Saturday, October 30, 2021

TV Series: The Indian Detective

The Indian Detective is a comedy-drama caper about Doug D’Mello (comedian Russell Peters) who goes to visit his father Stanley (Anupam Kher) in Mumbai for a month, after being suspended for incompetence in a Toronto drug bust gone wrong. Once there he becomes embroiled in a web of international crime, drugs trafficking, corruption in the construction industry, and various other nefarious activities. Although not exactly a detective in Toronto (just a police officer), by the time Doug arrives in Mumbai he finds his reputation has been significantly embellished by his doting father in the way of all doting parents. This has elevated him to the status of detective. Almost by accident he gets involved in sorting out various crimes, at first resisted and then assisted by a stern-faced inspector (Meren Reddy) and the ravishingly beautiful lawyer Priya (Mishqah Parthiephal). Hi-jinks and action ensue as Doug tries to conceal his feelings for Priya while getting to the bottom of several murders and various crimes committed by well-connected and funded criminals.

Don’t expect a big budget affair with plenty of special effects and sweeping vistas, a polished script, and consummate directing. In fact, you won’t get any of that. The plot has so many holes it is like Swiss cheese, the directing is downright sloppy, and often one gets the feeling the capable actors are doing it themselves. However, there are plenty of pluses to make this an enjoyable romp providing you don’t think too hard about it. Set in India, Toronto, and South Africa, the director/DOP decided in their lack of wisdom to give flashes of scenery in a very jarring effect, so the audience won’t realise it is not all India. Please… give me a break. As a South African, I spotted every flash of a Cape Town scene and picked up every South African Indian accent. Not that these details matter once you get involved in Doug’s odyssey of bringing justice to the victims.

In every movie or series there is always one or a couple of characters who steal every scene they are in. Meet Stanley the Manly, Doug’s dad, who is concealing a heart condition from his son. He used to be a glamorous high-flying airline pilot, but these days he takes flight only in his memories. In an effort to relive his salad days, he wears a truly awful wig. I have seen awful wigs in movies where you know the budget could have shelled out for a decent one, but here the very horribleness of the wig is part of Stanley’s ‘manly’ charm. His banter with his manservant/old friend/butler, Dattu, ably performed by Fahruq Valley Omar, is hilarious. These two bicker like an old married couple and have you in stitches with the best lines. Other familiar faces include UK actress Christina Cole who looked a bit out of her depth and veteran actor William Shatner who proves that age is just a number!

But don’t try to find the flaws, just enjoy the story. Doug D’Mello is an appealing character, and it looks as if we’ll be seeing more of The Indian Detective. 4/5


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Book Feature: The Butcher's Prayer


The most anticipated NOIR novel of the year...

By Anthony Neil Smith

THE BUTCHER'S PRAYER, Crime Fiction/Noir, Fahrenheit 13, 275 pp.

Rodney Goodfellow watches his friend kill a man, and then volunteers the unthinkable – to carve up the body with his butcher’s knives in order to get rid of the evidence. But the victim’s girlfriend escapes halfway through the butchering, sending Rodney and the triggerman, Charles, on the run.

Charles is unhinged, flying high on meth. When it’s clear that escape isn’t a realistic possibility, he chooses chaos. He goes back looking for a little revenge, with Rodney and the girlfriend first on his list.

Hosea Elgin is a fallen preacher turned police detective…and Rodney’s brother-in-law. When he realizes Rodney is involved, he’s sickened, but he’s got to keep searching for his fugitives. He weighs loyalty to his job against loyalty to his family.

Rachel Goodfellow is Rodney’s wife and Hosea’s younger sister. She worries that Rodney might come looking for her in his time of need. He’s the father of her two children. Could they ever be a family again? Will her love for him overcome her revulsion, or will she be the one to turn him in?

And what about Hosea’s father, a Pentecostal pastor, and older brother, the pastor’s right hand man? Would they choose family over justice and give Rodney refuge in spite of Hosea?

