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Killed at the Whim of a Hat (Jimm Juree #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  2,093 Ratings  ·  353 Reviews
The launch of a brand new series by the internationally bestselling, critically acclaimed author of The Coroner’s Lunch

With worldwide critical acclaim, Colin Cotterill is one of the most highly regarded “cult favorite” crime writers today. Now, with this new series, Cotterill is poised to break into the mainstream. Set in present day rural Thailand, Cotterill is as sharp a
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 19th 2011 by Minotaur Books (first published March 3rd 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jan 20, 2015 Melki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous-mystery
Though I can't exactly pinpoint why, this one was only an okay read for me. No bells and whistles went off, though dogs were rescued, so that made me smile. I doubt I'll continue with this series, though the next book - Grandad, There's A Head On The Beach - has to be one of the best titles ever.
Richard Derus
May 13, 2011 Richard Derus rated it really liked it
This review and this rating have been revised. The review can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.
Description: When Jimm is forced to follow her family to a rural village on the coast of Southern Thailand, she’s convinced her career—maybe her life—is over. So when a van containing the skeletal remains of two hippies, one of them wearing a hat, is inexplicably unearthed in a local farmer’s field, Jimm is thrilled. Shortly thereafter an abbot at a local Buddhist temple is viciously murdered, with the temple’s monk and nun the only suspects. Suddenly Jimm’s new life becomes somewhat more promis ...more
Rob Kitchin
May 15, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it it was ok
I’m a fan of Cotterill’s Dr Siri series set in Laos in the 1970s. Although the characters are all a bit eccentric, they are all believable, warm and sit together comfortably, and there is a lovely sense of place and time. Killed at the Whim of a Hat had none of those things. The characters are a ragbag of caricature and are largely one-dimensional. They seemed forced and false. Moreover, told in the first person, the voice of Jimm Juree just didn’t click for me. The real let down of the book, ho ...more
Marketing works! I saw this book on a shelf next to the latest Number One Ladies Detective Agency novel. The cover has the same style of border and a central image reminiscent of earlier books in the series. The label on the shelf said “If you like… then you will enjoy…” So my husband bought the book for me for Mothers’ Day.

Colin Cotterill is not Alexander McCall Smith, and Killed at the Whim of a Hat has a very different feel to the Number One Ladies Detective Agency Novels. It’s much sharper a
Aug 14, 2013 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Definitely a 3.5 -- but what's to be done? Until goodreads modifies its rating system, we need to be content with full stars.

Once again, this is Cotterill having lots of fun, and it spills over to the reader, thank goodness. This is Murder Light, of course; murder so light that you wonder if you're even in a murder mystery, because you are having so much fun exploring the characters. Yes, there are bodies; yes, there are nasty characters, but all these things seem merely secondary to the cynical
Dec 04, 2015 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The first Cotterill book I have read. I enjoyed his quirky characters and the Thai experience. Will have to check out more of his books.

"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."
George W. Bush,
washington DC, September 17, 2004
First Sentence: Old Mel hired one of Da’s nephews—the slow-witted one with the dent in his forehead—to sink a well in his back acre.

Jimm Juree is a crime reporter with aspirations for greatness until her mother announces the family is moving to rural Southern Thailand and she fears her reporting days are over. Not when a 1972 VW camper is found buried with the driver and passenger still in place and no apparent cause of death immediately evident. Additionally, a Buddhist monk, inexplicably weari
Amy Corwin
Oct 20, 2011 Amy Corwin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I had no idea what to expect when I got this book. I'd never read any of Cotterill's books before, but I'm glad I got this one. It was a load of fun.

First point, though, I was torn about the mystery aspect because that part was almost a subplot. First and foremost this is a hilarious story about crime-reporter Jimm Juree and her completely insane family. Out of a family consisting of her whacky mother, her glum grandfather, a brother-turned-beauty-queen, and another brother who is a body builder
Aug 11, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Thailand, this one took me a little bit to get into. But once I did, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The reader was excellent (I was a little slow getting into the rhythm of the speech, but was completely hooked when I did).

