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Tags:Laos, mystery

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The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill (2004)

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    Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins (Littlemissbashful)
    Littlemissbashful: Eccentric characters, mystical goings on, wily old folk and wry humour with intriguing plot points.
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English (70)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
Dr. Siri Paiboun, a doctor in Laos, reluctantly becomes the coroner in the capital city after the communist revolution in 1975. Still, he leads a fairly quiet life until the wife of Comrade Kham dies under mysterious circumstances and Siri is determined to get to the bottom of it.

Yes, I have finally succumbed to the book warbling of many fellow LibraryThing members and begun reading the Dr. Siri series. I really enjoyed the setting of 1976 in Laos, and learned a lot about the country and time period through information that was intertwined flawlessly with the story; Dr. Siri is a sort-of communist who is a bit cynical about the regime, but he can get away with saying a lot because of his position and age. He communicates with the spirits of the departed, mostly in his dreams, which means that he's often working backwards - Siri knows the solution, but just has to put together the facts to support it. As a result, this reminded me more of a classic Agatha Christie story in which some of the key parts of the puzzle aren't revealed until the very end. His friends and co-workers are well-drawn characters in their own right. I'm definitely keeping the series on my list to continue when I'm in need of a dependably good story. ( )
1 vote bell7 | Jul 23, 2014 |
Excellent story, with humor, some serious stuff too, some magical realism about Dr Siri, a 72 y/o surgeon who is appointed state coroner for Laos in 1976. Wonderful crew, including a nurse and a man with Down Syndrome, help him in the morgue. ( )
  DavidO1103 | Jul 6, 2014 |
very well done book. enjoyed it ( )
  jodiesohl | Jun 29, 2014 |
Picked up at a charity shop and read with no preconceptions. Amusing and charming and refreshing. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
First in the Dr. Siri Paiboun series. Dr. Siri is in his seventies and should be retired. But he has been drafted by the Communists in Laos to be the national coroner. An interesting qualification (which few people know about) is that the spirits of the dead visit him (think Odd Thomas without Elvis). When he is encouraged by his superiors to mark a death as an accident, he gets a visit from the dead person encouraging him to look a little bit further. Looks like it's going to be a fun series! ( )
  tloeffler | May 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Colin Cotterillprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abelsen, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Amezawa, YasushiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Diari, MatteoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malfoy, ValérieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mohr, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
With the kindest thanks and lots of love to the following folks: Pornsawan, Bouasawan, Chantavone, Sounieng, Ketkaew, Dr Pongruk, Bounlan, Don, Souk, Soun, Michael and his secretary, Somdee, David L., Nok, Dtee, Siri, Yayoi and Steph.
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Tran, Tran and Hok broke through the heavy end-of-wet-season clouds.
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Most of the results from Siri’s morgue relied on archaic color tests: combinations of chemicals or litmus samples. These were more suitable for telling what wasn’t, rather than what was.
We, my children, are no longer common coroners. We are investigators of death.
He couldn’t imagine why old men would chase new-hatched chicks when there were pretty hens in the yard.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Most of the educated class has fled, but Dr. Siri Paiboun, a Paris-trained doctor whose late wife had been an ardent Communist, remains. And so this 72-year-old physician is appointed state coroner, despite the fact that he has no training or even supplies to use in performing his new task. What he does have is curiosity and integrity. At his age he is not about to let a bunch of ignorant bureaucrats dictate to him. One of his first cases involves three bodies recovered from a reservoir, but Dr. Siri establishes that the cause of death was not drowning. These men seem to have been electrocuted, perhaps tortured, and they also seem to be Vietnamese, which could have international repercussions. And then there is the inexplicable death of a Party bigwig's equally important wife. She collapsed and died at a banquet. But Dr. Siri doesn't think her death was from natural causes. In the course of his investigations, Dr. Siri must travel to his birthplace, a Hmong village he has not visited for more than 60 years, where he makes a profound discovery, not only about the motive for several murders, but about himself.… (more)

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