Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Harm None (A Rowan Gant Investigation #1)” as Want to Read:
Harm None (A Rowan Gant Investigation #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Harm None (A Rowan Gant Investigation #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  605 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews

When a young woman is ritualistically murdered in her Saint Louis apartment with the primary clue being a pentacle scrawled in her own blood, police are quick to dismiss it as a cult killing. Not one for taking things at face value, city homicide detective Ben Storm calls on his long time friend, Rowan Gant-- a modern day practicing Witc
Paperback, 380 pages
Published January 29th 2008 by Willowtree Press (first published May 31st 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Harm None, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Harm None

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
May 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
There were some interesting ideas and the actual story was decent, but it ultimately failed because the writing was atrocious.

So, the good...

I enjoyed reading an urban fantasy book that didn't dwell on the monsters (supernatural monsters that is) and the fact that it isn't clear as to whether those monsters even exist in this world. The main baddy was trying to summon something with his final killing, but it was never stated if it was possible to do so. There's definitely supernatural/magical st
Sep 22, 2010 rated it it was ok

Ugh ... talk about purple prose... not as many romance readers use to describe
silly descriptions of sex, but purple as in "overly descriptive". It reminds me of a MASH episode where Radar is taking a writing class through the mail and tries to practice in his daily reports, throwing in adjectives heavily and indiscriminately (anyone remember that one?).

Some examples:

"Blue-white wisps curled upward from the lit end of tight roll of
tobacco that was hooked under my index finger. I took a lazy puff
Sarah Goodwin
Jul 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish this due to the poor writing. Also the quite racist way the main character talks to his Native American friend (greeting him as Tonto and saying 'How' for example - even if they are friends in the book, that's no way for the author to portray white/Native American relationships when I'm assuming he himself is NOT Native American and therefore cannot redefine those references as non-racist).

Also the main character refers to the Summer Solstice as a lesser sabbat - there ARE no les
Aug 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I had to create a genre name for this book to adequately define the experience of reading it, as this book is the first of its kind that I've come across. Harm None perfectly marries the paranormal (in the sense that the bad guy in this case believes himself to have powers and abilities that surpass that which we can observe with our senses) and police procedural novels, yielding a story that was intriguing, exciting and educational all at the same time. It's urban fantasy but more grounded, sti ...more
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it

M.R. Sellars
Harm None
Rowan Gant Mysteries, Book #1

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

This is the first book in the Rowan Gant Mysteries series that introduces us to, not surprisingly, Rowan Gant. Rowan is a witch, not a hocus pocus turning you into a frog kind of witch but a practicing Wiccan.

The story starts out when Rowan’s best friend, Ben, who’s a homicide detective, asks him to help decipher some Pagan symbols
Keith Chawgo
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A True Master at Work

M R Sellars is one of the gifted writers of paranormal psychological thrillers that encompasses a truth and strength that is seldom found in this genre.

Writing strong 3 D characters against a kaleidoscope of depth, emotions and true artistry has created a highly in depth palette to a world that is normal but yet new. His crafty narrative urges the reader forward into the unknown and providing details in covenant and rituals without talking down to his audience.

I am not a fan
graveyardgremlin (formerly faeriemyst)
Since I don't feel like writing a review, I'll just detail what I liked and disliked about the book.

The subject matter - From what I know, I think the author handled Wicca/Witchcraft very well.
How it was written - I'm not the grammar police and don't know everything about it, so it was fine with me. Sometimes I think that the books that have the best grammar are the most unrealistic and holds the reader away from the book and story because of this. I mean Mr. Sellars has a point, how many
Lise Quinn
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a great book and the first of a really good series. I have read through all of them and I want more!
Rowan Gant is the main character, a computer database consultant and a practicing witch. When a crazy preacher starts killing witches, Rowan's friend down at the police department asks him to consult on the case. This is the end of life as Rowan and his wife, Felicity know it and the beginning of a whirlwind of murder, graphic torture, and a pagan point of view.
(I myself have been involve
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
As I read more and more mystery series, or rather, started many mystery series, the more I get addicted to them. there are series I want to gobble in one bite, however, and this one is one of those series. Rowan Gant and his wife Felicity are practicing Wiccans, and when a young woman whom Rowan taught is found murdered with a Pentacle in blood on the wall, Rowan's friend Ben Storm who is a detective asks him to investigate and help interpret the many Wiccan symbols left behind at the murder. I ...more
Bad Tim
Apr 19, 2008 rated it liked it
it's an interesting story by an annoying writer. locales in the city of st louis were specific and accurate, but all of the st louis county locales were fictionalized; and i hate his obsession with avoiding 'said' or 'asked'. people don't use the word 'query', and especially not as much as sellars does. it detracts from the otherwise stilted dialog.
Michele bookloverforever
Wicca, perversion, cops, murder, psychic abilities....
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
loved it, good mystery, great characters
May 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
I don't have a problem with the Wiccan religion, and I could read a single novel with that as an element, but apparently this series is based on Rowan Gant, who is the only person with knowledge and expertise of the faith to unravel the mystery.

