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The Zen Man (A Humorous Colorado Mystery Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Colleen Collins
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

It's just another ho-ho-hum defense lawyers' Christmas party...until one of them is murdered.

Semifinalist Best Indie Books of 2012, The Kindle Book Reviews
BookRooster Reviewers' Pick 2013

"Great humor. Great dialogue."
~New York Times best-selling author Dorien Kelly, co-author with Janet Evanovich "Love in a Nutshell" and "The Husband List"

"This book immediately drew me in. The wonderfully descriptive setting, the quick pace and story that promises to deliver a delicious thrill. Miss Collins has a way of weaving mystery, intrigue, romance and a touch of NOIR that is not often found much less executed this well."
~Michael Benning

******************Book Blurb******************

Just as washed-up criminal defense attorney, life-long Deadhead (nickname “The Zen Man”), and current PI Rick Levine decides to get relicensed as a lawyer, he’s charged with killing one and ends up in the slammer with a half-mil bail.

Released on bond, Rick and his girlfriend Laura have 30 days to find the real killer. In the course of their investigations, they dig for dirt among Denver’s shady legal backrooms to its tony corporate centers. Dodging bullets, a kidnapping, trumped-up charges and the FBI's unwanted intervention, Rick and Laura continue tracking key suspects who have motive...eventually learning that true redemption begins at home.

******************End of Book Blurb******************

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 442 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: WIN, Inc.; 2 edition (25 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006NPP9XY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #781,100 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining enough 21 Dec. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Book 2, in A Humorous Colorado Mystery series

This is a tightly written the run of the mill whodunit mystery told in the first person narrative of Rick Levine, the Zen Man, a disbarred Denver attorney turned Private Investigator. Charged with murder after hosting a party at his B&B ends up in the slammer with a half-mil bail bond and 30 days to clear his name.

This is a lighthearted approach into mystery/crime fiction supposedly written with a sarcastic and humorous side to it but I failed to see any sharp sense of wit here. The language is basic at its best. One plus, is a well-structured, somewhat believable plot with clues, twists and turns and enough chilling scenes doled out steadily to keep things interesting, but I had trouble staying with it, there was something not gelling in my mind. To the mystery buffs there are no surprises here, you will pin point the murderer from the get-go although some do find the journey to be still enjoyable. The characterization is interesting and entertaining but to a degree they are too much of a garden-variety type. I found that some of the scenes are overblown while others are simplistic making one hot and cold story to read. If it weren't for the spurts action to have kept me on track I would have ditched this one mid-way. Not to say it is a bad book, it simply dabbles too much for my taste.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 18 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great story that has been exceptionally well written. Once I started reading this novel I had difficulty putting it down. I will be looking out for more PI novels by Colleen Collins. This book deserves every star in my five-star rating.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A detective story that is a bit different 25 Mar. 2014
By Fren
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I guesses who did it early on, but I still enjoyed the twists and turns and fabulous quotes from Jerry Garcia
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4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant mystery novel, I couldn't put it down. 12 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
*** Spoiler Alert ***

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a real page turner.

Rick Levine is a Private Investigator who used to be an Attorney.

Throw in a menacing ex-wife, a murder, an old addiction problem, a few old flames, a Santa Hitman and some very sly Lawyers.

This book is a traditional "whodunit" with some very funny comedy moments and a lovely romance story too.

It had a mixture of light hearted humour and also some grim scenes, especially the dart throwing part.

I was really rooting for Rick once he had been arrested for the murder of his ex-wife Deborah (or Wicked as he likes to call her), I could not read the book fast enough to see if he found the culprit and who the culprit was. I felt I had to read it faster before Rick's 30 days ran out.

Rick and Laura are a truly loveable partnership, they are gutsy and very much in love.

I also adore Mavis the not so useful guard dog.

The appearances of the Santa hitman were very entertaining.

My favourite comedy characters is the book were Garrett and Ziggy.

There were also some parts in the book where I was nervous reading them, the parts where they are snooping around Deborah's house, I was hoping they would not get caught.

I really liked the ending to the book, a great twist and I love an old fashioned love story and I thought the ending was very heart warming.

I was so relieved that Rick or Laura were not killed off, I hope this means there will be a series, if so I will be following the series.

I will be definitely be reading more of Colleen Collins books in the future.

I eagerly await the return of the Zen Man.

A great read.

