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Thirty-Three Teeth

(Dr. Siri Paiboun #2)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  4,517 ratings  ·  484 reviews
Praise for Cotterill’s The Coroner’s Lunch:

“This series kickoff is an embarrassment of riches: Holmesian sleuthing, political satire and droll comic study of a prickly late bloomer.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The Coroner’s Lunch is marvelous. The setting may be unique in Western fiction, and the characters are unique to themselves. Sweet but not sappy, offbeat but
...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Soho Crime (first published 2005)
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,517 ratings  ·  484 reviews


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carol.
Mar 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of cosy mystery
The second installment in the mystery series featuring Dr. Siri, my favorite coroner and host of an ancient Hmong shaman's spirit. While it contains the ingredients that make the series great, there are several stumbles that make this book more of a leftover noodle soup--a nice accompaniment to a meal but not enough for a feast.

In the beginning, several sidewinding storylines provided a great deal of pleasure. In Vientiane, two disparate bodies found with a badly damaged bicycle send the team of
...more
Richard Derus
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been revised and can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.
Carol
Thirty-Three Teeth, the second book in the Dr. Siri series set in '70s Laos, is as fascinating as the first. The mystery is dessert. The main course is our protagonist, Dr. Siri (the reluctant coroner), the residents of Vientiane and elsewhere in Laos, the culture, the ease with which Cotterill blends the spiritual with the physical -- without turning this novel into fantasy/magic realism. The challenge of investigation and solving crimes in a world where the authorities may not care if or why a ...more
HBalikov
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Siri Paiboun is now 72 years old. Through no fault of his own, he is one of the last real medical doctors within Laos. The socialist/communist government (after the Pathet Lao takeover) has not been a welcoming place for those with such skills. Yet, people still die under suspicious circumstances and the country needs at least one forensic medical examiner. When the previous one passed on, they came to Siri and he had little choice.

In this second book in the series, he has settled into his j
...more
Julie
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I continue to enjoy Dr. Siri's "cynical optimism" -- which just about sums up my view on life. His delightful, if slightly twisted, sense of humour and eastern spirituality carries the plot along at a brisk pace, and I am always disappointed it is over so soon. One would be very hard-pressed to find a more engaging, self-contradicting, paradoxical fictional detective. The plots are not "deep" or particularly devious -- but the exploration of character makes it all worthwhile. At the same time, I ...more
Lynn
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thirty-Three Teeth is the second book in the Dr. Siri Paiboun about a 72 year old coroner in the 70's era in Laos. The last coroner swam across the river in Thailand when the new government came in so Dr. Siri was chosen for the position. He had hoped to be retired.

I really was taken with the first book The Coroner's Lunch so I was eager to continue the series. I enjoyed this book but not as much as the first book. One reason is there is more mystical or supernatural element in this book. A pow
...more
William
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audio + ebook
Sometimes the skills to win a revolution are devoid a good government skills.
"Today's rebel leader is tomorrow's dictator". paraphrased from Harold Robbins
Terence
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries-noir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
LJ
First Sentence: The neon hammer and sickle buzzed and flickered into life over the night club of the Lan Xang Hotel.

Dr. Siri Paiboun, the 72-year-old coroner for Laos, is being kept busy by both the spirit and human world. An old black mountain bear has escaped its cage but is it responsible for the bodies who’ve been mauled? The burned bodies of two men have been found. Siri is summoned to the area of his birth in an effort to identify them.

A man working in the Department of archives jumped to
...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Jun 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: librarybooks
‘I’m a coroner, not a corpse.’
This is the second novel of the series featuring Dr Siri Paiboun, the septuagenarian national coroner of Laos. In this engaging mystery, Dr Siri has a number of puzzles to solve with the assistance of his unlikely team of colleagues and friends. Oh, and some help from the spirit world as well.
The communist regime of Laos brings its own flavour to proceedings. From the ingenuity of making casts of teeth marks when plaster is not available and the identification of go
...more
Chris
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy the humor and irony of this mystery series. The characters are engaging and it is fascinating to read about Laos in the 70's and the challenges that the national (ie only) coroner faces on a daily basis. Everything from oppressive bureaucracy, lack of chemicals, limited resources (for example, the lab has one camera and is allowed 4 photos per "guest"---they save the last few for weddings, etc. and try not to get the photos mixed up), the fact that all autopsies must take place qu ...more
Anna
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
After The Coroner's Lunch, I was really looking forward to this book, but it didn't hold up as well. Sure, most of the best characters were back, but this time I found it too heavy on the supernatural, with extended sections that really challenged my sense of plausibility. The plot also lacked the strong forward movement of the first book, perhaps because it didn't have as much sleuthing. There were even times well into the book when I found myself only somewhat interested and it was easy to put ...more
Mark
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
“Hot, isn’t it?”
“Damned hot!”

