Tag Archives: suspense

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


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:

ebook launch: SCORPIO RISING

24 May

As some of you know, I also play a “public” role as a Vedic astrologer and palmist. But as a great reader (and writer) of mystery fiction, I’ve often wondered what might have happened if my teacher (Hart deFouw) had been inclined to pursue criminology. How would he have used his knowledge of astrology, palmistry, numerology and omens to find missing people, retrieve stolen objects, or solve crimes?

This novel is my answer to that question. And it’s an ebook because…

Before this year, I’d written articles on astrology and palmistry, had a couple of animation scripts produced, and published five novels under pseudonyms.

Although I’d always planned to keep on getting books published in the traditional way, in the last couple of years, technology has been rapidly transforming (ie, crushing) the conventional book business.

I’ve seen the writing on the wall. The paper book is dying, and ebooks are filling the void at a much lower cost to consumers. Therefore, I have joined the revolution.

Two of my novels are now available immediately in all of the formats used in the most popular ereading devices – Amazon’s Kindle, the Apple iPad, the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Sony Reader and others.

By summer’s end, I’ll re-issue another three novels previously published under pseudonyms. Other original works will follow, including a “New Age noir” series of which Scorpio Rising is the first installment starring my astrologer/palmist hero.

Scorpio Rising

An astrologer 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 government counter-terrorist project in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

To sample or purchase Scorpio Rising for the Kindle, go to Amazon: www.amazon.com/Scorpio-Rising-ebook/dp/B0050IOY6I

For all other ereader formats, go to Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/books/view/59231

 Only $2.99

To follow my astrological activities, visit www.navamsa.com. You can also befriend me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, or follow me on Twitter. My writing site is still www.sextile.com

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