Dr. Siri is busy eating at his wife's noodle bar and reminiscing about old times. Then the government and old times come crashing back into his retire...moreDr. Siri is busy eating at his wife's noodle bar and reminiscing about old times. Then the government and old times come crashing back into his retirement and disrupts his newlywed bliss, which is hard to find for an retired Communist coroner in his 70's. But bliss he has found.
Until something even more strange occurs: in a small Lao village 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. Then, three days later, she was back in her house as if she'd never been dead at all. But now she's clairvoyant, and can speak to the dead.
Like all of Cotterill's books, I laughed and pondered and thoroughly enjoyed watching Siri appealed to the spirits he sees to talk with him while he chased down old fears and old ghosts now threatening his wife: she is not all she appears to be and their fragile happiness is threaten, along with their lives.
This story more than any of his previous books shows the amazing 'could have been' potential of Laos had it not been crushed by war, Communisim, greed and the West. (less)
I can't really help myself. When a new Tarquin Hall comes out I have to read it, even though I groan with the obvious puns and the smug, self-importan...moreI can't really help myself. When a new Tarquin Hall comes out I have to read it, even though I groan with the obvious puns and the smug, self-importance in which Indian detective, Mr. Vish Puri, goes about solving crimes in his beloved country.
Called Chubby by his wife, mother and friends, Puri loves his butter chicken, warm Peshawari naan and of crisp aloo parantha. His detective work slips and slides around buffet tables, street vendors and posh parties.
In the Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken, Puri and his family are there when the father of a Pakistani cricket star is murdered. This set his mother, Mommy-ji and Puri in opposite directions to find the killer. Mommy-ji knows something about the dead man from the dark days when Pakistan and India were divided and she had to leave her homeland of Rawalpindi.
Under a veneer of light-hearted sleuthing and the cricket Howzats, this story delivers a sober reminder of the human suffering endured during the 1947 India-Pakistan Partition. Mommy-jis, Aunties and socialite women on both sides of the rift bear deep and horrific scars.
Hall uses the tongue-in-cheek investigation into cricket fraud, moustache thieving and diet pills to reveal a more powerful human story. Fantastic read.(less)
Get ready to spit out your milk. Cotterill has done it again with a laugh-out loud mystery featuring former crime reporter, Jimm Juree. And her former...moreGet ready to spit out your milk. Cotterill has done it again with a laugh-out loud mystery featuring former crime reporter, Jimm Juree. And her former traffic cop grandfather, her slightly crazy mother, her transsexual computer hacker sister/brother and a host of zany locals in southern Thailand.
Oh. And a head washed up on the beach by the last monsoon. Yes. A real head.
Juree and her posse take on slavery, kidnapping, corrupt charities and police as they hunt down the fiends and bring them to justice.
It's hysterical and touching and a grand reminder of our capacity to love. (less)
Dr. Siri is up to his old tricks but his ghost friends aren't helping him on this big case. Just his noodle-shop wife, morgue attendants and misfits o...moreDr. Siri is up to his old tricks but his ghost friends aren't helping him on this big case. Just his noodle-shop wife, morgue attendants and misfits of the communist party as they try to locate a missing helicopter pilot from the Vietnam War. Hiking the northern jungles of Laos trouble plagues the troop and the brash American politicians behind the adventure. Too much whiskey and some pot brownies make this a fun read. Not his best, but thought-provoking and serious undertones about the role of the US in Vietnam and Laos, the corruption of politicians and businessmen and the need for redemption before we die swirl to create an atmosphere where only Dr. Siri and his friends can remind us that we are fortunate when we have our friends with us.(less)
George Bush mis-quotes inspire this fantastic new Cotterill character, Jimm Juree. A would-be famous journalist uncovers a sinister and inhumane plot...moreGeorge 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 conclusion. I look forward to more of Jimm Juree and her sidekicks.(less)