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The First Rule of Ten: A Tenzing Norbu Mystery (Tenzing Norbu Mysteries) Paperback – January 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


Tibetan monk, turned LA cop, turned PI — it’s nothing less than one would expect from a successful relationship expert’s first mystery novel — and it’s a perfect choice to launch Hay House’s new mystery imprint, Visions. Ten is the book’s protagonist (the rules are his). He has a cat named Tank, an ex-girlfriend he calls “she-who-hates-cats”, and he often chooses a cold beer instead of meditation to reduce stress. His spiritual insights run as a sub-theme in his mind, as he chases bad guys and looks for clues. He models himself after Sherlock Holmes (his childhood idol) and has a Dr. Watson style computer-jockey sidekick named Mike.


The action begins when a casual visitor to Ten’s residence turns up dead. Just days after leaving the LAPD, Ten becomes immersed in unraveling the crime and adjusting to being an outsider to his former law-enforcement family. Subtly laced with drugs, sex, and ex-rockers, in addition to a compassionately rendered supporting cast, this one is a page turner with a broad potential audience.


With more books already in the pipeline for the Tenzing Norbu series, customers will want to get to know this new-millennium Magnum/Rockford-style gumshoe as soon as possible. Tell them not to wait for the movie; this is a perfect post-holiday indulgence.

Anna Jedrziewski

New York, NY

New Age Retailer

(soon to be Retailing Insight)

“Awareness and adventure go hand-in-hand in this wow of a whodunnit. It’s got plenty of surprising plot twists, but even better, it’s rich with insight into the complexity of human relationships and being alive in this modern-day world. What could be better?”
Geneen Roth, author of Women, Food and God

“Talk about a ‘perfect Ten!’ Savvy, sharp, and spiritual, Tenzing Norbu is one of the most compelling detectives I’ve encountered on the page. And The First Rule of Ten is a great introduction—a complicated, involving story that combines cults, crime, and Buddhist teachings to great effect.”


Alison Gaylin, Edgar-nominated author of Hide Your Eyes, Heartless, and You Kill Me

“Now this is a detective for the 21st century! Who could resist a former Buddhist monk who lives by the dharma, drives a vintage yellow Mustang, eats five-star vegan PB&J’s, and enjoys a close relationship with a sentient being named Tank—a blue Persian of a certain size? On the other hand, his relationships with beings of the human persuasion aren’t nearly so smooth. Which is great for a P.I.—no one messes with Ten—but lousy for romance. Tenzing Norbu is wholly original and very, very real—a great addition to detective fiction. The First Rule of Ten has really got me hooked!”


Julie Smith, author of the Skip Langdon series

About the Author

Gay Hendricks, Ph.D. has served for more than 35 years as one of the major contributors to the fields of relationship transformation and body-mind therapies. Along with his wife, Dr. Kathlyn Hendricks, Gay is the co-author of many bestsellers, including Conscious Loving and Five Wishes. He is the author of 33 books, including The Corporate Mystic, Conscious Living, and The Big Leap. Dr. Hendricks received his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Stanford. After a 21-year career as a professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Colorado, he and Kathlyn founded The Hendricks Institute, which offers seminars worldwide. In recent years, Dr. Hendricks has been active in creating new forms of conscious entertainment. In 2003, along with movie producer Stephen Simon, he founded The Spiritual Cinema Circle, which distributes inspirational movies to subscribers in 70+ countries, He has appeared on more than 500 radio and television shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and 48 Hours and is regularly featured on national stations like CNN and CNBC. Tinker Lindsay is an accomplished screenwriter, author, script consultant, and conceptual editor. A member of the Writer's Guild of America, Independent Writers of Southern California, and Women in Film, she has worked in the Hollywood entertainment industry writing and developing feature films for over three decades. Her books include The Last Great Place and My Hollywood Ending. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in English and American Language and Literature and completed a post-graduate course at Radcliffe College in Publishing Procedures. A practitioner and teacher of meditation, she can usually be found writing in her home office situated directly under the Hollywood sign.

