Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Woman Who Wouldn't Die” as Want to Read:
The Woman Who Wouldn't Die
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Woman Who Wouldn't Die (Dr. Siri Paiboun #9)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  943 ratings  ·  168 reviews
The long-awaited follow-up to 2011's Slash & Burn and the ninth installment in Colin Cotterill's bestselling mystery series starring the inimitable Lao national coroner, Dr. Siri

In a small Lao village, a very strange thing has happened. A woman was shot and killed in her bed during a burglary; she was given a funeral and everyone in the village saw her body burned. Th
Published February 19th 2013 by Soho Crime (first published January 1st 2013)
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 The Woman Who Wouldn't Die, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Woman Who Wouldn't Die

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,737)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jeremy Megraw
Original review at
Crime Fiction Lover

The setting is Vientiane, Laos in the late 1970s. The country’s only coroner, Dr Siri Paiboun, now retired, is recalled to oversee the search for the body of the brother of a high-ranking minister. This was initiated when the corpse’s location was approximated by an informant. Incidentally, the informant was a local witch who herself was murdered, cremated, rose from the dead as a clairvoyant, and now takes on the occasional missing persons case.

If you’re ne
Dec 29, 2012 Martina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Martina by: Juliet Grames
Wonderful to see Dr. Siri back... but this ninth in the series is as much or more about Daeng as it is about Dr. Siri.... This series has been completely satisfying since the beginning and as with previous books, is filled with humor, humanity, and the spirit in many guises. 100% treat!
Cathy Cole
First Line: Madame Keui was flesh and blood, or so they claimed, although nobody could remember touching that rewarmed flesh, nor seeing her bleed; not even when a second bullet passed through her.

Well into his seventies, Dr. Siri Paiboun, national coroner of Laos, has finally been allowed to retire and enjoy life with his wife, Madame Daeng. But a general insists that Siri go with him to a remote village to find the remains of his long-lost brother, along with Madame Keui, a woman who returned
I truly enjoy this series and can't wait until the next one. Without revealing any spoiler, Colin Cotterill left an open storyline for the next book at the end of this one.

When I am reading new authors and new titles, I find that I will like some of the new ones but others are not quite what I was hoping for. I have recently had this happen. That's when I like to return to the series books that I follow and those books do not disappoint. This book was one such case. I saw a new Dr. Siri was rele
Just when you think that a Dr. Siri book couldn't get any better, the next one in the series comes out and you are in book heaven ! I am addicted to these books and feel like all the regular characters are my friends ! Mystery, mysticism, culture, history, comedy, and pure entertainment all rolled into each book. My favorite series of all time......of course I'm also reading Colin Cotterill's other series with reporter, Jimm Jurree, so we'll see who comes out in first place.
Why wouldn't she die? Did she or didn't she? The Mekhong mystery of currents and ebbs and flows and forest gods and body doubles and transvestite's final resting places grabbed this reader and pulled me along for the party. It was a crazy jaunt down the river; the only thing missing was a tin cup of rice whiskey for me.
Jo Sullivan
Love this series! Favorite quotes:
..."the timelessness of river travel. For hours they hadn't seen anything the early French explorers wouldn't have experienced 100 years before...before the greed of generals and the land lust of politicians. The river had defied it all and survived. Still her will owed banks bowed to the passing pirogues. Still the grey terns surfed the cool current above the water."
...I gre up in a remote animist village. But then I went to school in a Buddhist templ. I underw
It seems that these Dr. Siri novels have become an addiction for me. As soon as I read that a new one had been published, I immediately requested it on my Kindle so that I could read it right away. I was not disappointed. It is another romp through 1978 Laos with Siri and his posse of oddball family and friends.

Siri has finally managed to achieve his long desired goal of retiring from his post as the national coroner of Laos, but three months into his long awaited retirement, the 84-year-old doc
J Edward Tremlett
When the Revolution erupted in Laos, in the 1970′s, Dr. Siri Paiboun was a grumpy widower with no faith in man, no tolerance for nonsense, and not a whole lot to live for. When the Communists essentially press-ganged him into being the national coroner (all other candidates had fled, or been shot) he wasn’t very happy about it. But when a genuine mystery was placed in front of him, he somehow managed to overcome his situation and solve it, as well awaken a wise but irritating ghost that had been ...more
John Brooke
I recently reviewed Grandad, There’s a Head on the Beach, the 2nd book in Colin Cotterill’s new Jimm Jurree crime series set in Gulf of Siam in southern Thailand. I commented that it had been a while, but I seemed to remember being more entranced by his (now 9) Dr. Siri books, set in Laos. When I noticed this latest offering in the Dr. Siri series come available, I grabbed it so I could make a comparison with Jimm Juree fresh in my mind.