Lao greeting

Dr. Siri Paiboun , the National coroner of Laos, returns for his second adventure. He is a widower, in his early 70s, still quite sharp-minded but looking to retire. He is also a shaman, so he has vivid and prophetic dreams and can see spirits lurking in the shadows.
Our setting once again, is the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, mid-70s. A country in transition.
The story begins with Siri investigating several mysterious deaths, but the one that truly
...more
Cindy
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the series set in Laos in the 1970's. They're supernatural murder mysteries and rather low key but I really dig them. Filled with Thai / Lao humor, spiritual and mystical beliefs, Cotterill's tales are original and filled with quirky characters. And I swear I met most of them while living in northern Thailand myself. His books definitely take me straight back to those hot, dust covered days and I love it.
Chris
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another fun book in the Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery series set in mid-70's Laos. As with the first book, the coroner and his staff tackles several mysteries: an animal is on the loose mauling people, two burned bodies need identification, and how does a strange box tie in with the death of a government worker? Sometimes the solution involves the supernatural since Dr. Siri carries an ancient spirit who, like it or not, attracts other spirits, both friendly and not. How can a mystery be surrounded b ...more
Judy
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: atypical mystery lovers
Book 2 of the Siri Paiboun mystery series gripped me in its claws much like the first book, The Coroner's Lunch. The first half of the book moved a little slower than the second half, but I loved that sassy Nurse Dtui played a bigger role than in the first book.
The same components of Siri, the disrespected coroner, loyalty amongst co-workers and friends, voodoo and culture are prominent in this book also. I still get a kick out of Cotterill's style of writing.

Here are a couple examples:

A humor
...more
Wanda
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Dr. Siri Paiboun is a 73 year old doctor living in Laos in 1977 after the Communist revolution. He has been appointed as national coroner but spends much of his time solving the mystery of the deaths of his clients. Added to this is that he is the host for an ancient spirit shaman and the fun begins.

Mr. Cotterill has written an intriguing mystery with characters that are realistic and entertaining. This is the second in the series and it was at the same level of excellence as the first. As well
...more
Pattie
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I really don't enjoy Magical Realism in fiction, and don't believe in ghosts, spirits, or any other juju in real life. Because of this, I fought like hell against enjoying the 1st book in the series, "The Coroner's Lunch". But once I willed myself into a suspension of disbelief, I was able to enjoy this book.

The combined foreignness of life in a deeply impoverished and Kafkaesque communist society with the exoticism of the Laotian setting makes the series fascinating, even if the trade-off is a
...more
Calzean
This is a fun series focusing on the poor country of Laos, a cynical coroner and his friends, shamans and spirits. In this book a mass murderer who thinks he is a type of tiger, the King makes a short appearance and Dr Siri finds out his nurse Dtui is a lot smarter than he thought. The book did not reach any great heights but for those interested in other cultures and mysteries this is still a worthwhile read.
Heidi Burkhart
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This a re-read for me. I love this series!
Pamela Shropshire
Mr. A and Mr. B are guests at Dr. Siri Paiboun’s morgue and he is puzzled about their causes of death. The investigation leads him to the nearby Ministry building, and a mysterious chest on the top floor from which he senses a great deal of energy.

Meanwhile, bodies, very mangled bodies with teeth and claw marks, have been coming to. The marks are too big to have been made by any of the natural predators that inhabit the area around Vientiane. At first, he speculates the culprit may be a bear, a
...more
Cora
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cora by: sequel
I am really enjoying this series on audiobook. In this second book Dr. Siri Paiboun and his colleagues are faced with some strange deaths. In an effort to figure out what has been killing people, Dr. Siri has to learn more about himself and his gifts that were revealed in the first book of the series. While the mystery is interesting, I read these books more for the characters and settings. I learn a lot about the history of communism in Asia and in Laos in particular. Dr. Siri is a great charac ...more
Joyce Lagow
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it

2nd in the Dr. Siri Paibon, national coroner of Laos series.

