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Publisher's Summary

At first glance, the death of media mogul “Big Bill” Argosy appears to be suicide. But his widow, Laila, thinks otherwise. Because Big Bill made enemies - lots of them. And he’d rather fight to the death than take his own life. 

When the authorities refuse to investigate, Laila turns to the one person who can see connections in the universe where others can’t: Zip Ono, a young private investigator - and practicing Buddhist. 

Zip quickly learns that there’s no shortage of suspects who might very well want Argosy dead. A foul-mouthed hedge fund operator. A pistol-packing TV anchor. Even the Criminal Investigator for the County Sheriff - who happens to be the only man Zip has ever loved. 

Following a complex trail of clues, Zip draws on her faith and “the eye of the Buddha” to lead her to the truth. The truth of what happened to Big Bill Argosy. And the truth of her own heart.

©2020 John Christian Plummer (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Performer

Allison Hiroto is an actor, musician, and voice-over artist. Her voice-over work ranges from commercials to audiobooks, and she is an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and Audie nominee. As an actor, Allison is a member of La MaMa’s Great Jones Repertory Company, Loco 7 Dance Puppet Theatre, Yara Arts Group, and NYU's First Look Theatre Company. She has performed all over the world, including London, Taipei, Toronto, Bogota, Zagreb, and the Venice Biennale. Allison is also a grant recipient of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Creative Engagement Award.

What listeners say about Zip Ono, Buddhist Detective

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Why I loved listening to this book

First, the characters are authentic. I liked many of them and found even those I disliked very interesting. I was eager to know more about both the characters and the details of how and what had happened from the beginning. It is impressive how the reader skillfully portrays each character with her voice. I grew to be an admirer of Zip Ono and cared about her personal challenges and I hope to get more Zip cases in the future. I was intrigued to learn about Buddhism and to hear about small town details in the Hudson valley.

5 people found this helpful

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Detective of the Heart

Why do you do what you do? Or, don’t do what you know you should? Or, most puzzlingly, do what you know perfectly well you shouldn’t? It would be enough if a well-crafted detective novel reimagined the 2017 sex abuse scandal and heart attack death of Roger Ailes (Fox News Founder) as a suicide/murder mystery, examining the wrenching collateral damage of sexual exploitation, particularly on the young and most vulnerable. But John Christian Plummer’s eponymous character in his new novel wants to know both, accompanying us through the sordid details of the latter through an examination into the former derived partly from her Buddhist chanting practice. Among the novel’s many pleasures is Plummer’s gift for creating interesting 3-dimensional characters ripe for growth just before he kills them. And the fueling of a page-turning hard-edged crime detective yarn with a brilliant, self-effacing and ambitious Buddhist is perhaps most interesting in that her principle attribute is one unusual for the genre: compassion. Zip Ono- truth seeking, insecure, lovelorn, human, demonstrates that open-eyed courage in pursuit of justice is a good way of being in the world.

5 people found this helpful

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A Relatable Whodunnit

I honestly couldn't put this book down. Not only is this a complicated and air-tight mystery, the characters as well-developed and relatable. I usually don't love stories with many characters to meet and understand but Zip Ono, Buddhist Detective makes you want to know each character. I'm usually quick to figure out "whodunnit" before it becomes clear in the story but I was so wrong and deeply surprised/shocked by the turn of events. I also learned A LOT about how practical and helpful a Nichiren Buddhist practice is for daily life. Five stars all around. Round of applause to the author and I really hope we see Zip in future volumes.

4 people found this helpful

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LOVED IT!!!!

John Christian Plummer proves himself this time (I'm familiar with his TV writing) to be a terrific novelist!! I went in to this book not quite knowing what to expect and came out the other side thoroughly entertained! Zip is a wonderfully well-rounded character. As are all the characters! It's a great murder mystery, that's not to heavy (can't do it during covid-19), has great twists and turns and is absolutely plausible! And you get the added bonus of gaining some wonderful insights into SGI Buddhism and how Zip Ono applies her Buddhist lessons to her work as a top-notch Sleuth! My favorite line is when Zip observes, "Destiny is my Watson." Give it a listen, you'll see why. I promise you'll be so glad you did! I've already been recommending this book to ALL my friends and family!! Enjoy!

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Pretty darn good!

I really enjoyed the story. The mystery was well constructed, the characters were complex, and the reader was great! My only issue was that the author was a little heavy-handed on f-bombs and Buddhism, but only a little heavy. On the whole,a great book! I hope to see more of these characters in the future!!!!

4 people found this helpful

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Definitely worth a listen!

Great book and also thought the narrator was a perfect fit for the character. I'm looking forward to many more great reads by this author as well as listening to this narrator!!

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An inspiring and intuitive read

This novel is both mysterious and humanistic. The performance is visual and descriptive. Definitely a book to have in your Audible library

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Peacefully exquisite and uplifting ...

As for the detective part, this is a first class mystery, with a realistic, satisfying ending. As for the detective herself, she's the real thing, a very capable, very human, very clever, compassionate, and yet fiercely competent sleuth. And as for the Buddhist part, I've learned a thing or two from this book that I will incorporate in my own concept of how to live a kind and meaningful life. Here's a wish that this becomes a series!

3 people found this helpful

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Fun story with Great Characters

This was a great book to listen to. The story is interesting and comes to life as you listen to Allison’s great performing. The plot keeps you wanting to hear more and Zip is sassy and smart! Highly recommend!!

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Great Story! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The narrator was an excellent choice for Zip Ono as she brought the characters to life. I was on edge trying to figure out who the killer was as the storyline was read like a good mystery movie. I was able to finish the book quickly as I was fully engaged with the plot and couldn’t stop listening. Love the way the author incorporates Nichiren Buddhism into Zip’s thoughts and actions and how she lives her life. It was a great introduction to Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and a great learning experience as well. I will definitely be listening to it again and HIGHLY RECOMMEND this audio book.

2 people found this helpful