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The Coroner's Lunch: A Dr Siri Murder Mystery (Dr Siri Paiboun Mystery Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Colin Cotterill
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

Life has taken a funny turn for Siri Paiboun. After years in obscurity, his country needs him. He is to be their only coroner. Because he's the only doctor left.

It's not as flattering as it could be, and when one of the leaders' wives turns up in his hot, shabby, smelly morgue, and he's expected to solve her murder, things take a turn for the worse. He has no experience, training or equipment to speak of, and his only hope are his two trusty assistants - neither of whom know anything either - and his own mental resources.

As if this weren't enough, the tortured bodies of several soldiers start floating to the surface of a lake and this second case is even more politically charged than his first. Only Siri's wit, charm and sense of the ridiculous will get him through this…



Product Description

Review

'This series kickoff is an embarrassment of riches: Holmesian sleuthing, political satire and droll comic study of a prickly late bloomer.' Kirkus Reviews.

'Cotterill has a wonderful sense of farce... a delightful book.' Sydney Morning Herald.

'Cotterill's depiction of this exotic, troubled country is fascinating, and his light touch makes Siri, with his humanity and strange dreams, a very appealing character.' Guardian.

From the Back Cover

Life has taken a funny turn for Siri Paiboun. After years in obscurity, his country needs him. He is to be their only coroner. Because he's the only doctor left. When one of the leaders' wives turns up in Siri's hot, shabby, smelly morgue, he's expected to solve her murder with no experience, training or equipment to speak of. His only hope is his two trusty assistants, neither of whom knows anything either. As if this weren't enough, the tortured bodies of several soldiers start floating to the surface of a lake and this second case is even more politically charged than the first.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 975 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (7 Dec. 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0038QN28K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,248 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Colin Cotterill is the author of the Dr. Siri series of novels. Born in London, he has taught in Australia, the USA and Japan and lived for many years in Laos where he worked for non-governmental social service organizations. He now writes full-time and lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle humour and a strong story line 21 Dec. 2011
Format:Paperback
If you enjoy detective stories with a wry sense of humour, this is a series to try out. The first novel in the series sets the scene for this eccentric set of characters and goes from strength to strength.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My sister knows a good thing when she finds it 15 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dr Siri is a lovely septagenarian with a twinkle in his eye. The setting of Laos is fascinating with snippets of the country's history inserted inn a way that heightens your interest and the various cases that Siri comes across are funny and representative of the country's culture. My sister, who suggested the book, said the style reminds her the Ladies No1 Detective agency and it is similar, but in a more informative way.
This is my first Dr Siri and will not be the last. From someone who normally reads the cheap books, I am delighted to pay good money for quality writing and good entertainment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well and truly hooked on this elderly doctor 21 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I absolutely love the tales of this reluctant, spectre seeing coroner in communist Laos. I decided to start at book one and work my way through in order. By book 2 I decided I had to buy the first 8, just to make sure I had the next in the series the minute I wanted it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great main character 2 Feb. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I struggled initially to get into the style of this author but after about ten pages I was with him.

The book is set in Laos just after the communists took over. The author has worked in both Laos and Thailand and uses his knowledge of the people and geography in the story.

The coroner is an elderly man who was one of those in favour of the regime. He is now about 65 and had thought that his years working for the party and as a doctor would be rewarded with a nice retirement but instead he is made coroner.

He is coroner for the entire country in an office with no equipment, a young girl who wanted to be a nurse and a young man with Down's Syndrome as his work partners.

The story is a murder mystery set in Laos struggling with its new communism. It is told in a tongue in cheek manner and several times I laughed out loud.

My husband had to put up with several quotes being read to him and that is a sign of something making me laugh in that I cannot wait to share it.

The story is quite complex and involves the hero visiting a loyal hill tribe. He discovers he has some psychic powers and these help him solve some of the mysteries he has to deal with.

I really liked the author's style of writing. I liked that he poked fun at the Laos communist system in a gentle but not at all superior or patronising way.

I loved the main character and all the side characters were also written in a believable and sympathetic way.

