Literature: The Rowan Gant Investigations
From M.R. Sellars's website:
"The best-selling Rowan Gant Investigations
are a series of suspense-thrillers which blend entertainment and education into a single hand-held package. What makes these novels unique amid the wide-ranging genre of mystery-suspense books is that the protagonist, Rowan Gant, is a practicing Witch. Yes, protagonist, not antagonist. That means the Witch gets to be the good guy for a change. The series follows the life of Rowan Gant, practicing Witch and self-employed computer consultant; his freelance photographer wife Felicity O'Brien; his best friend Ben Storm (a homicide detective for the city of St. Louis); and a host of other colorful—and true to life—characters. The unfortunate thing for Rowan is that when the dead choose to speak, he hears their whispers. Compelled to listen, he is left with no choice but to help, and that is when things start to happen. Character driven and filled with action, these novels are an entertaining blend of dark, police procedural thrillers with actual Pagan dynamics and concepts—and, of course, a healthy dash of Magick."
Currently, there are eight books in the series:
- Harm None
- Never Burn a Witch
- Perfect Trust
- The Law of Three
- Crone's Moon
- Love Is the Bond
- All Acts of Pleasure
- The End of Desire
This series contains examples of:
- Beware the Nice Ones: While Felicity has the fiery Irish temper, Rowan has come close to breaking the Wiccan Rede ("Harm None") when confronting particularly heinous antagonists.
- Burn the Witch!: One of the victims in Never Burn A Witch was burned at the stake. The perpetrator was trying to bring back the Burning Times, interrogating, torturing, and executing Witches according to the Malleus Maleficarum.
- Car Fu: In Perfect Trust, Rowan drives Ben's van through a plate glass window in order to rescue Felicity from the bad guy. In the last chapter, Ben informs Rowan that he now owes for repairs to said van.
- I Hear Dead People: Rowan Gant.
- Neo-Paganism: Rowan has a hard time dispelling people's misconceptions about Wicca and the related symbolism. This is even tougher in Harm None when some twit is using Wiccan symbology in a ritual involving skinning someone alive.
- No One Could Survive That: The villain of Never Burn A Witch is shot by Gant and falls off the Chain of Rocks Bridge into the freezing Mississippi River. All the cops on the scene are certain that he couldn't have survived. He's back in the next book, though he's not the "A" plot.
- Occult Detective: Rowan Gant, who practices Wicca and can hear the restless dead.
- Psychopathic Manchild: One of the torturers in Crone's Moon is mentally retarded, only wanting to have fun like his little sister does. After the climax, he is shown hugging and stroking one of the severed heads he keeps because he thinks they're pretty.
- Religion Is Magic: Semi-averted: Rowan states that most Wicca "spells" are more like prayers, but Rowan himself seems to have some pretty spiffy abilities.
- Stalker with a Crush: The villain of Perfect Trust has been kidnapping women and dressing them up as Gant's wife Felicity. In the climax he kidnaps Felicity herself.
- Torture Cellar: The antagonists in Crone's Moon keep one of these.
- You Fail Religious Studies Forever: In-universe example: In Harm None a symbology "expert" claims that the pointy-side-down pentagram found at a crime scene was a Satanic symbol from Santeria. Rowan is happy to set his detective friend straight on the matter (just a pentagram turned pointy side down).
- Your Mind Makes It Real: In Crone's Moon, Felicity forms an ethereal bond with a woman who is being tortured, and is in danger of dying from the shared trauma.