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Laos, 1975. The new communist regime is having teething problems and Dr Siri Paiboun, a charming if crotchety surgeon in his seventies, is called back from retirement and into harness as chief coroner, despite having no training for the post.
Soon after his appointment the wife of a Party leader is wheeled into the morgue, and her death raises eyebrows and suspicions. Then three more bodies are found—but these are Vietnamese soldiers, and Siri may have an international incident on his hands. The feisty doctor calls on medical deduction, old friends, his delightful staff, Hmong shamans, forest spirits and dream visits from the dead to help him solve the crimes. Lucky for him the spirits are mostly on side.
‘Cotterill has a wonderful sense of farce…a delightful book.’
This is a delightful series set in a fascinating location. The background information and the secondary characters are engaging and Paiboun is an entertaining narrator with a droll sense of humour, a sharp eye for a clue and the ability to keep one step ahead of the authorities. Recommended.‘