I may have also been prejudiced by and author? editor? publisher? who insisted apostrophizing every instance of its, regardless of meaning.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very riveting story.

Loved the pace of the story. The accuracy and care with the Craft aspects. I'll be looking forward to the next episode
May 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres. It takes the fantastic elements of high fantasy and combines it with the gritty “real world” we’re familiar with. And the promise of stories filled with magic, murder and investigation always seems exciting and interesting. Unfortunately, M.R. Sellars’ Harm None: A Rowan Gant Investigation is neither of these things. The story is predictable, the characters never fully develop and the book never really grabs the reader’s attention.

Rowan Gant is a freel
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I was very excited to find this series as I'm a Pagan as is the author. But I'm afraid the excitement ends there. I persevered with this book simply because I really wanted it to be good. Unfortunately the writing is far too Wiccan preachy and teachy. The author wastes no opportunity to sell the 'good news' about Wicca. It reminded me of way too many conversations with overly earnest born-again-Wiccans. And earnest it is!

There is no edge to this book, which seems to be trying to be a forensic c
Rowan Grant Investigations Book 1

In the Wiccan beliefs the first principle is - Harm None.

Rowan Grant and his wife are practicing witches living in St. Louis, MO. When a particularly grisly crime is committed their good friend, Det. Ben Storm if the St. Louis City PD asks for Rowan 19s help in deciphering some symbols at the crime scene.

Ben has never believed in all that woo-woo as he calls it about the Wiccan Religion. But he knows that Rowan is the man for the job. The so called 1Cexpert consu
Jul 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, crime, occult
In the first of the Rowan Gant Investigation series we are introduced to Rowan, his wife Felicity and his friend Ben Storm. Ben just happens to be a St. Louis homicide detective. Rowan and Felicity also happen to be Wiccans. So when Ben comes across a case that has occult overtones he consults Rowan for some insights. Rowan offers some useful information and then all hell breaks loose. Rowan finds himself being contacted by the spirit of the murder victim (who just happens to have been a former ...more
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
JK is dead on: Original concept, atrocious writing. This author never met a synonym he?(she?) didn't like -- always uses three adjectives where one would have sufficed. And, also, LAZY plotting. Examples: (most aggregious one) a suspect's eye color just "happens" to be known because "remember that time during that ceremony when [this person's] contact lens fell out and we all helped [this person] look for it?" I mean SERIOUSLY!?!?!!! First, WHO has EVER just randomly had a contact lens just POP ...more
Cathy (cathepsut)
It turned out to be a pretty good crime novel with an alternative religion as a backdrop. The main character, Rowan Gant, is a Wiccan - a witch. Not one with a broom, not even an electrified one, but someone believing in a pagan religion. And Sellars makes it feel like the most normal thing in the world, even when it turns supernatural.

The characters are well drawn, Rowan is a nice guy - Sellars' alter ego, I am sure -, his police friend Ben Storm is a nice guy, the bad guy is really evil - perh
Apr 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I really want to give this book 3 and a half stars. It was a pretty good book that kept me captivated. The only problem I have is that I didn't personally connect with any of the characters. Usually that is what drives me to keep reading an author is the ability to drawn me in with a characters I care about. Its not that I didn't care about Rowan and his wife, its that I felt distanced to them, probably for personal reasons that are not easily discoverable. Mr. Sellars does have a gift for suspe ...more
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If you want a humdingah thriller for your next read, this is the one! I am so glad BittenByBooks had that discount with Willow Tree and I could afford to get the whole series in one order.