Hosea and his partner are on the prowl, trying to find Rodney and Charles before they can kill again, but he never expects his own family to stand in his way. Ties are strained, faith is tested, and there has to be a breaking point.


“The Butcher’s Prayer is wine-dark noir, with a hammering and bloody heart. This is Smith at his bleak and soulful best.” — Laura Benedict, Edgar-nominated author of The Stranger Inside

“Anthony Neil Smith is a massive talent. One of the very best crime writers I’ve ever read.” — Allan Guthrie, author of Kiss Her Goodbye and Hard Man.

“Visceral, propulsive writing that cuts like a razor. Think Elmore Leonard with an injection of Southern Gothic. Heady stuff.” — Dan Fesperman, author of Safe Houses.

“Crime-fiction veteran Anthony Neil Smith wields a smooth yet serrated style that’s carved him two decades worth of fierce material, now being re-discovered by a younger upstart audience of modern noir enthusiasts. He possesses such an acute, vivid feel of time and place in his subjects, his stories immediately burrow into my memory and remain long, withstanding the static storms of our contemporary attention-deficits. It’s challenging stuff, yet wholly accessible; with spiking dark humor that confirms sure you still have a pulse.” — Gabriel Hart, author of Fallout From Our Asphalt Hell


June 8th, 1996

Forgiveness was out of the question. Not after what he’d done.

No matter he’d been filled with the Holy Ghost, spoken in tongues, washed in the sweet blood of the Lamb.

Rodney Goodfellow was fucked.

Four in the morning. He fled the scene in his pickup soon as they saw the girl had escaped. He left Charles behind, let him find his own way out.

Blood on Rodney’s clothes. His butchering tools abandoned in Charles’ garage on a vinyl boat cover, the work they’d done once the meeting went bad.

Rodney’s truck was steamy, no A/C. His glasses fogged up. He rolled down the window. The June air on the Mississippi coast rushing by at seventy miles per hour was as cool as it was going to get all day. Most of his sweat was from fear, though.

They were coming for him. Bet the call had already gone out: Rodney’s name, description, make and model of the truck. Armed and dangerous? He was neither, but that’s what they’d tell all those cops out there, itchy with adrenaline.

Supposed to go different. Supposed to be a simple negotiation.

Charles’ fault. Charles had pulled the trigger. Charles had ended the man’s life. All Rodney did was…

So, yeah, no forgiveness. God himself was like, “Dude, sick.”

Anthony Neil Smith is an English professor and crime novelist, born and raised in Mississippi, now teaching at  Southwest Minnesota State University. The Butcher’s Prayer is his fifteenth novel. He loves cheap red wine and Mexican food.

You can visit his website at or connect with him on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Sponsored By:

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Book Feature: The Inspiration Behind Spirituality for Badasses


J. Stewart Dixon, award-winning, best-selling humor and self-help author of Spirituality for Badasses has a bone to pick with conventional therapy and pharmaceutical companies concerning our collective bounce back and healing from the stress, anxiety and depression of Covid-19. Asserts Mr. Dixon in the introduction to his book: “So you see…I really do get it. I used to be depressed, anxious, too smart for my own good, opinionated and unhappy…a real loveless, badass-hole. But now I’m just a spiritual badass.   Spirituality removed the hole. I transformed. I changed. I grew up. I learned some hard lessons. And I did all this without ever losing my cool, integrity, smarts, libido, sense of humor or soul. And that’s just what this book is going to help you do."

I’m self-published and 100% happy to be self-published. I wouldn’t touch a book publisher (small or large) with a 39-and-a-half foot pole (shout out to Dr. Seuss) these days. How did I get the inspiration to for my book? Well, I’ll let the introduction to the book answer that:

“I get it. I really do. 

You’re a badass.

Cool, hip, down-to-earth, together, sane, practical, tough, smart, confident, fringe, alternative, creative, funny, athletic. However, you want to quantify your badass-ness.

