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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent instalment
Another excellent instalment of the series centred around Dr Siri the National Coroner of Laos under the Pathet Lao regime. This episode mostly concerns itself with mysterious happenings in a Hmong village. While Siri's intrepid assistant nurse Dtui goes off to investigate another crime. A central focus of this book is the price paid by the Hmong during the conflicts in...
Published on 14 July 2008 by Miran Ali

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly cursed
I am a tremendous fan of the Dr Siri series and advertise Mr Cotterill far and wide. But I have to be a little critical here and say that "Curse" was not quite up to his usual high standards. I think it may only be the fact that he spent a great deal of time on the supernatural side of the Dr Siri story and I felt it became rather laboured. For those who enjoy that aspect...
Published on 26 May 2011 by nickyb


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent instalment, 14 July 2008
By 
Miran Ali "I don't like anonymous reviewers" (Dhaka, Bangladesh) - See all my reviews
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Another excellent instalment of the series centred around Dr Siri the National Coroner of Laos under the Pathet Lao regime. This episode mostly concerns itself with mysterious happenings in a Hmong village. While Siri's intrepid assistant nurse Dtui goes off to investigate another crime. A central focus of this book is the price paid by the Hmong during the conflicts in Indochina. Sadly, though the book's set in the late '70's, the Hmong are still being persecuted by the Lao and Vietnamese governments to this day.
If this is your fist encounter with Dr. Siri, then please start with "The Coroner's Lunch", the first installement of the series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Fine Entry in a Great Series, 20 Nov 2009
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr Siri Paiboun Mystery 5) (Paperback)
The simplest thing to say about this book is that if you liked the first four entries in this 1970s-set series about elderly Laotian National Coroner Dr. Siri Paiboun, then you'll like this fifth one. And if you haven't read those (Coroner's Lunch, Thirty-Three Teeth, Disco for the Departed, Anarchy and Old Dogs), go back and read them first, as this book assumes reader knowledge of events from those ones.

The story here involves Dr. Siri's road trip to a useless conference, which leads to his spending some time in a Hmong village. It seems they've got some spiritual troubles and only the legendary shaman that uses Dr. Siri's body as a vessel can lift the titular curse. This allows the author to paint a warm portrait of the Hmong people and give a little lesson in how poorly they've been treated throughout history. Meanwhile, back in Vientiane, Dr. Siri's able assistants narrowly escape being killed by an Royalist adversary from a previous book. Rather than leave it up to the inept police to track down this nefarious villain, Nurse Duti and the gang do some detecting of their own.

As with the other books in the series, the story combines political satire, bawdy humor, cultural history, two whodunnits, and warm affection for the Laotian people in a cozy little mystery. It's full of little touches that are beautifully integrated into the story -- such as the government's replacement of the perfectly functional colonial era refrigeration system for the morgue with a behemoth Soviet-made one whose malfunction inadvertently helps save the lives of Nurse Duti, et al. If you like mysteries with a heart or have an interest in Laos, the series is definitely worth checking out -- I hope it continues well into the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly cursed, 26 May 2011
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This review is from: Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr Siri Paiboun Mystery 5) (Paperback)
I am a tremendous fan of the Dr Siri series and advertise Mr Cotterill far and wide. But I have to be a little critical here and say that "Curse" was not quite up to his usual high standards. I think it may only be the fact that he spent a great deal of time on the supernatural side of the Dr Siri story and I felt it became rather laboured. For those who enjoy that aspect of the stories then fine and four or five stars should be awarded. A fellow Dr Siri fan warned me that "Curse" was not as good as previous books and perhaps that coloured my enjoyment of the book. Still Dr Siri rules.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than most, 21 Dec 2009
This review is from: Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr Siri Paiboun Mystery 5) (Paperback)
Am a big fan of this series of Dr Siri and think all of the previous books were excellent enjoyable reads, though this book is still very good I think it's just not quite up with the previous books, though they were so good that's not too bad a thing. But please if you haven't read any of Colin Cotterills books then please do, couldn't recommend the series high enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars crime with a light touch in a warm climate, 19 July 2013
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another Dr Siri novel written with an interesting cast, humorous interplay between the characters, and a deep affection for a poor country.The plot- I leave for others to describe. For me, I am hooked on these tales of a far off place.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting historical detective, 20 Jun 2013
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This is well written and researched and there is, as usual, a well plotted story. I am going to read many more of the Dr. Siri stories.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, 22 April 2013
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DrSiri has not let me down yet! Colin Cotterhill has created a wonderful character full of charm, wit and intelligence - I love him!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny..., 5 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr Siri Paiboun Mystery 5) (Paperback)
Hilarious....
Read it ages ago, enjoyed it so much I bought a copy for my Dad.
Highly recommend all the Dr Siri books!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Endlessly entertaining, 14 April 2012
By 
Blue in Washington "Barry Ballow" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr Siri Paiboun Mystery 5) (Paperback)
I'm a big fan of Colin Cotterill's Dr. Siri Paiboun Mystery stories. They have originality, wit, interesting plotting and wonderful characters. Cotterill has practically put post-civil war Laos back on the social/political map with these tales of a septegenarian leftist revolutionary who is trying to get his country back on its feet (circa 1978). As the country's lone coroner, Dr. Siri Paiboun sees a lot of death and suffering, not to mention criminal behavior. All grist for author Cotterill's very clever and knowing story mill.

In "Curse of the Pogo Stick", several plots run parallel, but the story focuses on the plight of the Hmong people of Laos, who were among the big losers of that country's civil war. Cotterill provides a compassionate but highly witty portrait of one small band of Hmong who kidnap Dr. Siri in order to obtain his spiritual help with a demonic problem that is keeping them from getting on with their lives. As is usually the case in these books, an element of the supernatural is part and parcel of Dr. Siri's sleuthing. Somehow this bit of close-to-the-edge narrative works alright in this context. "Curse" is wildly imaginative and engaging from the first pages, and an element of satisfying justice is provided by the end of the story.

This is enjoyable as a mystery, but read it for the great characters and the humor-in-the-face-of tragedy that it provides. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Curse of the pogo stick, 8 Aug 2011
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J. R. Perrett (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr Siri Paiboun Mystery 5) (Paperback)
A delightful addition to the genre. Dr Siri gives wonderful encouragement to all of us who think retirement is not the end of adventure and disruption.
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Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr Siri Paiboun Mystery 5)
Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr Siri Paiboun Mystery 5) by Colin Cotterill (Paperback - 5 Nov 2009)
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