It isn’t a Dr. Siri book if there weren’t weird deaths in the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos of 1977. Two men have been mysteriously killed on the same bicycle and it’s hard to figure out how exactly that could have happened. Then other mysterious deaths occur, and fear is about that a large, vicious animal--or worse--is preying on the countryside. Of equal significance, Dr. Siri discovers that he has 33 teeth (instead of the usua
...more
Angshuman Chatterjee
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked the style of Mr.Cotterill... lovely phrases and sentences, adequately sprinkled with humour and irony. In my opinion, these books border on what we call literature and definitely much more than just a detective story.

The backdrop of the stories is Laos, a country less known and even more so in English writing. The period is ‘70s, the aftermath of the Vietnam war. The challenges our hero, the national coroner faces in his daily life in the communist ruled Laos, makes fascinating re
...more
Rob Kitchin
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thirty-Three Teeth is the second book in the Dr Siri series set in Laos in the 1970s. Like the first in the series there is much to like about the story and storytelling. The real delight is the characterisation, especially Dr Siri, Nurse Dtui, and mortuary assistant, Mr Geung, who are all extremely likeable, multidimensional characters with interesting back stories. Dr Siri, in particular, shines with his easy-going charm and slightly rascal persona. Added to this is: the sense of place and tim ...more
Paul
An engaging continuation from The Coroner's Lunch about a year later. Politics, crime, relationships, Buddhism, animism, shamanism, a little bit of horror, and the operation of an under-resourced coroner's office are well combined in this story. Cotterill is an expressive and often amusing writer - Chapter 2 is titled "Tomb Sweet Tomb." Siri Piboun, "reluctant national coroner, confused psychic, disheartened communist," (p.12) is a low energy, never-predictable, and observant detective. The audi ...more
Jo
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Intriguing and absorbing mystery set in communist Laos. Dr. Siri Paiboun is 72 and, as a reward for his long and zealous service fighting in the revolution, he is appointed official coroner for the young communist government. In this capacity he is called upon to determine cause of death and becomes conversant with a number of ghosts and ends up solving murders. And the amazing thing about this book is that I became so immersed in the story that I found all of this perfectly reasonable! I really ...more
Pili
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so happy a friend lent me this book!!, otherwise I would have never read it (it's not the type of book I would have chosen at a bookshop)

A very compelling story presented in a pace slow enough to familiarize yourself with the characters, their culture, beliefs and the country it takes place but fast enough to keep the plot interesting and the desire to solve the mystery.

Ideal to be enyojed on a rainy day...you'll find out why :)
Judy
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I like Dr. Siri Paiboun, a feisty and independent 72 year old doctor-turned-national-coroner (not his choice) who doesn't always conform to the party line in newly Communist Laos in the 1970s. I like that spirits communicate with him, although he's not always comfortable with that. And I love reading about the time and the culture. Even when all of it seems a bit over the top as in this 2nd book of the series.

Genine Franklin-Clark
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Oh my, I love this series! Colin Cotterill is brilliant. From the quotes on the back cover:
"Quirky, exotic and winning" and " Unpredictable ... Tragically funny and magically sublime." Yep, all of that, and more. I look forward to the next in this wonderful series.
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Play Book Tag: Thirty-Three Teeth - Colin Cotterill (4 stars) 5 19 Jun 22, 2018 09:02AM  
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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

Other books in the series

Dr. Siri Paiboun (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Coroner's Lunch (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #1)
  • 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)
  • The Woman Who Wouldn't Die (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #9)
  • Six and a Half Deadly Sins (Dr. Siri Paiboun #10)
  • I Shot the Buddha (Dr. Siri Paiboun #11)
“Honesty can be a dirty gift. It can muddy a sparkling stream of memories.” 5 likes
“May I ask how your revolution's going?

Revolutions always go more smoothly around a campfire in the jungle than they do in real life.”
2 likes
More quotes…