You’ve been this way your whole life, or maybe it took a couple of decades for you to cultivate it, or maybe it just kicked in yesterday at 3:09 pm. Who knows…and who cares, right? 

Because something is missing.  

It seems that being a badass just isn’t—enough.

Is it? 

Let me make this easy for you. I’m also a badass…

…except that for most of my adult life I’ve been involved with spirituality. And maybe you can relate here—this badass has always had…um, a slight issue: He doesn’t really love spirituality, being spiritual or hanging out in spiritual circles.

 No thank you.

This badass…well, eh... he loves beer.

There—I said it! I love beer. Dark beer. Craft beer. Locally brewed beer. I also love fly fishing and kayaking and hiking in the mountains. I love making fart jokes with my twelve-year-old son. I love smoking the occasional cigar (or other things) in my hot tub. I love great sex. I love head massages. I love making lots of money. I love cool cars. I love taking vacations in tropical places. I love hanging out with friends and being potty mouthed. I love watching Netflix. I love sitting around on the weekends and doing absolutely nothing. There are a lot of things this badass loves.

But spirituality? No, I don’t love spirituality.

But...I do like it. I really like spirituality—a lot. 

Spirituality has served this badass well. Here are a few of the benefits I gained from my years involved with spirituality:

·     I used to be depressed. I am now depression free— because of spirituality.

·     I used to be deeply unhappy most of the time. I am now happy most of the time—because of spirituality.

·     I used to be unaware and off balance about lots of things. I am now very aware and mostly balanced about lots of things—because of spirituality.

·     I used to be a mindless idiot caught, obsessed and jerked around by the thoughts in my head. I am now a mindfulness master who realizes that the thoughts in my head are mostly irrelevant, neurotic and frivolous—because of spirituality.

·     I used to be timid. I used to avoid conflict. I used to deny certain emotions. I am now outspoken, unafraid of conflict, and I fully embrace all emotions whether they feel good or bad—because of spirituality.

·     I used to believe that all existence was a flat, one dimensional, dead end. I now know from repeated experience that life—existence—is a multi-layered, vibrant, and mysterious realm—because of spirituality.

·     I used to believe that death meant the end. I now know, also from repeated experience, that death is not the end and some part of us continues—because of spirituality.

·     I used to believe that who I was, was this separate individual named J. Stewart. I now know that the real me springs from this same timeless, limitless ONE that we all are—because of spirituality.

So you see…I really do get it. I used to be depressed, anxious, too smart for my own good, opinionated and unhappy…a real loveless badass-hole. But now I’m just a spiritual badass.

Spirituality removed the hole. I transformed. I changed. I grew up. I learned some hard lessons. And I did all this without ever losing my cool, integrity, smarts, libido, sense of humor or soul. And that’s just what this book is going to help you do.

You and I are going on a road trip, starting in my hometown and then traveling across the United States. Along the way, we’ll visit some amazing places, take a few high-risk adventures and experience some strange shit. But what we’re really doing is exploring and where we’re really going is into the vast uncharted territories of your deepest soul.

Will it be easy? Nope. Will it be uncomfortable? Yep. Will it shake your world up like a three-hundred-foot drop on a Six Flags roller coaster? I hope so.

But you’re a badass and can handle this shit, right? Hell, yeah.

“Come to the edge," he said.

"We can't, we're afraid!" they responded.

"Come to the edge," he said.

"We can't, We will fall!" they responded.

"Come to the edge," he said.

And so they came.

And he pushed them.

And they flew.”

― Guillaume Apollinaire

Okay. You’ve now read the introduction. Buy the book and let’s get started.

About the Author; J. Stewart’s new book, Spirituality for Badasses, blossomed out of J. Stewart’s life as a spiritual seeker, finder and coach/teacher. He teaches based on his direct experience, twenty-nine years of interaction with numerous nonduality-advaita-zen-unorthodox teachers, his ongoing education / certification in modern mindfulness and a degree in communications / engineering from Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. He makes his home in Virginia.

Visit his website at or connect with him on Facebook.