Becky Sherriff (The Kindle Book Review)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  227 reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Zen Man 18 Jun. 2012
By Jersey Girl Book Reviews / Jersey Girl Sizzling Book Reviews - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Former criminal defense attorney turned PI Rick Levine, aka "The Zen Man," has been clean and sober for five years. After losing his attorney's license six years ago for his substance abuse, he's now on the right path to rebuilding his life and getting relicensed so he can practice law again. Rick and girlfriend Laura purchased a Bed & Breakfast lodge in Denver, and was hosting an annual retreat for Colorado's Criminal Defense Association. In attendance for the criminal defense attorney conference were 55 attorneys including Rick's ex-wife Deborah, aka "Wicked as in Wicked Wench of the West," and former law partner, Sam Wexler, aka "Roof Top." During a party on the first night of the retreat, Deborah was drunk and started a fight with Rick, causing a scene in front of everyone. A few hours later, Laura finds Deborah's nude body lying dead in the pool outside the lodge, she had been fatally stabbed in the heart. Rick is taken into custody as the prime suspect and charged with the first degree murder of his ex-wife. With Sam as his attorney, Laura posts bail and Rick has thirty days to investigate his case and find the real killer. Is this a crime of passion case? Has Rick been framed on trumped up charges? Will Rick and Laura solve the case, or will he become a prisoner in Colorado's criminal justice system?

The Zen Man is a classic whodunit story with a sarcastic and humorous edgy side mixed with some light romance that will keep the reader guessing as they turn the pages. Set in Denver, Colorado, the story is told in the first person narrative by our protagonist, Rick, whose comedic personality shines through as he tells his story and keeps the reader in stitches. Jam packed with enough intrigue, suspense, twist and turns, and sprinkling of clues, this entertaining mystery engages the reader to come along with Rick and Laura on their investigation to solve the murder case.

The author creates a cast of characters in the story that are realistic, complex and have a variety of personalities that make the story that much more entertaining and compelling. Who wouldn't pull for Rick and Laura? They are a down-to-earth, engaging and lovable couple willing to go the distance to prove Rick's innocence. With supporting characters such as: criminal defense attorney Sam Wexler; Mavis the chair loving Rottweiler; stoned handymen Garrett and Ziggy; a Santa Hitman; some unscrupulous attorneys; mafioso and FBI investigators, the reader better strap themselves in for one heck of a fast paced mystery thrill ride.

As a fan of murder mystery suspense thrillers, The Zen Man was an entertaining whodunit that kept me entertained. From Rick's comedic personality, to the zen quotes and Deadhead references, to the intriguing clues and twists and turns, to the lighthearted romance, this story was simply a fun read!

The Zen Man is a fun, fast paced murder mystery novel that has all the ingredients to satisfy true murder mystery suspense fans. With an intriguing ending, the reader is left wondering if this is the first in a series that we will see Rick and Laura involved in new investigative adventures.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review, and for hosting a virtual book event on my book review blog site.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay for a free book 8 May 2013
By Bev - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As several of the other reviews have noted, it was fairly obvious from the start who the perpetrator was. In addition, the drinking by all of the characters didn't seem to fit the environment that a recovering alcoholic would find comfortable. In fact, not knowing much about alcoholism, it sounded to me as if several of the characters probably fell into the same category, except that they weren't "recovering".
As an incidental comment, the author needs to review the rules for compound personal pronouns. I have already deleted the book from my Kindle, so I can't give specific examples, but the use of something like "he and I" was misused. ("He and I went to the fair" is okay, but "The award went to he and I" is totally incorrect.) There were several occurrences of that kind of error which caused me to stumble as I read.
I did stay with the book to the end, which is the reason I am giving it two stars. I think the author has some potential, but didn't find this book to be of special interest.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the spirit of Marlowe and Sam Spade, Great Fun! 27 Aug. 2012
By Orlando Sanchez - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
If you want to sit down and enjoy a good detective story with twists, turns and a sharp sense of and wit, Zen man is your book. In it Collins weaves a story of intrigue and murder sprinkled liberally with humor and passion.
Make sure you have a few hours because the story will grab you and force you to keep reading(like any good story) until you are done. An excellent whodunit.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 9 Jan. 2012
By deefossen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a delightful book! Now, clean and sober, former lawyer Rick Levine thinks he's on the right path to getting back his law license, but then he's arrested for murder. The journey to clear his name is not only fast paced and a thrilling ride, it's fun! Colleen Collins makes all the right moves in this who-dun-it, and I loved the characters, especially Rick and Laura. You won't be disappointed with this one.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mystery with Humor! 6 Oct. 2013
By L. Coker - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This one is truly a gem! I was hooked from the first page on. It is surprisingly funny at times and I literally found myself laughing out loud. I found that so surprising and refreshing! The Zen Man is a murder mystery involving a Private Investigator, Rick, who, well lets be honest, doesn't have the cleanest past. This book kept me guessing, every time I thought I had it figured out, the author changed it up on me! It turns out the author is also a Private Investigator, which I believe added realism to the investigations conducted by Rick. The book has the murder mystery, intertwined with romance, intertwined with exes, intertwined with....a big surprise!! You'll never guess who actually killed Wicked. I know I didn't!

This is a must read, 5 star, two thumbs up book. I enjoyed every minute of it!
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