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Summer in Laos is hot. Bloody hot.
The once retired Siri Paiboun—now national coroner—confused psychic and disheartened communist—decamps from the steamy capital and heads north to examine two badly charred bodies. Siri’s a busy man, dining with the deposed king, attending a shamans’ conference and being rescued by the ghost of an elephant.
Meanwhile, back at Vientiane headquarters, savaged corpses start to pile up. Could it be the missing bear from the circus, or is it a weretiger? Siri’s trusty assistant Nurse Dtui goes snooping but, unlike her boss, the spirits aren’t looking out for her…And just what creature, if any, has thirty-three teeth?
With a great sense of fun and a lively, loveable cast of characters, Thirty-three Teeth will delight fans of The Coroner’s Lunch and win Cotterill a whole new bunch of readers.
‘A fresh and innovative detective who goes straight to the heart and soul, without any sappy sentiment…a hero unlike any other.’
‘Thirty-Three Teeth triumphantly braves the tightrope between quirky humour and the surreal macabre…magically sublime.’
‘The Coroner’s Lunch was such a lovely, mad, rambunctious original that one feared it might also be a one-off. Fortunately in Thirty-Three Teeth the delightful, 72-year-old Dr Siri Paiboun, “reluctant national coroner, confused psychic, disheartened communist”, has a new swag of problems to solve and bizarre deaths to investigate in the bureaucratic jungle that is Vientiane under the Pathet Lao.
‘Cotterill’s books are a lovely fusion of Lao history, Buddhist spirituality and creaking Communist politics, acted out by a cast of most endearing characters with great verve and irreverent humour…But Cotterill is serious about the things that matter, and a genuine, enthralling, entertaining informant on a tiny, distinctive country that is often overlooked by the West.
‘Cotterill’s books have been compared to McCall Smith’s Botswana detective series, but this easy ethnic ghettoising sells them short. There is a good deal more substance and depth to the Lao books, and not the slightest hint of condescension.’