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Product Details

  • Series: Tenzing Norbu Mysteries
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House Visions (January 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781401937768
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401937768
  • ASIN: 1401937764
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (345 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 48 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Sweet VINE VOICE on February 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The idea of an ex-Tibetan Buddhist monk as an LA detective seemed too cool to pass up, since I like mysteries and have had a longstanding personal and academic interest in Tibet. This book turned out to be quite different from what I expected. Our hero, Tenzing "Ten" Norbu is a 30 year old former monk, born to a Tibetan father and an American-turned-Parisian mother--at the beginning of the book he quits the LAPD to become a P.I., and becomes immediately embroiled the fast-paced and varied plot: murders, environmental crimes, a sinister religious cult and more. Ten is a sensitive, New Age kind of guy with intimacy issues, and has an up-and-down romance with an improbably beautiful and talented girl friend. While the authors get some basic concepts of Buddhism right, their take on Tibetan culture is rather shaky: for example, they think Tibetan tea contains milk and sugar (it is actually made with tea, butter, salt and baking soda), and talk of a monastery as having several abbots (there is only one). More seriously, they add some of the mumbo-jumbo that has too often been associated with Tibet, endowing Ten with psychic abilities, purportedly learned at his monastery; he also has telepathic conversations with his cat, and with his friends back in India (Skype would have been easier). This is all nonsense of course--hopefully, readers will recognize it for the fantasy that it is. I did find it a pleasant light read (skipping over some of the New Age therapeutic and romance parts). However, I still await the great Tibetan-American detective novel--hopefully written by a Tibetan-American or someone close to the culture and the community, who can present Tibetan characters of greater believability than the charming and likeable but mostly generically Californian Ten Norbu.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Having spent his childhood shuttling between Paris and Dharamshala (where he was raised in a monastery by his Tibetan father), Tenzing Norbu has never felt entirely settled. He feels even less settled after being nicked by a bouncing bullet. Ten decides that being an LAPD detective is no longer the path to a satisfying life, so he retires and begins a career as a private detective. It doesn't take long before he's in the morgue, identifying the body of a woman he'd met only briefly. Of course, Ten decides to investigate the death, leading him to a retired musician who is being threatened by "the mob" and to a mysterious cult (the Children of Paradise). He eventually uncovers an extraordinarily unlikely scheme involving "key man" insurance policies and over-the-hill entertainers.

Every modern private detective, it seems, needs a friend who is a gifted computer hacker. The rest of Ten's supporting cast includes his former LAPD partner, a hungry cat, and a new romantic interest. The relationship subplot is marred by an undue amount of psychobabble, mostly from Ten but occasionally from his new girlfriend. Maybe Buddhists living in California feel the need to analyze their intimacy issues on a second date, but I didn't think their tiresome discussions added anything to the story.

Other aspects of The First Rule of Ten are equally troubling, including the notion that a Buddhist who values serenity, who meditates and has a Zen garden, would join the LAPD and indulge a gun fetish. To their credit, the authors make an effort to deal with that incongruity; they just don't do it very convincingly. I was even less convinced of Ten's ability to induce a cat to drop a captured bird by transmitting mental images to the cat, or to surround a dying hospital patient with "a peaceful light.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By rgregg VINE VOICE on February 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Most of the reviews are glowing regarding this novel but I am going to have to differ slightly from the rest. Whenever a new detective/private investigator is introduced, there must be a distinguishing characteristic which intrigues the reader enough to hold their interest and look forward to the next book in the series.
Though Tenzing Norbu is interesting in that he is a former monk, police man and now investigator, he simply isn't that fascinating. Yeah, he practices Buddhist theories in his thinking process, his personal interactions and his deduction but neither the story nor he generates enough excitement for me.
I live in the area where the story takes place so when the two authors go through rather detailed and lengthy descriptions of the streets around Southern California, even someone who knows the locale gets tired of the blow by blow review of the road machinations taken by characters.
Tenzing has a cat who makes an occasional appearance to make the lead pet friendly for readers who feel it necessary to integrate a pet into the tale.
The story involves former music stars, cults, mysterious deaths, the mob and more but there is simply no tension or suspense. If there is, it simply didn't come through when I read the book. I'm not saying "The First Rule of Ten" is a bad book. It's just not a very good one. For readers who enjoy gentle mysteries with polite characters and little action, have at it!
I like my mysteries to be page turning and dramatic. This was a little too staid for me but I'm sure it will gather a lot of happy readers who fall into the Alexander McCall Smith genre of story telling.
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