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Killed at the Whim of a Hat: A Jimm Juree Mystery (Jimm Juree Mysteries) Hardcover – July 19, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"The Jimm Juree series is off to at least as good a start as the Dr. Siri one was. It has the potential to be even better."
--Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Excellent ... Cotterill ... combines a wry narrative voice with an appealing picture of a world unfamiliar to most Americans."
--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"An ebullient series kickoff."
--Kirkus Reviews
"Cotterill's fiction has been compared to Alexander McCall Smith's, presumably because it also has a colourful location. It is far more complex and perceptive."
--The Independent
"A procession of memorable local characters.... By coming up with an original and entertaining new formula, this author reaffirms his creativity and versatility."
--Japan Times

About the Author

Born in London, COLIN COTTERILL has worked as teacher in Israel, Australia, the U.S. and Japan before he started training teachers in Thailand. Cotterill and his wife live in a small fishing village on the Gulf of Siam in Southern Thailand. He’s won the Dilys and a CWA Dagger, and has been a finalist for several other awards.

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Product Details

  • Series: Jimm Juree Mysteries (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (July 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312564538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312564537
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,125,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Colin Cotterill was born in London in 1952. He taught and trained teachers around the world before settling in Thailand where he wrote and produced a forty-program language teaching series, English by Accident, for Thai national television. He spent sever

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Blue in Washington TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The very witty and original mystery writer, Colin Cotterill, has changed literary geography slightly and time period significantly with his new book, "Killed at the Whim of a Hat". His great Dr. Suri series is set in post-civil war Laos (1970s); his new book (to become a series?) is based in contemporary southern Thailand. The new context has an interesting new protagonist--a very hip, sometime crime reporter, Jimm Juree--who comes accompanied by a family and growing group of friends and animals who run the gamut of extremes from a transexual brother/sister with shady Internet businesses, to a second brother with few social skills but a devotion to bodybuilding that has made him a contender for the Thai version of Mr. Universe, to a pre-Alzheimers mother who has more irons in the fire than a blacksmith at a rodeo, and to an ex-traffic cop grandfather with the morals of a nun and a cynicism about human kind that would put him in the same league with Lady Gaga.

"Killed..." opens with a forced move of the family from northern Thailand to the deep south of country--a provincial area that it is well removed from the popular Thai beach resorts of the region and therefore not a great place to own the tourist camp that the family matriarch has invested in. A page or two later, and a double killing of considerable vintage turns up on Jimm Juree's beach doorstep. A 1970s VW Kombi camper with two 1970s hippie skeletons has been uncovered by a well-digger closeby, and the bored-to-death Jimm is off to the races. Soon after, a second killing occurs in the otherwise moribund neighborhood. This time it's a Buddhist Abbott who has been stabbed to death for no apparent reason.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Angela Reads on June 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I wasn't sure if I would like this book, but it was such a delightful surprise! This novel is the first in a new mystery series set in Southern Thailand. Even though it takes place in modern day, you won't find a lot of graphic violence or sex, which I always appreciate.

Jimm Juree is a female crime reporter whose blossoming career is put on hold when her mother sells their place and buys a run down hotel in the south of Thailand - far away from civilization. But when buried skeletons are found nearby and a monk is brutally murdered, Jimm has a purpose again. She attempts to track down the murderer(s) with the help of her lovably crazy family and one eccentric policeman.

The title of the book, and a quote at the beginning of each chapter, are taken from the words of George W. Bush. The reader doesn't understand why at first, but everything is this book is revealed in layers until all is clear. Some GWB supporters were offended by this, but I thought it was handled in a fair way.

Many have compared this to the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books. I haven't read those books, so I can't give my opinion on that. I think if you took Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, mixed it with Louise Penny's Three Pines series, and put everyone down in southern Thailand, you might end up with something like this. There is a lot of humor here - lots of dry sarcastic wit from Jimm as the narrator. Too much snark would have turned me off, but I soon realized she has a big heart and isn't as tough as she seems. The characters here are very unique and memorable - but they also come across as real, not just caricatures. The plot has depth and the mystery is complex. Clues are revealed gradually to hold interest until the end.

I will definitely be reading the next book in this series. I want to 'see' these people again. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the first instalment in Colin Cotterill's new series about the `almost award-winning' female crime reporter Jimm Juree. The novel is set in southern Thailand.
Jimm and her relatives move from northern Thailand to the south to run the Gulf Bay Lovely Resort and Restaurant. There's Jimm, her mother Mair, her bodybuilding brother Arny and her Grandad Jah. Her sister, Sissi, who used to be her older brother Somkiet, stays in the north. Jimm isn't at all keen on living in the south, and when she hears of the discovery of a buried Volkswagen Kombi -complete with two skeletal passengers (one of whom is wearing a hat) - Jimm is off to the scene on a bicycle. Marching up to the police, she announces: `Officers, my name is Jimm Juree, deputy crime editor at the Chiang Mai Mail (I deliberately omitted tense) and I'm here to report on this case.'

One official invites her to lunch, which she accepts, and another, Lieutenant Chompu befriends her. `Lieutenant Chompu really was a policeman. You couldn't let those minute traces of nail polish fool you. He knew his job.'

Soon after, a monk is murdered in the nearby town of Lang Suan. Jimm's out of the way location, which she was convinced would see the end of her career as a crime writer, is suddenly a very busy place.

Each chapter features a George W Bush malapropism, and some way into the story we learn that Jimm undertook a course at University called `Public Oration and Oral Improvisation' (Pooi for short), and studied the speaking style of President George W Bush. One particular malapropism becomes relevant to the story:

`Free societies are hopeful societies. And free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat.
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