Jimm Juree is a crime reporter who moves with her family to a remote area of Thailand to operate a resort. Her family is very, very quirky, but they all fit well into the story. The characters are priceless (the gay policeman is one of the best characters I've encountered in
Shirley Schwartz
Aug 23, 2016 Shirley Schwartz rated it liked it
I found this book both confusing and annoying. I was recommended this book by GoodReads, and I thought that it would be funny with a tricky little mystery. The setting is southern Thailand and the main character is an investigative journalist named Jimm Jurree. There are lots of eccentric and enjoyable characters in the book. Jimm's mother and grandfather, her transgender older sister, her younger body building brother and best of all a gay policeman named Chompu who becomes a friend and aly of ...more
Sep 21, 2014 Ellen rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Life is full for Jimm, a crime reporter who just moved to the south in Thailand.
Two skeletons of dead hippies are found in a VW buried in a pit, a Buddhist abbot is stabbed to death and found wearing an orange hat ( Buddhist Abbots are not allowed to where hats!) , and Jimm's mother is looking for revenge on the person who poisoned her dog. These are the mysteries Jimm is trying to solve with the help of a gay policeman and her grandpa who's pretty good at getting information. Jimm, who has mor
Mar 13, 2012 Patrick rated it it was ok
I was prepared to like this very much. I enjoyed the Dr. Siri books, and the setup for this was amusing — a young Thai newspaper reporter and her weird family in what is apparently one of the odder parts of Thailand, and the reporter girl starts investigating a killing.

But I only got about five chapters in.

Why? Because each chapter started with a quotation from George W. Bush — some inane, malaprop-ridden remark that has, as far as I could tell, absolutely zero to do with the story.

This is not t
I won this book as an ARC through Goodreads Firstreads. I had a really hard time getting into this book. I don't know if it was the setting, because I was so unfamiliar with it, or the characters. Maybe it was both. Either way, I just struggled my way through this book. I had a hard time relating to the main character, but there was humor occasionally that made it more readable. I had really been looking forward to a good mystery, and this didn't live up to my expectations. However, I think a lo ...more
Shavawna Jackson
Sep 30, 2015 Shavawna Jackson rated it it was ok
I don't know about this one.....still contemplating.
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
This review first appeared on my blog:

The origin of the title comes from her school studies of oratory skills, where Jimm was picked to study George W. Bush:

George was in Washington DC and he'd fallen off the edge of the teleprompter again and he was caught somewhere between "on a whim" and "at the drop of a hat" and ended up with terrorists killing one another "at the whim of a hat."

This also explains the less-than-phenomenal Bush quotes that head each c
Jennifer (JC-S)
Oct 07, 2011 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
‘People who connect the past and the future may know the present.’

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 th
Apr 13, 2013 Tony rated it it was ok
Shelves: novels
I absolutely adore Cotterill's Laos-set "Dr. Siri" series, and have pressed it upon many friends with excellent results. When I saw he had a new series set in Thailand, I looked forward to it, having spent a very enjoyable several weeks there once. Unfortunately, I am sad to report that this first book in the new series is rather limp and I can't recommend it to anyone.

It revolves around a 30ish single woman and her wacky family and their misadventures as they sell the family business in Chang M
Mar 26, 2012 Ed rated it liked it
Having read and enjoyed Colin Cotterill's series featuring Dr. Siri Paiboun, the eighty year old national coroner of Laos I thought his new series would be worth a try. It is and I am looking forward to the next book with Thai crime reporter Jimm Juree. She and her family are in a southern province of the Land of Smiles although not one of those close to Malaysia that are experiencing armed clashes between minority Muslims and the Thai police.

Cotterill has to cover a lot of ground since "Killed
Rogue Reader
Dec 04, 2011 Rogue Reader rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thailand
Colin Cotterill is one of my favorite authors and so I'm quick to pick up his new books. Killed at the Whim of a Hat is unlike Cotterill's earlier works which are often painful and deeply moving, as much about isolation and spirituality as they are about the mystery.

Whim of a Hat, on the other hand, is about the close and loving ties of family and community, about adjustment and realization. Jimm Juree's the protag, an ambitious journalist who's reluctantly moved with her family to a rural coast
Apr 12, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading the third book in this series first, this first book explain a whole heck of a lot!

I love the female character, Jimm, and her relationship with others. It is a bit like the Dr. Siri series in which people become intertwined. I enjoy how the characters are coming to life since they moved from the city. Jimm's relationship with her grandpa is changing in a good way.

This mystery is also good.

I thought the way the author uses George Bush quotes is quite funny. On page 169, Jimm explain
The first installment of the Jimm Juree series was a sweeping roundhouse kick, reminscing not only two murders in Southern Thailand but also Jimm Juree's whole family history.

Jimm is curious by nature and leads the whole commentary on the cases, her snarky comments are addictive.

(view spoiler)
Mar 12, 2012 Emma rated it liked it
This was a random find on the Amazon deal of the day and I was pleasantly surprised. The book centred around Jimm Juree and her family who have moved down to the south of Thailand after her mum sold their house in the bustling metropolis. Jimm loved her job as crime reporter but decides to move along with her mother, her brother, and her grandpa to the coast. Her boredom ends when a VW camper van is found buried several feet under a farmer's field with two bodies inside.