I was right – Colin Cotterill’s Dr. Siri is a more compelli
Book Review & Giveaway: We’re participating in the Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop and have chosen The Woman Who Wouldn’t Die by award-winning author Colin Cotterill as our giveaway. This is the latest mystery/thriller in the bestselling Dr. Siri Mysteries series; however, it reads quite well as a stand-alone novel, so no worries there. This series is set in Laos in the 1970’s, so it provides us with a glimpse into a culture that many of us don’t know a lot about despite the wars we fou ...more
Another strange and weird romp through 1970's Laos with the irreverent Dr. Siri. It looks like this is going to be another one of those strange ones dealing with spirits but that's not the case. A very interesting dual plot involving the French colonials from the 1950's combines greed and spycraft. Siri might be solving the greed angle while his wife Daeng handles the spy angle but unbeknownst to her he's taken care of the spy angle too. The octagenarian multi-tasker, Siri, is directed to accomp ...more
It's time for me to catch up as a new Dr. Siri book has been published. This is Laos in the late 70s ... not a good time in SE Asia. Dr. Siri, the state coroner -- and the only coroner, has been allowed to retire and enjoy life with his wife Daeng. But it seems something strange is going on in a small Lao village. Three days after a woman's funeral, she is back at home as if she was never dead at all. She has announced she has "seen" the whereabouts of the remains of a Lao general and Siri has b ...more
How clever. I would never expected the elaborate hoax that is told in this story. I finally found out more about Madam Daeng and her past.

Dr. Siri is still trying to find out how to communicate with ghosts.

I found a passage about religion that was interesting between M Daeng and Dr. Siri: (pg 70)

" I just wanted order. but once I started to see my own ghosts I understood what these religions were all about. They were clubs set up by people like me to stop themselves going mad. You know what I re

Eigentlich könnte Dr. Siri die Pension genießen, soweit man die Pension im Laos des Jahres 1978 genießen kann. Doch als Dr. Siri mal wieder aneckt, wird er für ein paar Tage in paar Tage aufs Land geschickt, um zu klären, was es mit der Witwe auf sich hat, die zweimal starb. Diese Gelegenheit nimmt Dr. Siri ausnahmsweise gerne wahr. Denn so hofft er, seine Frau Daeng aus der Gefahrenzone zu bekommen. Nach ihr nämlich hat ein seltsamer alter Franzose gefragt, was nichts Gutes bringen k
Rebecca Mulligan
Siri Strikes Again

About once a year I sit down with the latest Colin Cotterill installment of the Dr. Siri mysteries and treat myself to a journey of mystery and fantasy. How I love this series! As the book opens, Dr. Siri is desperate to communicate with the ghosts who visit him routinely but with whom he cannot speak. A mysterious woman enters the scene who claims to have been killed twice and who can communicate with all types of spirits. She begins to tutor Siri while, at the same time, a ma
A book with unusual but striking characters in an unusual series, featuring the Lao coroner Siri Paiboun, who is both a medical man and a sleuth. The combination of Lao beliefs and culture, and the history of the resistance against the French and Russian presence in the country are blended into the novel. This is the ninth in the series featuring the charismatic Siri and his wife Daeng. I've read two of the other novels but am eager to read all the rest!
This series has been an enjoyable one up to now, so I was happy to see a new adventure on the shelf. However, I have to say that this latest one disappointed. I'm sure there are followers who were thrilled by the historical backfill of the French colonization of Laos and Madame Daeng's early life. It just seemed like a lot of fill-er-up to me. It may have been that I wasn't concentrating enough, and I'll probably try this one again later on.

Same characters, same kinds of silliness and humor, but
Gary E
I really enjoy this series. These books take place in Laos shortly after the Communist government has taken over. Dr. Siri Pablon is the countries only coroner. We get to met Siri and all of his very colorful friends. We get to learn a little about the history of Laos and a little about how the burgeoning Communist Party is (or is not) running things.

These are always funny and clever and this version (the 9th in the series) does not disappoint.

So whether you are in the mood for a bit of a myster
I've enjoyed all of the Dr. Siri mysteries but this one probably the most. All of the characters are well developed and we get to find out more about Laos under French rule and the French don't come away smelling too good. It's alot of fun!!
National Coroner Siri Paiboun, has actually retired and his life now revolves around his wife Madame Daeng’s noodle shop. However, a woman whom some call a witch has revealed that the remains of a government minister are located in the river separating Laos from Thailand. Siri is called back to go on a cruise up the river to identify the remains. They are followed by a very nasty French officer who has a grudge against Madame Daeng. Their time is limited, however, because they must be back for a ...more
Dr Siri and Madame Daeng shine in this wonderful, engaging and amusing mystery set in Laos in the 1970s. It is fascinating to read about the history of Laos and its people. I wait with happy contemplation for the next book.
Nameann Beckman
Excellent book. Very witty, with interesting well developed characters. I love the series, and was worried it was ending. So I was releived to see a new book in the series that was just as good as the previous ones.
Dr. Siri ROCKS! Dr. Siri makes 1978 Laos a HIP place to be. Of course it wouldn't be half as fun without all the zany characters that make up his world. Can't wait for the next one.
It took me a while to get through this. I didn't know enjoy this as much as some of the other books in this oft-times charming series. For some reason, this felt too disjointed and the various elements of the plot didn't fit well together; there were a number of different storylines in this book, and none of them were developed fully enough for me to enjoy. So everyone makes a guest appearance, but sometimes those guest appearances are too short and frankly only serve to confuse the storyline mo ...more
Another convoluted, fun Colin Cotterill mystery about the elderly coroner of Laos. Siri is now retired but still solving mysteries with the aid of supernatural spirits and his team of friends. His wife's autobiography is woven in, and a powerful Frenchman she enraged when she was an undercover spy presents a new threat. Cotterill seems to know a lot about the history of Southeast Asia and the 20th century wars, secret and otherwise. And since I don't know anything about that, I always feel I am ...more
Carey Combe
Ridiculous, joyful fun
I liked it, but...The greatest strength of this book is the excerpts from Madame Daeng's memoirs. I enjoyed learning about the role she played in the history of Laos.

