? How can he create a new, believable cause of death? Can he really pull it off? Should he really pull it off? The practical considerations run neck and neck with the ethical ones.

Tension and Sleepless Nights with Hide in Plain Sight

Alan Annand has an uncanny knack for forcing the reader to read at breakneck speed to get past all the tense moments, while at the same time making him/her wish the ride would never end. The first time you read Hide in Plain Sight, you will want to savor it, but it’ll be impossible. As the tension and questions mount, you can’t help but read as fast as you can to see what happens next. It is a most delightful form of torture.

Don’t pick up this book if you’re looking for a bedtime reading cure for insomnia. But if you’re looking for suspense, tension and the queasiness that comes from participating in questionable activities, then this book is for you. This is the perfect book to take on a flight or on vacation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT  (psychological mystery suspense) eBook $2.99, paper $9.99.  A man assumes his twin brother’s identity in order to alibi his own wife who’s accidentally killed his brother in an argument. But when he finds himself sharing a bed with his beautiful sister-in-law, he faces bigger challenges and harder choices.

www.amazon.com/Hide-in-Plain-Sight-ebook/dp/B0050K1EZA

www.smashwords.com/books/view/59291

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Val Tobin is a Feature Writer for Suite101. Formerly a software developer, she has pursued her interests in the occult, paranormal and spiritual fields through formal studies in nutrition, mediumship and parapsychology, all of which have become active professional avenues. For more information, see her website at:  http://www.serenitynowgifts.com/

 

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

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 The Mountain Astrologer

13 Jan

Scorpio Rising by Alan Annand, part of the New Age Noir series, is a gripping murder mystery with a Hitchcockian twist. Private investigator Axel Crowe is an appealing and upstanding protagonist who uses astrology, palmistry and other esoteric techniques to solve crimes. With bits of Vedic wisdom sprinkled through­out, this book is an enjoyable read and an engrossing narrative.

————————————————

Scorpio Rising by Alan Annand, part of the New Age Noir series, is a gripping murder mystery with a Hitchcockian twist. The protagonist of this story is a private investigator named Axel Crowe who uses esoteric techniques to solve crimes – intuition, numerology, palmistry, horary astrology, Ayurveda, Vedic astrology, and a well-developed sense of smell. One FBI agent refers to Crowe’s bag of tricks as “whatever it is you do.” Years of observing the subtle signs of the environment have given Crowe the courage to follow his intuition.

He also looks for signs in the form of synchronicity. Here is one unusual method for determining someone’s ascendant: “Out in Central Park, the blue kite wheeled high in the air. Blue was the color of Venus. Libra was an air sign ruled by Venus. On the wall was an Ernst litho­graph, Portrait Bleu, featuring a bird-like figure. More corrobo­ration. [She] would have a Libra ascendant.”

Crowe, of course, has to deal with a lot of skepticism from law enforcement officials regarding his methods. When someone suggests that it is quite a leap from criminology to astrology, Crowe responds: “I suppose, although some would say, they’re both black arts.”

Crowe is an “infomaniac,” according to his Vedic teacher, Guruji, who had tutored him for 14 years and taught him that our greatest enemy is our own desire. (The novel attempts to prove this maxim.) Crowe was quite attached to his guru: “His heart brimmed with love for the man who had shown him the narrow trail through a bramble thicket of ignorance and misperception.”

The bits of Vedic wisdom sprinkled through­out this book were my favorite parts. For example, here’s what Crowe has to say about women: “Women were mothers, sisters, lovers, angels and rarely, but possibly, demons. Every now and then you might have the bad luck to meet a Kali, the Hindu goddess of death and destruction, and she would add your head to her collection of skulls.” We meet one such demon in this novel.

This is not a whodunit. By page 60 of the book, a pattern has emerged, and we know who has done what to whom. The reader simply waits for Crowe and the detectives to find the pattern and locate the parties responsible for the murders.

Scorpio Rising is an enjoyable read and an engrossing narrative, but it is not for the super-squeamish. (If you set out to read this book, it is recom­mended that you have at least one Scorpio planet in your chart.) There are several unsa­vory characters here – murderers, adulterers, and thieves – but the police detectives are painted as real working-class people, warts and all, and Crowe is an appealing, upstanding guy who is nonetheless not quite perfect.

reviewed by Jan de Prosse, The Mountain Astrologer, Feb/Mar 2012

Scorpio Rising by Alan Annand, Sextile, 2011. Softcover, 352 pp, $11.99. ISBN 978-0-9869206-4-6.

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)

Harm’s Way = hard-boiled excitement

31 Oct

“For Canadian writers setting hard-boiled stories in Canada, the closest approximation yet to a US-style private eye is Montreal investigator Lee Harms in Harm’s Way by Alan Annand.” – David Skene-Melvin for Rara-Avis

My fifth novel, Harm’s Way, was published under pseudonym by St.Martin’s Press, one of New York’s venerable houses, in 1992. The book received some good reviews but never enough to make it a bestseller.

In the last few years, publishing has been through a paradigm-shifting upheaval. The mass paperback market is down, bookstores are closing and e-books are on the rise.

Having seen the writing on the wall, I’m now self-publishing. In 2012, I released three novels. Two were new mysteries – Scorpio Rising and Hide in Plain Sight – both available on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com.

The third novel was a re-release of Harm’s Way, whose copyright I had recovered years ago when it went officially out-of-print.

