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One Hand Killing (An Alex Sullivan Zen Mystery Book 1) by [O'Hara, Nancy]
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One Hand Killing (An Alex Sullivan Zen Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Length: 359 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nancy O'Hara is a meditation coach in real life who kills people in her fiction. She is the author of six books on the subject of mindfulness and meditation, including the bestselling Find a Quiet Corner. Along with her writing, Nancy shares her experience through her Mindful Life Coaching practice, meditation classes, workshops, and retreats. This is her first work of fiction in the Alex Sullivan Zen Mystery series. She lives in New York City with her perfectly imperfect husband, trees outside her windows and noisy upstairs neighbors. Visit Nancy: On her website: nancyohara.com/ On FaceBook: facebook.com/NancyOHaraAuthor And on Twitter: twitter.com/ZenMysteries

Product Details

  • File Size: 1557 KB
  • Print Length: 359 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: NOH Books; 2 edition (January 7, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 7, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006LAA9WW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,248,023 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Nancy O'Hara has created a wonderful female detective in ONE HAND KILLING. I love mysteries and was intrigued with the setting of this novel. Alex leaves NYC for a retreat at a Buddhist monastery and instead of a quiet, relaxing, contemplative week, she is plunged into a bizarre situation that includes murder and a man hunt. In addition, Alex is forced to tread a thin line between maintaining the Buddhist precepts and balancing her role as a detective attempting to solve a horrible crime. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves mysteries, especially a mystery with a strong female lead, who must solve a crime and, at the same time, wrestle with the conflicts within her own heart and soul. Definitely two thumbs up! I look forward to the next Alex Sullivan mystery. You go girl.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"One Hand Killing" by Nancy O'Hara, is the first novel in what is promised to be the Alex Sullivan Zen mystery series. The title is of course a playful variation of the famous Zen riddle, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" And one reads the book with an additional mega-level of suspense: Will the author be able to merge the traditions of Zen with the traditions of the whodunit?

As I understand it, a goal of practicing Zen is to find inner peace and a sense of connectedness. In other words, it's quite a cultural distance from the traditional hard-boiled, hard-cussing, obsessive world of the murder mystery.

Protagonist Alex Sullivan is not unaware of these disparate claims of reality. She is a student of Zen but also a proud member of the NYPD. When murder comes to what should be a peaceful retreat at a Zen monastery, Alex trips, stumbles, and falls as she tries not only to solve a case that the cops are not succeeding with, but also to maintain her Zen composure. She must hear the sound of one hand killing, so to speak, and her spiritual training proves handy in ways she wouldn't have predicted.

Readers familiar with Zen or other Eastern religious traditions--or the general conglomeration of spiritual practices often called New Age--should enjoy this book. Also, if you've ever wanted a crash course in Zen, you will get it. Mystery readers who simply want to know who did it--or for whatever reason are turned off to Eastern religions--may or may not empathize with Alex as she tends to her spiritual goals with as much vigor as solving the case.

But all in all, the author deserves credit for this unusual approach to the murder mystery genre, and I look forward to seeing where Alex takes us in future books.

Jon P. Bloch
(The Kindle Book Review)
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was an excellent read !! I love mysteries and, having spent a few weekends at a Zen Monastery, found the collision of the peaceful world of Zen and cold blooded murder irresistible. I loved the female detective -- a woman traveling life's erratic path, struggling with her next "incarnation" and along the way finding renewed purpose in her work, in herself -- and many new koans to consider. This is two hands clapping for ONE HAND KILLING.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alert the media: a new voice has entered the precincts of crime fiction! One Hand Killing is an impressive debut novel featuring an attractively off-piste type of detective--and with any luck it is just one of more to come.

One of the great pleasures for readers of crime fiction is the opportunity to enter cultures, businesses, families, or neighborhoods whose gates are usually shut firmly against outsiders. The act of murder tends to blow such sanctuaries wide open, changing the daily life of the inhabitants, as a pile of police, reporters, and rubberneckers beat a path into these havens, revealing a society whose strange traditions are heightened by homicide.

Welcome to the mysterious and weird world of Zen Buddhism, 21st century American-style.

One Hand Killing is a classically face-paced yet thoughtful whodunit that knocks the shoji screens off a Zen Monastery in the Catskills, run by a Japanese Roshi who may be the ultimate target of a murderer stalking the once peaceful sanctuary. Detective Alex Sullivan is a veteran of the NYPD Homicide unit, a typically tough cookie whose edges are softened by her search for some form of inner balance to offset the horrors of her job. She found Zen Buddhism, and has practiced its rigorous sitting meditation in the serenity of a mountain monastery for some years, finding in it a practical counterpoint to the craziness of the city and the demands of her job. But when she hits the hills to attend the monastery's celebration of the Buddha's birthday, the two carefully separated contructs of her life collapse into one another when the body of a monk is found within the sacred halls of the zendo.

Alex is torn between her training in distrust as a cop, and her zen training as unquestioning student of the Roshi.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm interested in Buddhism and I really wanted to like this book. But even ignoring some grammatical errors and the numerous punctuation errors, I found the writing to be stilted and I didn't care about any of the characters. Too many characters with multiple names? Very confusing.
And if this book is a true rendition of a Buddhist monastery, then the Buddhist monastery is depicted as still just another cult...the head honcho that everyone reveres and obeys. Or unless one is on a killing spree.

Gee, I had the mistaken opinion that monks in a monastery lived a peaceful life free of conflict with each other. Instead, among the residents of the monastery (in this book) there was the jealousy, greed, envy, hate, and resentment between the members/monks just like in any other area of life.

I slogged through 88% of the book until I gave up. I read for enjoyment and knowledge and entertainment. With this book. at less than 50% I was tempted to delete the book. Unfortunately I kept slogging through it until I said "enough" at 88%. By that time I didn't care "who dunnit" or what happened to any of the other characters in the book.
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