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Disco for the Departed (2006)

by Colin Cotterill

Series: Dr. Siri Paiboun (3)

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5913630,975 (3.88)225
Coroner Siri Paiboun must identify a corpse found near the mansion of the new Laotian president, an investigation which includes communication with the dead, sacrificial rituals, a marriage proposal, and strange disco music that only the doctor can hear.
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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Dr. Siri and the Cubans
Review of the Vintage Canada paperback edition (2007) of the Soho Crime hardcover original (2006)

I was late to the party and started my reading of Colin Cotterill's quirky Laos chief coroner Dr. Siri Paiboun mysteries with the 15th and supposed (I never rule out the possibility of continuations) final book "The Delightful Life of a Suicide Pilot" (2020). Luckily, my friend Karan had several of the earliest books to lend me and I was fortunately able to start the series from the beginning.

Disco for the Departed is the 3rd book of the series and is titled after a ghostly discotheque that the spiritually attuned coroner is drawn to during his investigation of the apparent deaths of some Cuban advisors in a northern province of Laos. Siri and nurse Dtui are both sent on the northern mission, leaving morgue attendant Geung Watajak at the mercy of their boss at the Justice Department, judge Huang. Geung is dispatched to the countryside with the army but promptly decides to walk back to the Vientiane capital. The book then regularly toggles between Siri's investigation and the perils of Geung's journey.

This series continues to delight with its overviews of Lao lifestyles and culture, the human persistence in the face of bureaucratic incompetence and Dr. Siri's unique investigative methods that combine spiritual perception with common sense intuition. I've already sourced #4 in the series, Anarchy and Old Dogs (2007), thanks to the Toronto Public Library. ( )
  alanteder | Apr 27, 2021 |
Read this really quickly. Rates more than 3 stars. Particularly enjoyed the focus on nurse Dtui and Geung. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
Disco for the Departed is the third book in the series about Dr. Siri Paiboun. Siri is the National Coroner in Laos. The book takes place in 1977, a time when the new communist government has taken over in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. In this book, a body is found in a concrete walk connecting the President’s former cave hideout to his new house. Dr. Siri is called in to identify the body and to determine the circumstances surrounding the person's death. I enjoy these books a lot and this one was no exception. The setting and time is different and interesting. I like reading about what it was like in Laos as it transitions to Communism, especially from the perspective of a character that is a member of the Communist Party (although he is critical of both the former and current governments). I really like all of the characters and and I am happy when I return to them in each book in the series. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 14, 2021 |
More murders, mysteries, spirit sightings and adventures for Dr. Siri Paiboun and his Nurse Dtui. Meanwhile, Mr. Geung, their morgue assistant who has Downs Syndrome, is whisked far away on orders of Paiboun's erstwhile superior, Judge Han and has his own harrowing adventure getting back to his duties at the morgue.

I've enjoyed every story so far and am on to the fourth! ( )
  Angel.Tatum.Craddock | Dec 17, 2020 |
Love . Dr Siri. Always enjoyable to listen to ( )
  Pmaurer | Jul 12, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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Dedication
To Siri and Soun who, despite all the tragedies,
have survived and grown and now have two beautiful
daughters. To Poki and Panoy from Loong C.
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Dr Siri lay beneath the grimy mesh of the mosquito net watching the lizard's third attempt.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Coroner Siri Paiboun must identify a corpse found near the mansion of the new Laotian president, an investigation which includes communication with the dead, sacrificial rituals, a marriage proposal, and strange disco music that only the doctor can hear.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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