After refreshing my memory about what reviewers had said about the book back then, I gave it some ruthless editing and a total re-write. One criticism was that I hadn’t adequately captured the ambience of Montreal, one of North America’s most vibrant cities. So in my re-write, I worked very hard to bring this great city into focus.

Along the way, I tightened up every chapter, until the book moves at the pace of a runaway train. Once you get started, you won’t be able to put it down.

Here’s the jacket copy for Harm’s Way:

Lee Harms, free spirit and investigator-for-hire, is on the cusp of an on-again, off-again love affair with longtime confidante and astrologer Celeste when fate serves him a witch’s brew of trouble.

Start with a broth of sexual intrigue, toss in a kidnapped redhead, stir in two kilos of pure cocaine, dissolve a few pages from a psychiatrist’s notebook, and bring to a boil the fury of an underworld gang whose favorite son has died in an all-night bacchanal. Money ignites the fire under this cauldron, but the fuels that keep it bubbling are sex, violence and the darker forces of human nature.

Although Harms has the advantage of Celeste’s astrological insights to guide him, he must rely increasingly on his own wits to out-maneuver crack-crazed thugs, libidinous porn stars, and a deranged young woman with a dark secret. It’s dangerous enough for Harms, but when his own ten-year-old daughter is taken hostage by the underworld, he must pull out all the stops to rescue her from harm’s way.

Here are more reviews of the day:

Harm’s Way is a solid P.I. thriller, a nastier-than-you’d-expect slab of pornography, cocaine, gangsters, incest, madness, torture and vengeance.” – Thrilling Detective 

“Underneath the New Age trappings, divorced ex-cop Harms is plenty hard-boiled, using fists, guns and sheer wit to escape the many tight spots here.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Energy, superior punch-‘em out sequences, and humor.” – Kirkus Reviews

Harm’s Way is a fast-paced action drama featuring an unlikely variant of the private detective. The writing is above average, the plot convoluted, and the characters well-developed with a past, present and future, something often lacking in the detective field.” – The Westmount Examiner

“Annand has a gift for storytelling. There’s more than enough menace to keep a reader intrigued.” – The Montreal Gazette

“A well-written, quickly-paced story with colorful details of Montreal. And Harms is a likable character – the reader wants to know what happens to him.” – The Daily Gleaner

To purchase Harm’s Way (digital $0.99, paper $8.99)

Video interview: “New Age noir” author Alan Annand

20 Sep

Last week, courtesy of Nadiya Shah Productions, I enjoyed my second video interview, and the first in which I got to discuss my New Age noir mystery novel “Scorpio Rising“:

A criminal profiler investigates 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 CIA counter-terrorist project in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Available on Amazon: $12.99 paper, only $2.99 digital

www.amazon.com/Scorpio-Rising-ebook/dp/B0050IOY6I

Usually, in this kind of foreign environment — a woman’s apartment, bright lights, and two cameras trained on me — I’m as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but on this day I was surprisingly composed.

Perhaps it was thanks to my charming host and interviewer, Nadiya Shah, who is a local-area astrologer, writer, videographer, and consummate professional in all these matters. Check out her website http://nadiyashah.com/ and look for her on-line show, where she has interviewed many other astrologers, both local and international.

Here are the YouTube links for my interview:

Part 1:
Part 2:

Scorpio Rising: book review by North American Jyotish Newsletter

20 Sep

Book review of “Scorpio Rising” by Michael Laughrin (michael@jyotish.ws) in his North American Jyotish Newsletter (August/September 2011)

There are dozens of different varieties of mystery novels, and I have read at least 2000 of them. Some of these books feature ex-cops who have become PIs (private eyes). Some mysteries, mostly written by British female authors, are called cozies because of their genteel manners and settings. Then there are mysteries in which the setting is all-important — New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago being some of the more popular cities.

Then there is a whole category of mysteries that feature certain professions — lawyers, doctors, chefs, and musicians come to mind. Another genre features certain animals — horses, dogs, cats, and parrots.

Alan Annand has created — or expanded upon — a whole new genre: Vedic Astrology and detective. Our hero in “Scorpio Rising” is also a fine palmist, numerologist, and expert in Vastu (ancient Vedic laws of architecture) and Ayurveda. Being a lover of mysteries (especially the “hard-boiled” type) and of all things Vedic, I believe this book is a 5-star winning combination.

Without giving any of the plot away, here’s the gist of it: Criminal profiler Axel Crowe investigates the killing of a New York City heiress, only to discover that 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 techniques drawn from Vedic lore. Facts are gross, but the truth is subtle, Crowe’s guru always told him. And although the truth behind this three-way conspiracy lies buried in the past, Crowe is relentless until he uncovers it.

If you think about it, astrologer and detective go together like fish and chips. Astrologers look for that which is hidden, and so do detectives. Both professions value intuition and logic equally. Mr. Annand has done a masterful job in creating a believable character who is personable, intelligent, and multi-faceted in his approach to crime solving.

“Scorpio Rising” is a truly great book. And according to the author, it is just the first in a series of several books featuring this astrologer-detective character. If you love Jyotish, palmistry, etc, READ THIS BOOK! You will learn a lot of predictive techniques because Mr. Annand, besides being a writer, is also a very fine Jyotishi.

Enjoy.

Scorpio Rising is available from Amazon — paperback $12.99, digital only $2.99.
http://www.amazon.com/Scorpio-Rising-ebook/dp/B0050IOY6I

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: