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on 5 May 2017
Another great amateur detective, comedy romp from CC.
Full of weird but fascinating characters (I am sure I have met some of them in Thailand) and excellent observations on, what are to farangs, the quirks, foibles and eccentricities of life in Thailand - whilst certainly not essential, I think it helps one's understanding and enjoyment of this book if one has some experience of Thailand and Thai folk.
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on 24 August 2017
Always like reading about Jimm and her delightful family and all the other pleasant and interesting folk in Southern Thailand
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on 28 June 2017
Daft but readable. Waiting for the next instalment.
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on 27 October 2017
as all his other books; enjoyable light read
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on 7 September 2016
But she gets under your skin. Wonderful combination of ancient and modern literary references scattered like black pepper through it all.
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on 6 October 2015
Excellent whodunnit - with a very unusual premise. Great fun as always - witty, elegant with some great insights into the Thai psyche
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on 7 November 2013
... her oh so wonderful anomalous family.

This is the new adventure of Jimm Juree, our yet so well known thirty-something ex-crime-reporter from Chiang Mai. Unfortunately transplanted by the (higher) force of her a-little-bit-out-of-the-road Mair (Mum), together with her body-building brother Arny (in honor of Schwarzy) and her one-dimensional Granddad Jah, an ex street policeman in semi-permanent mental absence, to a lovely but doomed seaside resort in the rural coastal Southeast of Thailand, as yet described masterly by the author Colin Cotterill in Killed at the Whim of a Hat (Jimm Juree 1) and in Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach (Jimm Juree 2).
Yet one member is missing, staying in the North - Sissi, the former elder brother, now after the "Great Snip" an "Auntie", ex Miss Thay, Asia, Frisco World of Transgender etc., but in Midlife Crisis because of ..., but read and learn!

This time the newest, latest Jimm Juree could easily being also the LAST adventure we may have the pleasure to read about our heroine, because in the Pak Nam area there is an aspirant serial killer with an axe on the loose. And logically our sniffing reporter will be in deadly danger. Because she digs far too deep into affairs she'd better left alone...

On the gulf of Thailand, the Juree family members are managing their run-down Gulf Bay Lovely Resort for the second year - still stalked by disaster. No money is to be made with it, and if Jimm wouldn't work a second job besides her first for the Chumphon Gazette, they literally would be starving...
So she doesn't only write about sleazy details and petty criminality, but is eagerly correcting billboards, traffic signs and advertising of all kind which lost almost every sense in the translation into English...

Meanwhile, Jimm's new private case is that of Dr Somluk, a defender of the rights of rural mothers to breastfeed their babies, who is missing after her insistent complaints about the damages of infant formula to Medley - a multicorporate enterprise based in Switzerland - but with its tentacles all around the world.

Then fate is striking and our reporter finds herself involved with a man so fascinating she falls for him and into ... NO-NO - read it by Yourselves!
Conrad Coralbank, an English writer of Laotian crime novels with a beautiful Thai wife half his age and a villa with vista as far as Vietnam is very interested in our Jimm. Because... the young Thai wife is gone and he seems to be sooo alone.
So, after some misunderstandings at the interview Jimm has to conduct, "Love is in the Air, du-dum-du-du-dum-du, Love is in the Air." Angels are floating all around and Cupido sends his "Little arrows, Little arrows, Little arrows everywhere"... But this seems to good to be true and ...

But Jimm Juree and her Nearest and Dearest, supported by the long lost Daddy Captain Kow personally and Sissi virtually, are the right persons to solve all those mysteries. But this time the foe is hiding in full sight and hasn't any scruples left, because the killing has become addictive. So, Jimm will have to be very inventive to get her nice little head out of the noose around her pretty neck.
And all this is happening in one of the most dangerous sceneries Mother Nature has at her disposal - a thunderstorm of biblical magnitude which will cause a total chaos in the whole Chumphon province...