I enjoyed reading this in
Jennifer Sowle
Jan 23, 2015 Jennifer Sowle rated it really liked it
This book, by the author of the Dr. Siri mysteries, took me by surprise at first. It takes place in present-day Thailand, with a young female protagonist, Jimm Juree. At first I was a bit thrown off by Jimm’s character, written with more gushing female teenager angst than I would expect from someone who is supposed to be older. But once I accepted the style of the writing, I was hooked on the nutty plot and knew I was immersed in a Cotterill novel. As always, the ancillary characters -- family m ...more
Aug 25, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
I enjoyed this fast-paced mystery featuring sarcastic, cynical, wise-cracking Thai crime journalist Jimm Jurree and a cast of quirky and entertaining characters (including a gay detective, a transvestite sister, a body-building brother, and a spry grandpa). The author believably renders the setting of beach communities in South Thailand, and Jurree's personal transformation throughout the book is believable. However, parts of it still didn't ring true-- maybe because I'm not as familiar with Tha ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Maria rated it liked it
Going through withdrawal waiting for the next Dr. Siri Paiboun novel, I thought I would give this series a try. Where I fell instantly in love with Dr. Siri, it took me almost until the end of this book to start to feel affection for any of the characters, because the narrator isn't as instantly lovable. But she grew on me.

I didn't really care about the mystery she needed to solve (that's not the point of the book to me, in the same way that Dr. Siri's mysteries are somewhat tangential to seein
Jan 22, 2014 Yeva rated it it was amazing
What a story! This new series by Colin Cotterill is great fun, and the quotes by George W. at the beginning of each chapter were hysterical and worth reading. I totally enjoyed Jimm's family, and within just a short time felt a kinship with them - the kinship of anybody who has grown up in a real dysfunctional family. Jimm and her grandfather make an interesting detective team - unique in many ways.

The murder plot was convoluted at best, but I didn't care. I loved the pace of the story, the char
Val Sanford
George Bush mis-quotes inspire this fantastic new Cotterill character, Jimm Juree. A would-be famous journalist uncovers a sinister and inhumane plot while trying to adjust to the family's recent move to a little town in rural Thailand. Juree moves through the world with grace and humor and comes to understand both herself and her family. Cotterill uses his sense of the absurd and his knowledge that we all want to be accepted and to do something that matters to drive this book to a wonderful con ...more
Aug 07, 2011 Spuddie rated it it was amazing
After the first fifty pages I thought, "Jimm Juree is no Dr. Siri" and struggled a bit to become engaged with the story. But by the end of the book I was hooked and very much look forward to the next entry in this new series. Jimm Juree is NOT Dr. Siri (a septuagenarian who is the reluctant national coroner of Laos in the 1970s) but she's an equally interesting character with an eccentric family set in modern day rural southern Thailand and I very much look forward to reading more of her adventu ...more
ღ Carol jinx~☆~
Jul 07, 2012 ღ Carol jinx~☆~ rated it really liked it
Okay once again I have picked out a book at the whim of it's cute title and cover. I was not disappointed. It's a great mystery. To add to the highlights, the character, Jimm, a journalist did her dissertation on studying famous people and their speeches...her study was none other than our George W. Bush. Everyone says something without thinking it out once in awhile but these quotations are mostly funny. Half the funny was, I believe, he meant to be taken seriously.
I enjoyed the book and learne
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Goodreads Librari...: Series title correction 2 160 May 20, 2012 08:24AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: "Killed at the Whim of a Hat" by Colin Cotterill 1 4 Feb 20, 2012 01:22PM  
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Colin Cotterill was born in London and trained as a teacher and set off on a world tour that didn't ever come to an end. He worked as a Physical Education instructor in Israel, a primary school teacher in Australia, a counselor for educationally handicapped adults in the US, and a university lecturer in Japan. But the greater part of his latter years has been spent in Southeast Asia. Colin has tau ...more
More about Colin Cotterill...

Other Books in the Series

Jimm Juree (3 books)
  • Grandad, There's A Head On The Beach (Jimm Juree, #2)
  • The Axe Factor (Jimm Juree #3)

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“If nothing else, my analysis of George W.’s oratory style had taught me that a sincere countenance and a confident stance were sufficient to distract your audience from the fact that you were talking rubbish.” 2 likes
“His jacket was a little too large and his choice of tie made you think he didn’t have a wife at home, at least not a fully sighted one.” 1 likes
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