Karen’s Killer Book Bench: The Zen Detective by Devorah Fox

 読書KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!




Shortlisted for The 50 Best Indie Books 2017: On the road to Zen enlightenment, homicide detective Will Mansion takes a seductive detour down the path to perdition. 

When a bust goes terribly wrong, Paradise City detective Will Mansion nearly dies while saving his partner. On leave, Will seeks relief from post-traumatic stress disorder through Zen meditation and abstinence. He responds to the plea of the cryptic Sister Clyde to find a man missing from her soup kitchen, a man who may provide a lead to the vicious drug dealer who nearly killed Will. The search seduces Will away from the healing he seeks and he finds himself on the smarmy Miracle Mile. Alcohol, sex, and the potent drug “Nearvana” numb Will’s pain better than his infant Zen practice. He slips further and further into an underworld of the lost and hopeless only to find himself facing death—again.




Lix’s sketchpad hides his face, but not the rancor in his voice. “Why should I tell you? You went and told everyone I gave her up.”

“No, I did not … Yes. Yes, I did.”

“See? Now everyone thinks, ‘Lix Gemini, you can’t trust him, he’s a snitch.’” He raises his eyes over the top of his pad and fixes me with an accusatory glare. “Now how am I supposed to go on living here?”

“I needed to find Hector—”

“Yeah, that’s it, isn’t it?  It’s about what you want. Always about what you want, screw anyone else.” Lix trades his red pencil for a yellow one and returns to his sketch. “Story of my life. No one ever does, I don’t know why.”

Yet he helped me last night in the alley. “I’m sorry. I’ll make it right.”

“Yeah? How?”

“Well, I don’t know, I—”

“Unzip your pants.”

A five-car pile-up of words forms against the brick wall in my throat. In the silence I can hear Lix’s pencil skritch on the rough sketch paper. He looks up over the top of the pad, his expression innocent and serious.

“Go on,” he says

I am frozen in place.

“You don’t have to take them off if you don’t want, just unzip and tuck in the flaps.” He slides down off the chair and mimes what he wants me to do. “I just need to get at your navel, actually the real estate below it.” He twirls his pencil.

“A ta … a tattoo?”

“Yeah, a tattoo, what did you think?” He blinks his dark, long-lashed eyes once. “Oh, that?” His lips look very moist. “Is that what you want?” he asks.

“Me?” My voice is a squeak. “I thought this was about what you want.”

“What I want …” His eyes get that wistful look again. He picks up his sketchpad and turns it around to show me his drawing. “It’s a lotus blossom.”

Maybe. But a fierce one. The petals are tongues of flame, their rose color hot with orange undertones. Its yellow heart is a glowing ember. “A lotus?”

“Uh huh. I know what you’re thinking: ‘a flower, that’s a hell of a tatt’ for a tough guy like me.’ But see, the lotus, it starts off in the muck at the bottom of the pond but then it grows up through the water and finally breaks the surface. A good symbol for you, Will, the way you can’t quit nosing around. And if I put it here, below the belt,” he pats his own belly, “no one will see it unless you show it to them. It’ll be your secret. Our secret.”

A tattoo. The man wants to tattoo a lotus on my belly. The lotus, symbol of the pure perfection of the awakened mind, blooming only after it has risen above the murk of ignorance and beguiling desire. Outrageous. But temptation tingles my spine and my skin is warm as if Lix’s campfire of a lotus already burns there.

Meet Author Devorah Fox…

“What if?” Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. Best-selling author of award-winning books including The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam literary historical fantasy series and several thrillers, she also penned Mystery Mini Short Reads and contributed short stories to popular fantasy anthologies. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats … and a dragon named Inky. Visit the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com.


Links to Devorah’s website, blog, books, etc.


Thanks, Devorah, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

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4 Responses to Karen’s Killer Book Bench: The Zen Detective by Devorah Fox

  1. Karen Docter says:

    Good morning, Devorah, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Enjoyed your excerpt. I have never been tempted to get a tat, but If I did it would be a dragon. IF being the operative word! LOL I’ve seen some wonderful tats though. Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

  2. Kathleen Bylsma says:

    Love the description”five car pileup against the brick wall of my throat”! Thanks Karen and nice to meet you, Deborah!

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