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Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness

(Ethical Chiang Mai Detective Agency #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,161 ratings  ·  224 reviews
Meet Ladarat Patalung -- the first and only nurse detective in Thailand.
Two nights ago, a young woman brought her husband into the emergency room of the Sriphat Hospital in Thailand, where he passed away. A guard thinks she remembers her coming in before, but with a different husband -- one who also died.
Ladarat Patalung, for one, would have been happier without a serial
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Redhook
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  1,161 ratings  ·  224 reviews

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Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thailand - where Asia wears a smile - but smiles have many meanings when a murderer visits the hospital. Ladarat Patalung is an Ethicist Nurse, this means paper-work not patients. She is swept into the mystery of many dead husbands each with the same name!


Every detective looks for motive when there is a murder. And the simplest reason is usually the best.
“Serial murder, yes,” Wiriya said. “If there are two cases we know about, there may be others.”
They both thought for a moment about what that
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars for the audiobook as narrated by Kristin Kalbli -- this was a nice, light cozy mystery.

We follow Ladarat Patalung, a nurse ethicist, as she juggles her work at a busy hospital with doing some amateur sleuthing. Not only are there some minor mysteries to be solved at the hopital, she's also helping out a local detective who is trying to track down a woman who is potentially a serial black widow. Using the communication and empathy skills she's learned as a nurse ethicist, Ladarat is able
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, book-club
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars!

I really enjoyed this cozy mystery set in Thailand.
Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness starts off with Detective Wiriya Mookjai enlisting help from nurse ethicist, Ladarat Patalung.

Ladarat is a nurse ethicist at the Sriphat Hospital in Chiang Mai. She is a nurse foremost, but she also is in control of all the ethical decisions in the hospital. I really enjoyed the character of Ladarat. She was very practical and looked on the bright side of all situations.

Apr 21, 2021 marked it as not-going-to-finish
Nope, 30% in and I just can't do it anymore. Not even the thought of actively picking this novel apart chapter by chapter in a lovely, 1 star review keeps me going.
I wanted to like this book. I lived in Thailand. I love cozy mysteries. And I was intrigued by the basic premise: a possible serial killer posing as a widow to collect insurance benefits investigated by a nurse ethicist? Cool!
And then when I started reading and the awkward, clearly non-Thai American (male) writing from the perspective
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books, crime
I have no idea what to think of this book. on the other hand I like cozy mysteries with smart and kick-ass lady detectives. But when a white western man writes a book about a thai woman and thai culture there is bound to be some... Hiccups. To say the least. I'm sure I didn't spot all the problems, thai people would definitely have more to say on this.

Still, by far the biggest issue was that it is completely fine to want to write a lighthearted cozy mystery. You know, one of those books where m
Lauren (Shooting Stars Mag) Becker
This was a book I picked up at BEA16. I can't remember how I came across it, though I imagine it was a simple book drop that I came across and realizing it was a mystery, I grabbed a copy. I'm a huge fan of mysteries because I love following the case, whether I guess the culprit or piece it all together or not.

Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness is the first book in a new series which follows a nurse ethicist in Thailand named Ladarat Patalung. She's an intriguing character, having lost he
On my left, the Ethical Chiang Mai Detective Agency (2016) by David Casarett.
On my right, the hugely popular 1998 book & series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

I'm not saying–definitely not saying–Casarett has slavishly copied AMS's hit. But the resemblances are...striking:

AMS: heroine, in her 40s; not conventionally attractive; widowed in her 20s; no living parents; lives alone. She refers frequently to the wisdom of a professional manual: "The Principles of Private
Cathy Cole
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Through the talents of writers such as Timothy Hallinan, Colin Cotterill, and now David Casarett, I am learning a great deal about the wonderful people of Thailand. How many other cultures do you know of that have names for all of the many different types of human smiles?

I quickly fell under Ladarat Patalung's spell. She is a truly solitary woman whose life revolves around the hospital. She takes her job as an ethicist very seriously, but outside of her job, the only interactions she has are wi
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book and looking forward to the next in the series!
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I found this book rather dull. It was technically a mystery, but it wasn't a whodunit because there weren't any suspects or anything. The characters weren't that interesting and the mystery itself wasn't that great.

The author was CONSTANTLY comparing Thailand and the US which was interesting the first half dozen times but then got really tedious.
I veered out of my usual cultural areas, and turned into Chaing Mai, Thailand in this quirky Thai mystery, in audio format. It features an nurse ethicist, and I had to go look that up, as I don't think we have these in our US hospitals - a person who helps with ethical decisions on the client level? Maybe that's a pastor or other religious helper to assist with the painful transitions that happen at health care facilities.

