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

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  1,431 Ratings  ·  200 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
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Soho Crime (first published January 1st 2013)
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Dec 18, 2012 Martina rated it it was amazing
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!
Jeremy Megraw
Jan 22, 2013 Jeremy Megraw rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 30, 2013 Pat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
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
Cathy Cole
Feb 08, 2013 Cathy Cole rated it it was amazing
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
J Edward Tremlett
Mar 03, 2013 J Edward Tremlett rated it really liked it
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
I really love this series. One of my favourites.
Jennifer (JC-S)
Dec 19, 2015 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it
Shelves: librarybooks
‘There used to be a woman in our village who …’

In a small Lao village, a woman was shot and killed in her bed. Everyone in the village attended her funeral, and saw her burn on her funeral pyre. But three days later, she was home - with new skills. Now Madame Used-To-Be is clairvoyant, and can communicate with the dead. Just the person to help the long-dead brother of a Lao general! This long-dead brother needs Madame Used-To-Be to help his brother uncover his long-lost remains from their restin
Jun 03, 2013 Joyce rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 01, 2014 Yeva rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 06, 2017 Inga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Siri wird älter und ist offiziell pensioniert, das Laos der 70er Jahre hat damit keinen Leichenbeschauer mehr. Doch dann wird in einem abseits gelegenen Dorf eine Frau ermordet - aber kurz nach ihrer Einäscherung taucht sie wieder auf und steht nun im Kontakt mit der Geisterwelt. Das will sich die Frau eines laotischen Generals zunutze machen, sie will herausfinden, wo sich die sterblichen Überreste ihres verschollenen Bruders befinden. Der General beordert kurzerhand Sir
Mar 09, 2017 Dlmrose rated it liked it
John Brooke
Aug 28, 2013 John Brooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Jo Sullivan
Mar 13, 2014 Jo Sullivan rated it it was amazing
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
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
Dec 30, 2013 William rated it really liked it
It's a little formulaic in that all the Dr. Seri books share similarities of plot, but if you liked the others (as I have), you'll like this one, too. The high point once again is Cotterill's humor, and the usual enjoyable cast of characters -- Dr. Siri, Madame Daeng, Geung, Dtui and Phosi (plus the dog, "Ugly" who is a real star) all play full roles in the story. As usual, it involves a satire on 1970's Laotian government, more than one plot line, and Siri's connection with the spirit world. A ...more
Feb 26, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
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
Mar 10, 2013 Harvee rated it it was amazing
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!
Mar 28, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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.
Mar 25, 2013 Harriet rated it it was amazing
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!!
Ann Beckman
Mar 20, 2013 Ann Beckman rated it it was amazing
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.
Carey Combe
Feb 02, 2013 Carey Combe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ridiculous, joyful fun
Jul 08, 2012 Keri rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2010s-read
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.
Barbara ★
This is my first foray into the Dr. Siri Paiboun's series. I really liked it. Of course it's filled with Communist talk and oppression but the main character and his wife, Daeng are really funny. Dr. Siri is a 74 years old coroner and his wife is 67 and still runs a noodle house. He is retired but still gets called back to help on difficult (and somewhat ridiculous) cases. This is one of those cases but of course, things aren't exactly what they appear.

I thoroughly enjoyed the investigation and
May 07, 2017 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is #9 in the series and it has a pretty far-fetched plot. Very elaborate. Not my favorite. But I continue to learn much about 1970s Laos and also much about powerful Vietnam after the war. Of course, I know so little about Southeast Asia that I can't help being educated by these endlessly fascinating mysteries. Also in this book we get Daeng's history, which is naturally intertwined with the history of the Pathet Lao revolution. FYI, in case you haven't figured it out yet, it's a good idea ...more
May 07, 2017 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gone, library
And a half star. I do really like the Dr Siri mystery books but I can't give them all four stars. I'm mean. This one was a bit predictable as we've come to know both Dr Siri and Colin Cotterill so well but I'm not complaining - I read them for comfort as well as entertainment - and I'm glad I haven't yet come to the end of the series.
May 23, 2017 Sally rated it liked it
Enjoyed the history and Madame Daeng's past but not the crime so much. Wonderful characters
Jul 17, 2013 Miki101.michaela rated it it was amazing
Dr Siri may be out of the lab, but surely not out of the Job!

After the shutdown of the Morgue of the Mahosot Hospital in Vientiane/Laos Dr. Siri would be happy to enjoy his long aspired retirement together with his wife, Madame Daeng.
But fate has other intensions in mind for the two elderly lovers.
Siri's nemesis Judge Haeng has a proposal for him: A full-paid trip to Sanyaburi province which borders Thailand, to watch the boat races at Pak Lai.
Dr. Siri is obviously very skeptical - his last "sta
Jul 13, 2016 Havers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Endlich! Im neunten Band der Reihe um den laotischen Leichenbeschauer hat es Dr. Siri endlich geschafft und sich in den wohlverdienten Ruhestand verabschiedet. Und dann winken ihm und seiner Angetrauten auch noch von höchster Stelle organisierte Urlaubsfreuden, 1978 eine Seltenheit in Laos. Es soll zu einem Bootsrennen nach Pak Lai an der thailändischen Grenze gehen. Aber natürlich gibt es den Urlaub nicht umsonst, denn Dr. Siris berufliches Know how ist vor Ort gefragt. Es geht, wie könnte es a ...more
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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

Dr. Siri Paiboun (1 - 10 of 11 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 (Dr. Siri Paiboun #10)
  • I Shot the Buddha

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“There was a Lao proverb that called teachers the engineers of the soul” 5 likes
“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.” 3 likes
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