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Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach: A Jimm…

Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach: A Jimm Juree Mystery (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Colin Cotterill

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10717112,824 (3.49)37
Title:Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach: A Jimm Juree Mystery
Authors:Colin Cotterill
Info:Minotaur Books (2012), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:2013, Literary Lit (books in book)
Tags:Thailand, monsoon, Burmese slaves, mystery, AD, 13 in 13

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Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach by Colin Cotterill (2012)




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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Colin Cotterill usually manages combine crime and comedy successfully in both of his series of books. Certainly his Dr. Siri series are better overall,but his first Jimm Juree came over well too.This second one starts well with Jimm finding the head of the title,and investigating how and why it got there. As the book progresses the story leaves comedy and crime and moves into the area of farce. By the end I had largely lost interest and merely hoped for a quick release. A pity as you can usually count on Cotterill for a great story. ( )
  devenish | May 21, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In this second outing with reporter turned amateur sleuth, Jimm Juree, Colin Cotterill has once again mixed serious themes with humorous delivery for a mostly successful result.

Grandad, There’s a Head on the Beach focuses on the plight of Burmese immigrants in Thailand, particularly in the fishing village to which Jimm had been unexpectedly exiled in the previous book, as a result of her mother having bought a rundown resort in the area. Many madcap schemes and hilarious adventures occur as Jimm tries to solve the murder, with pretty much no help from the local police, and initial distrust from the very community she is trying to assist.

As in the first book in the series, Cotterill uses sarcastic and self-deprecating humor as a counterfoil for the serious issues being experienced by the characters. It’s a style he does very well, and it makes for an enjoyable, easy read. Revisiting the recurring characters was just as much fun as the last time, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

I listened to the audiobook version, and while overall it was a good experience, there were some concerns. The narrator has a good sense of pacing and tone, and the different voices were well handled for the most part. However, towards the end of the book there is an entire section with rapid-fire one-liners from multiple characters during a couple of very tense scenes. During this portion of the book, I felt that the narration did not work. It was very hard to distinguish who was speaking and thus, while the tension was well represented, it was difficult to get a complete understanding of the sequence of events. While I will definitely continue with this series, I probably won’t choose the audiobooks.
  sangreal | Jan 8, 2014 |
It should be no surprise to anyone that Colin Cotterill's way with words has translated easily from the Laos of the 1970s in his Dr. Siri Paiboun mysteries to modern-day Thailand. From the mind of a wily and rebellious old Communist, we now get to enjoy following Jimm Juree, a Westernized Thai woman who has a talent for rooting out stories and surviving one family calamity after another.

Although I love Cotterill's humor-- and there is plenty to be found here-- he also deals with serious topics such as corrupt policemen and the plight of poor Burmese citizens coming to Thailand in hopes of work. Even that mysterious mother and daughter staying at the Gulf Bay Lovely Resort and Restaurant have important things to teach us. Each of these topics blend into the story seamlessly and add their own elements of suspense and danger.

The first book in the series, Killed at the Whim of a Hat, angered some American readers by using flubbed lines from speeches made by former President George Bush as chapter headings. Even though those quotes tied into the story, the perceived insult to a president was not appreciated. This time, Cotterill heads each chapter with a line from a song that has been phonetically translated by Thai karaoke and lounge singers. Several are absolutely hilarious, and the author does provide the correct lyrics at the back of the book. Once again, these lyrics do tie into the story, and this time in a very exciting way. Clint Eastwood also plays a part, but you'll have to read Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach to find out what it is.

Colin Cotterill has long been a favorite of mine for teaching me how other cultures perceive the world, for his sense of humor, and for his storytelling ability. It's my hope that you'll read his books and come to a similar appreciation. ( )
1 vote cathyskye | Oct 26, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is the second entry in Cotterill's series about Jimm Juree, a crime reporter who moves with her family from Chiang Mai to a village in southern Thailand. These books have similar tone to his Dr. Siri series, but perhaps even more tongue-in-cheek. I suspect listeners/readers will either love it or hate it.

The plot in "Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach" is tighter and better planned than in book #1 (Killed at the Whim of a Hat), and the characters are becoming more well-rounded. My only quibble with Jimm's characterization is the backtracking Cotterill seems to have done. At the end of book #1, she had become much happier about her life in Maprao, but at the beginning of book #2, she seems to have slid back into her bitterness about rural v urban life, her old job v the family-run business, and so on. It only bothered me a little. If this is the way every book begins, though, I might start to wonder....

The narrator for this audiobook does a fine job, although at times she was working too hard to enunciate and not enough on the characterizations. Overall, however, this was a worthy second entry! I recommend it to those who like their mysteries light and fun with some sarcasm. ( )
  HollyBeth | Aug 1, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is the 2nd installment of the Jimm Juree mystery series set in southern Thailand.

I simply adore the characters in this series! Book 1, "Killed at the Whim of a Hat" was such a pleasant surprise to me and this book, book #2, was even better.

Jimm Juree used to be a crime reporter for a major newspaper when her slightly senile mother sold everything and bought a run down resort in southern Thailand. The family had no choice but to follow her. Jimm feels like she is suffocating because so little happens at her new home. So when mysteries come her way she jumps at solving them. (In this case it begins with finding a head on their beach.) But she's never alone in her adventures. She has the help of her mother, her former policeman granddad, her police friend Champu, her bodybuilding brother Arny and her former brother-now-sister Sissee.

Now that I am getting better acquainted with Jimm's eccentric family I found myself laughing out loud several times because of their antics. Jimm's family really loves and cares about each other in spite of their unique traits, which is heartwarming. But the mystery brings a lot of danger and suspense too, making this book a real page turner. I also enjoy getting to know Thailand a little better since these are the first books I've ever read which are set in Thailand.

(I also listened to the audio version and it was very well done, it really helped me learn to pronounce the unfamiliar words and brought the story to life.)

I would definitely recommend this book, and this series to other mystery lovers, although I'd recommend you read them in order. ( )
  BookAngel_a | Jul 20, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312564546, Hardcover)

In rural Thailand, former crime reporter Jimm Juree must grapple with her quirky family, a mysterious mother and daughter on the lam and the small matter of a head on the beach
When Jimm Juree’s mother sold the family house and invested in a rundown 'holiday camp' at the southern end of Thailand on the Gulf of Siam, the family had little choice but to follow. Jimm Juree, who was well on her way to achieving her goal of becoming the primary crime reporter for the major daily newspaper in Chiang Mai, is less than thrilled to have lost her job as a reporter and to be stuck in the middle of nowhere where little of interest happens. So it is with mixed feelings that she greets the news that a head has washed up on the beach. It’s tragic, of course, but this could be the sort of sensational murder that would get her a byline in a major daily and keep her toehold on her journalism career. Now all she has to do is find out who was murdered, and why.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:30 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Reluctantly abandoning her crime-reporting job to accompany her family to her mother's newly acquired "holiday camp" on Thailand's Gulf of Siam, Jimm Juree investigates a morbid local mystery in the hopes of revamping her career.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Minotaur Books

An edition of this book was published by Minotaur Books.

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