Ladarat Patalung is a nice enough girl, but it was the narration that kept
Janet Martin
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a slow start, but a charming cozy mystery. Nurse Ethicist Ladarat Patalung is already frantically busy getting ready for a hospital inspection when three thorny problems are dropped in her lap--a murder, a dying tourist whose family is in desperate need of compassion and advice, and a reclusive mountain man lurking shoeless in the waiting room. Set in Northern Thailand, this book is filled with cultural detail, appealing characters, and insight into a lifestyle not familiar to many Nort ...more
Adam Dunn
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book starts well but with a LOT of similarities to The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. There is the foreign locale, the meddling assistant, even the old car that is held on to for sentimental reasons. This being said I enjoy that series a lot and I enjoyed this as well. As the story goes on it becomes more centered in Thai culture than standard mystery plot devices and I enjoyed it.
Near the reveal and climax at the end I did manage to lose track of who was whom, with all the Thai names bein
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I would have rated this book higher but the incessant way the author kept bringing up Americans or American culture irritated me so much so that I almost didn't finish it. I understand that some comparison is necessary in order to explain how Thai culture is different, but this was way too much. You don't need to criticize one culture in order to explain another culture (and that goes for any culture). When he was just straight up talking about Thai culture, it was great and interesting and exac ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
I made it to page 85. I bought a mystery, I ended up with a primer about Thailand's customs and language. The author also takes every chance he has to disparage Americans, even though he is one, as he paints them as rude, controlling, and people who "...rearrange the world to suit themselves."
The story had possibility. A woman brings her dead husband into the ER. Someone reveals they've seen her just 3 months ago bring another dead husband into another ER. 85 pages, that's as much of the mystery
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anybody who is a fan of Alexander McCall Smith (Mma Ramotswe) books--and to a certain extent Colin Cotterill (Dr. Siri Paiboun) books--will immediately identify and like this book. An exotic setting (Chiang Mai, Thailand), a detective story that highlights human values that are rooted to the local culture but at the same time are universal and a strong sense of ethics accompanied by human kindness are what they share in common.

A bit cozier than the Cotterill and McCall Smith series, but it left
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This was slow to start because the author spends a lot of time explaining Thai culture, food, etc. However, I got hooked in the story and the last half sped along. I ended up enjoying the main character, Ladarat.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There is much to enjoy in this light mystery—Chiang Mai, Thailand especially —but the book is severely marred by certain stylistic tics. The effort to portray our detective’s reticence and care in proceeding becomes heavy-handed, repetitious and slow-going.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
It does have its charms. I like the main protagonist Ladarat Patalung. I'd like to see her get together with her policeman friend Wiriya. But it's a slow-moving book, & I'm not the most patient person in the world. Lots of thinking, not enough action. ...more
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was an interesting look into Thai culture. And I never knew there could be so many types of smiles, Khun.

Like the Vish Puri series I read about India, this gives the readers wherever they are from some social commentary to think about - that is, tourism and Western mannerisms for this book. I look forward to Ladarat's next adventure.
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was a fun experience and the setting in Thailand was a fun escape.
Jan 31, 2022 rated it liked it
Probably more of a 2.5-2.75. Enjoyable, cozy mystery. I probably won’t read the rest in the series. It never really sucked me in, but I enjoyed it as an audiobook on my errands.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
David Casarett, MD, has written a unique and fascinating book set in Thailand featuring a nurse ethicist- turned detective in Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness. Ladarat Patalung works as the nurse ethicist at the public hospital in northern Thailand and is busy getting ready for public inspections and doesn’t have time for extra work when a police detective approaches her. The night before, his officer stationed at the hospital emergency room reported to him that a woman brought in her de ...more
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Who knew that there were so many different ways to describe a smile? In Thai
Yim thak thaii: means ( I don't what's going on but I'm smiling anyway because, well, it can't hurt.)
Yim thak than : means a smile of disagreement
Yim yae: means ( well its awful but what can you do?)
Yim chug cheuan: is " the winners smile"
All of these occur in this amazing debut novel filled with the delights and dangers of Thailand. How life is so different than it is in the USA.. except they still murder each other the
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reccos
A beautifully written book, truly splendid. The major story line that is the mystery is good, just ok though especially vis a vis the language that completely mystifies. I was completely enthralled by the language, the thought, the expression, the emotion and the ethics especially medical ethics. Even the chapter titles are so thoughtful, each title is a metaphor in itself.

I'd love to be able to write this splendidly.....some day.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this mystery and the characters particularly as I visited Chiang Mai, Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand last summer. I particularly loved the laid back pace and delights of Chiang Mai w/elephants, temples, markets, art, good foods!! makes you want to eat some yummy Thai food like mango and sticky rice! Can’t wait to start next one!
Christopher Toon
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fun read, with moments of hilarity. Fascinating depiction of Thai culture by an American author. Can't wait for the next instalment of the redoubtable nurse ethicist cum ethical detective Madam Ladarat Patalung! ...more
Melissa MacKenzie
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful new series. Reminds me a bit of Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhouse Sunday Philosophy Club set in Chiang Mai, Thailand. What a delightful treat this book is. Looking forward to more in this series. ...more
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Really a 3.5. A delightful mystery in the vein of No. 1 Ladies Detectives Agency but better.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you like the No 1 a ladies Detective Series then you will enjoy this book. These cases take place in Thailand with a female nurse ethicist as the protagonist.
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David Casarett, M.D., is a physician, researcher, and tenured professor at the Duke University School of Medicine, where he is chief of palliative care and director of the Duke Center for Palliative Care. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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Ethical Chiang Mai Detective Agency (2 books)
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It’s no secret that the digital 21st century has been rough on the average attention span. Even for dedicated readers, it can sometimes be...
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“together? Should she reconsider the offer of a bodyguard? But her cousin, who knew how stubborn Ladarat could be, did not press her case. Instead, she simply slid a piece of paper across the desk. It was Tea House stationery. Who had stationery made for a brothel? On it was the woman’s name, Wipaporn Chakrabonse, and a number: 9283. THE $30 RAMBUTAN The fruit seller wasn’t at his post. He’d left his cart unattended, which was strange. But presumably he knew that no one would take a mango” 1 likes
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