Someone is murdering women in St Louis in a horrific fashion and Rowan Gant is called upon for his expertise. He is a practicing Witch and wants to help. The person committing the murders is leaving pentagrams at the murder scenes, painted on the walls in the victim's blood. A Witch's primary creed is to 'Harm
Siew Ee
Sep 20, 2011 rated it liked it
The setting of the story is good, and the characters believable even though the main character comes with psychic powers, by courtesy of his training in witchcraft. Unlike a lot of other crime fiction, Harm None focuses on just one plot and does not involve the reader in other sub-plots and sub-sub-plots, which makes for easy reading. The story is not that suspenseful, but it still kept me turning the pages. Being a witch, Rowan used his dreams and psychic powers to ferret out clues, which also ...more
May 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Wiccans (with strong reservations), neo-pagans (with strong reservations)
I really wish I liked this book. The premise is interesting, the writing leaves something to be desired. The main character's religion, Wicca, is of great importance -- so much so, that I'm willing to call it "inspirational fiction." I don't know enough about Wicca to judge how accurate that aspect of the story really is. I'd recommend this (with strong reservations) to people desperate to find an example of a devout member of a non-traditional religion or such religions treated positively if I ...more
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rachel
Ariel Tanner is found murdered but worse than that she has been flayed alive, and had esoteric symbols carved into her body right before the sadistic killer ended her life...

For the entire review please go to the Best Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Review site on the web, Bitten By Books for the review of Harm None: A Rowen Gant Investigation in it's entirety. You won't be sorry.
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book, and am still under it's spell! I have now read "Merrie Axemas" and Harm None by M. R. Sellars and have thoroughly enjoyed them both!
Well written, suspenseful, and keep you on the edge of your seat mystery that has you guessing from early one whodunit? Very, Very Well Done, M. R. ! Thank You for a terrific read! I can hardly wait to read the Next book in the series! Rowan Gant is well worth reading! Don't hesitate with this one!
Kirsten Lenius
A very nice series featuring programmer Rowan Gant. I have read this one before, but was very happy to see it available for my kindle at a very affordable price. The author writes very effectively about the character's Wiccan perspective on the murder investigation that hits far too close to home. I'm planning on reading the rest of the books in the series, the ones I have already read once and the ones that I missed picking up.

Apr 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Best described as a Wiccan apologetics police procedural. Other reviewers have dinged the author for his writing, but I've definitely read worse first mysteries, even from major publishers. He commits the first novel sin of trying to cram too much in (there are at least two subplots that go nowhere) and it is a little preachy (the plot is actually a set up for this), but an overall entertaining read, if a bit on the long side. If I come across others in the series, I'll probably pick them up.
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the way he explains and weaves the tenets of the Wiccan faith without making witches look like a bunch of weirdos that worship Satan and have awesome powers ( come on, they would be fun to have) like the fictioal witches on the series "Charmed". M.R. Sellars has earned another loyal fan in me. I look forward to some new books, by the time I get the rest of the series already out.Thank you for your excellent use of The Craft in your books.
Jul 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I've been meaning to read this series for awhile particularly since I recently moved to St. Louis and was intrigued by the fact that the series is set here. I enjoyed it. It wasn't outstanding but I can certainly see the potential for the series to grow and expand. I enjoyed the characters. The supernatural mystery was interesting and kept my attention. I'm interested in seeing where this all goes ...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Does the writing get better. 2 7 Aug 24, 2014 09:23PM  
  • Bell, Book, and Murder: The Bast Mysteries
  • The Divine Circle of Ladies Making Mischief (A Cass Shipton Mystery #3)
  • Murder in Scorpio (Elizabeth Chase, #1)
  • The Trouble With Witches (Ophelia & Abby, #3)
  • Cat Cross Their Graves (Joe Grey, #10)
  • Where There's a Witch (A Bewitching Mystery, #5)
  • Ghost Ship (Port Chatham Mystery #2)
  • The Outer Temple of Witchcraft: Circles, Spells, and Rituals (Temple of Witchcraft, #2)
  • Cold Streets (Vampire Files, #10)
  • Dying to Know (Gumshoe Ghost mystery, #1)
  • Restless Spirit (Sam Casey Mystery, #3)
An active member of the HWA (Horror Writers Association), M. R. Sellars is a relatively unassuming homebody who, in his own words, considers himself just a “guy with a lot of nightmares and a word processing program.” Legend has it he started making up stories to entertain a stuffed bear during his single digit years, then began writing them down sometime around his early teens when the growing ca ...more
More about M.R. Sellars...

Other Books in the Series

A Rowan Gant Investigation (10 books)
  • Never Burn a Witch (A Rowan Gant Investigation #2)
  • Perfect Trust (A Rowan Gant Investigation #3)
  • The Law of Three (A Rowan Gant Investigation #4)
  • Crone's Moon (A Rowan Gant Investigation #5)
  • Love Is the Bond (A Rowan Gant Investigation #6)
  • All Acts of Pleasure (A Rowan Gant Investigation #7)
  • The End of Desire (A Rowan Gant Investigation #8)
  • Blood Moon (A Rowan Gant Investigation #9)
  • Miranda (	A Rowan Gant Investigation #10)