The wits and twists of this bloody thriller, those very out-of-a-normal-range-persons, the ideas and last but not least Conrad Coralbank make this book a more than appetising story for readers who yet enjoy the Dr Siri series set in Laos. But also for those who simply want their thrillers intelligent - and maybe like rural coastal Southern Thailand (and the Islands just a bit more to the East...), so masterly described by Colin Cotterill.
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on 30 June 2016
The 3rd in the Jim Juree series is as amusing and flippant as its predecessors. I found it an amusing and entertaining read. You do not need to be Sherlock Holmes to pick up the clues/allusions in this book, starting with its title. Medley the corrupt, multi-national company accused of forcing its baby-formula on the poor of Thailand. It does that by deliberately misleading advertisement and endorsement by medics and childcare specialists it has corrupted. Jim Juree is drawn to investigate the proponents of Medley when a country doctor goes missing in Southern Thailand. Murder is suspected. It's not hard to guess what multi-national could well fit the profile of Medley.

Another potential suspect is an ex-pat lothario with initials C.C. who includes Jim in his conquests. I hope that this character and the author share only their initials!

As always however it is Jims's weird family and their three dogs who are the stars of this story. It kept me smiling just about all the way through.
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on 18 March 2014
This is difficult. I was a huge fan of the Dr Siri series and was looking forward to this new series too. Jimm Juree and her family present entertainment and charm, if not quite capturing the reader in the same way that Siri and his colleagues did.

Focussing on this book though, we see a journey into self indulgent waters by Mr C, casting one of the main characters and suspects as himself. It would be easy to describe the portrayal of this character and Mr C poking a little fun at himself - but having the arrogance to turn himself into a main character, perhaps his portrayal of himself as a lothario is based more on self image than we would like to believe.

Despite the fact I don't want to be financing Mr C's forays into such fantasies of himself, I could have forgiven this had it been the only annoyance. However, I was confused by the passage below:

"Like Tesco, Christmas at the Gulf Bay Lovely Resort was not a celebration of Jesus getting hammered to a cross and bleeding out. But I tend to believe that most of the people who celebrate the day barely give a thought to that aspect either. No, for us it was a chance to put our predecessors’ beautifully hand-crafted English sign out front"

Now, I don't claim to know my bible, nonetheless, I remember (not celebrate) Jesus 'getting hammered to a cross and bleeding out' at Easter, not Christmas - at which time, my friends and I celebrate the birth of Jesus and sing songs about mangers and bearing gifts etc......

Another trend that keeps cropping up is weight issues. Poor Jimm, at 50 kilos, is described as overweight. When I weighed 55 kilos, once upon a time long long ago - I was quite underweight. One can only assume that Jimm is 3ft tall. Weight crops up several times in this book, has cropped up several times in other recent works. I would be starting to think that Mr C is a closet anorexic, except for the fact he describes 85 kilos as 'a perfectly normal weight for a male'. Whilst it is scientific fact that the healthy weight for a male is somewhat more than that for a female - not by 35 kilos it isn't. So, girls - if you are not seriously underweight and have a delicate self image, skip these books and stick to Mr McCall-Smith. Paranoia? Perhaps. However, in another of Mr C's works, 'Ageing Disgracefully", the author expresses an opinion that put him in the gutter in my estimation (as a brief summation - scantily clad western girls deserve to be raped and brutally murdered by the indigenous Thai population - made my Thai friend rather angry upon reading too).

So, why is this difficult? Why not give one star, have done and move on? Well, because Mr C has redeeming features. He is funny. His books are easy to read, often charming and mood enhancing. The negatives can't make one toss ones hair in indignation and confine a work to the bin when there is a lot of good too. I LIKE reading Mr C's work. I just wish he would remember why he became a successful author and start writing for his readers again rather than for himself. And bring back Dr Siri, for goodness sake!
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on 4 December 2013
I am a big fan of Colin Cotterill and eagerly awaited the return of young Jimm and her somewhat chaotic family (they rather remind me of the eccentric Durrells from My Family........ etc). This was an enjoyable read but not, I think, quite as good as the previous Jimm Juree and nowhere near the standard of the Dr Siri books. Still worth getting though
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