Yet I can’t say that I was completely enamored with The Woman Who Wouldn’t Die. The Dr. Siri series has been a pretty wild ride especially when it comes to the paranormal, but in this book the mystery's solution can be arrived at by employing the rather mundane Occam's Razor. (The simplest explanation is the one that will turn out t
Martha Bullen
Reading Colin Cotterill's Dr. Sir Paiboun mystery series set in 1970s Laos is a great pleasure. Cotterill's complex, human characters, his involving plots, social and political commentary and hilarious dialogue are all in evidence in his newest book, The Woman Who Wouldn't Die. Readers who have grown to love the cantankerous but kindly Dr. Siri and his irrepressible family and friends will be very satisfied with the current outing.

It's a wonderful read. However, I'm less than impressed with the
Gloria Feit
This newest in the Dr. Siri mysteries not only takes on the Laotian coroner’s obsession with contact with the dead, but provides us with a lot of background on the good doctor and his wife and the role they played in the revolution. At the same time, the novel is a first rate mystery. It begins when Dr. Siri is offered a “vacation” upriver to supervise the recovery of the brother of a Lao general whose body is supposedly at the bottom of a river, lying in a submerged boat for many years.

The gene
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 57 58 next »
  • The Aylesford Skull
  • The Black Stiletto: Stars & Stripes  (The Black Stiletto #3)
  • In the Moors (A Shaman Mystery, #1)
  • The Stuff of Nightmares
  • Where They Bury You
  • Bone Mountain (Inspector Shan, #3)
  • Zero Separation (Donovan Nash #3)
  • The Trouble With Charlie (Elle Harrison, #1)
  • The Fame Thief (Junior Bender, #3)
  • A Drop of Chinese Blood (Inspector O, #5)
  • Letters From a Murderer: The First Jameson & Argenti Investigation
  • A Christmas Garland (Christmas Stories, #10)
  • The Tenth Witness
  • Seduction of the Innocent (Jack & Maggie Starr #3 - Hard Case Crime #110)
  • Deadly Diamonds
  • Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes
  • She Returns From War
  • Strindberg's Star
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

Dr. Siri Paiboun (10 books)
  • The Coroner's Lunch (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #1)
  • Thirty-Three Teeth (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #2)
  • Disco For The Departed (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #3)
  • Anarchy and Old Dogs (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #4)
  • Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr. Siri Paiboun #5)
  • The Merry Misogynist (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #6)
  • Love Songs From A Shallow Grave (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #7)
  • Slash and Burn (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #8)
  • Six and a Half Deadly Sins
The Coroner's Lunch (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #1) Thirty-Three Teeth (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #2) Disco For The Departed (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #3) Anarchy and Old Dogs (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #4) Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr. Siri Paiboun #5)

Share This Book

“Like you, I grew up in a remote animist village. But then I went to a strict Catholic education in France. I was perfectly content to accept the grand Shee Yee of the Otherworld and the Lord B, and Jesus and his mother as my spiritual icons as long as I didn't have to spend too long on my knees. I would have settled for a committee. I just wanted order. But once I started to see my own ghosts I understood what these religions were all about. They were clubs set up by people like me to stop themselves from going mad. You know what I really think happens? You die. You wait for your number. There's a bit of time to take care of unfinished business. And you pass on. And, as you don't come back, nobody actually knows what you pass on to. But that description has never been acceptable. People want an ending. They don't want to vanish into thin air. So these great religious gurus made some endings up. The more comfortable and happy your ending, the more members signed up and paid their fees. And the kings and emperors started to add rules and regulations to subjugate the commoners and keep them in line. As so they invented hell and told you if you coveted your neighbor's mule you wouldn't even get into the clubhouse at the end of it all.” 2 likes
“I am a seasoned field surgeon having survived some five hundred campaigns,’ said Siri. ‘I was educated in France and I speak three languages.’ ‘Four if you include double-Dutch,’ said Civilai.” 0 likes
More quotes…