It reminds me of Shamini Flint or Tarquin Hall's books as they have a bit more of a real mystery than McColl Smith's books do but they fact that they are set in the different countries makes them appeal to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detective with attitude... 10 May 2013
By Bizgen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gloriously funny detective series, the detective in this case, Dr Siri Paiboun, the Chief Coroner (only coroner!) of communist Laos in the seventies. He is an unwilling coroner, forced into the post at the age of 70 or so, when most of us would have been retired for some years. He is totally unqualified to do autopsies and he has little in the way of equipment to test out any theories that spring to his unorthodox mind. In his endeavours he is helped by a nurse and a Down's Syndrome morgue assistant who worked worked for his predecessor.

He is also helped by what he first thinks are just dreams, but eventually he reluctantly accepts that they are a spiritual force. This aspect develops as the mystery unfolds.

He is hounded by bureaucracy and corrupt officialdom but, naturally, overcomes all obstacles in his path with his original way of approaching his cases.

The book certainly reinforces my opinion that I would hate to live under a real communist regime, but one certainly gets an interesting slant on political history of that region. The brilliantly conceived setting enables Colin Cotterill free reign to his gentle and very perceptive wit.

Twitter @GensPlace
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bland 10 July 2014
By Wriggle
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this on the strength of a review (not on Amazon) and was puzzled why it had received such praise. It is not a bad book just a slight one. The main character, a 70 year old reluctant pathologist in Laos in the 70s, is sort of interesting but there is very little to him. The prose at times feels as if it has been translated. There is a lightness of touch - and humour - which I enjoyed, but there is nothing much at stake for anyone. I didn't really care about the victims which the lead investigates and there was little tension or mystery. It was fun to read but a bit bland - I don't think I will bother with the other books in this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Age shall not wither 20 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dr Siri Paiboun is an aging doctor in Laos, looking forward to retirement, when he is visited by a Communist official to be told that he has been appointed the Chief coroner for Laos. He tries to argue, but is told that all other candidates have been inadvertently murdered by zealous communists for revisionist tendencies or have fled the country. He reluctantly takes up his post in a run down morgue in a run down hospital and in a fairly short time his first case appears. The wife of a Communist official has died mysteriously, although her husband claims that death was due to parasitic organisms due to her fondness for certain forms of dried meat! Siri establishes that this was not the case by calling on ex-students and other colleagues to help him in the forensic study of the remains. This is necessary because as a result of the war so much of Laos along with Cambodia and Korea were so devastated by (mostly) American bombing! He also becomes involved with the deaths of military personnel in the jungle. His assistants in all his endeavours are a nurse and the morgue attendant who were at the hospital to start. The morgue attendant happens to be afflicted with Downs syndrome, but it does not affect his insight or his judgements. By schlepping round the country a lot and discovering from a jungle tribe that he is possessed by an ancient spirit which he really hates and tries to deny, he and his team solve the cases and bring the killers to justice. Colin Cotterill is extremely funny and perceptive and I really think you should read him!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
an excellent read and quite funny in parts, highly recommended.
Published 4 months ago by Christine Hurrell
4.0 out of 5 stars A very useful writer to find - it's funny
A very useful writer to find - it's funny, ghoulish - an interesting insight into this country. I love Dr Siri!
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. LJR Clydesdale
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thoroughly enjoyed it
Published 7 months ago by MikeN7777
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Lovely, atmospheric light yet gripping read. I thrilled to have discovered this series.
Published 9 months ago by Sherry White
4.0 out of 5 stars easy reading with some background on Laos history
Read these in Laos; easy reading with some background on Laos history. Enjoyed the whole series although I think the earlier ones were better.
Published 11 months ago by amy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story
Published 11 months ago by anthony
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Funny
This is the first book in the series, and outlines the characters and life in Laos. Very entertaining and funny, with well drawn characters.
Published 12 months ago by Aileen Latona
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting take on the detective story
The hero of this book is extremely likeable, in the style of No1 Ladies Detective Agency. The characters and sense of culture do not seem so well captured as in those novels, but... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Gruffalo
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this series
I am completely hooked on this fabulous series of Dr Siri mysteries. Fantastic characters in these books. Buy and share!
Published 15 months ago by L M Hussey
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed
Hadn't come across this author or series of books before, and found it thoroughly enjoyable. A refreshing change from all those dark & gloomy hard-nosed detectives
Published 15 months ago by F. Beresford
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