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The Coroner's Lunch Paperback – November 1, 2005
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Praise for The Coroner's Lunch
A Booklist Book of the Year
An Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Killer Book of the Year
A Book Sense Selection
“A wonderfully fresh and exotic mystery . . . If Cotterill . . . had done nothing more than treat us to Siri’s views on the dramatic, even comic crises that mark periods of government upheaval, his debut mystery would still be fascinating. But the multiple cases spread out on Siri’s examining table . . . are not cozy entertainments, but substantial crimes that take us into the thick of political intrigue.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“The sights, smells, and colors of Laos practically jump of the pages of this inspired, often wryly witty first novel.”
—The Denver Post
“The Soho Press crime series . . . has done mystery connoisseurs everywhere a favor by adding Colin Cotterill to its publishing list. The author gives us exotic locations; a world that few of us know well; crisp, intelligent, and often-witty writing; and, most of all, a hero unlike any other.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“This series kickoff is an embarrassment of riches: Holmesian sleuthing, political satire, and [a] droll comic study of a prickly late bloomer.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“In Siri, Cotterill has created a detective as distinctive as Maigret or Poirot.”
“This debut mystery, with its convincing and highly interesting portrayal of an exotic locale, marks the author as someone to watch.”
About the Author
Colin Cotterill was born in London in 1952. He trained as a teacher and worked in Israel, Australia, the US, and Japan before training teachers in Thailand and on the Burmese border. He wrote and produced a language teaching series for Thai national television and spent several years in Laos. Colin is involved in a number of social projects, many to benefit children. With his wife he set up a book and scholarship program in Laos and runs a small school for the children of Burmese migrants near his home.
All the while Colin continues with his two other passions: cartooning and writing. Since 2000 he has written over fifteen books, including the Dr. Siri crime series set in Laos. Colin lives in Chumphon in the south of Thailand with his wife where he rides his bicycle along the coast, decapitates coconuts, eats a lot of squid, plays with his dogs, and occasionally sits down to write.
Top customer reviews
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Dr. Siri Palbourn is 72 years old and was ready for retirement. He is living in Laos and it is 1976. He studied medicine in France when he was a young man. He fell in love with a young revolutionary and followed her back to fight for the cause. Now he is 72 and and Laos has a new communist government. The doctor who had experience in doing autopsies swam across the river to Thailand so now Siri is made the National Coroner of Laos. The problem is that he has not trained in this area.
The department is underfunded and has few supplies. He has a boss who doesn't understand his own job. Suri does his first autopsy by following a 30 year old French book. The characters are special in the book. Dr. Siri is humorous and speaks his mind in an atmosphere that does not encourage this at all. He has two not typical assistants who he likes very much. One is a nurse Drui who wants to train for his job. She likes to read entertainment magazines. Mr. Geung has Downs Syndrome and has become skilled in autopsy skills. He and Dr. Siri greet each other every day "Do we have any customers today. No customers today, Dr. Comrade."
The first page of the book is quite dramatic. It starts the mystery of three men who are dropped from a helicopter into a lake with weights attached to their legs. Two countries, Vietnam and Laos become involved with investigation of the murders. Dr. Suri investigates.
Also, a prominent wife of a leader dies at a banquet and her husband is very eager to take the body away from Dr. Suri. Dr. Suri finds he has investigative skills and doesn't take the word of those above him for what has caused the deaths. Dr. Suri also has communications with his "customers". At first they come to him in dreams but later it occurs in his waking life.
I laughed out loud several times. It is a gentle book yet it is not. Dr. Suri makes it seem that way. I have the next book to read. It is a special series. I think if you like mysteries in foreign countries with great characters, very good plotting and humor, you should like this book.
Most recent customer reviews
vietnam vet so evocative of many places abd events. Key poiNt to ponder...Read more