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Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill
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Anarchy and Old Dogs (2007)

by Colin Cotterill

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
It’s been awhile since I last read one of the Dr. Siri mysteries by Colin Cotterill. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed these humorous detective novels that are set in the country of Laos during the 1970’s. Breaking the title down, the anarchy here is a plot to overthrow the government, and Dr. Siri’s involvement comes after a coded message is found on the corpse of a dentist. The old dogs refer to Dr. Siri Paiboun, the seventy year old national coroner and his friend, Civilai, who is a senior member of the Politburo.

Aided by his assistant, Nurse Dtui and Policeman Phosy, Siri and Civilai embark on an investigation to expose and thwart the rebellion. Along the way the good doctor also solves the murder of a ten year old child and comes to some important insights about himself. Although highly skeptical about the current government which has been in power only for two years, it would be a disaster to change the system at this time so he chooses to remain hopeful that the Pathet Laos will eventually come to be the government that he fought for.

Anarchy and Old Dogs is another charming and witty addition to this series that I read as much for the exotic setting and historical information as I do for the mysteries. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jun 10, 2018 |
Moved the back story along a lot but not as riveting as some of the earlier ones. However a good read and looking forward to the next one. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | May 27, 2018 |
addictive-series, murder-investigation, humor, laos, spies, history-and-culture, historical-places-events, historical-fiction

A blind man traveling to get letters from a post box, an anarchist plot, more suspicious characters than usual, sneaky old friends, and spies in a refugee camp, all wrapped together with some gawdawful humor. The coroner and his friend hie off to investigate one death and find another that needs solving as well. The policeman and the nurse try to help and wind up investigating in a refugee camp in Thailand. Very twisty and with some insights into the conflicting attitudes toward old regimes and communism. And the coroner discovers that a former student is a very pleasant woman who he never really noticed when his wife was alive.
Clive Chafer continues to make the read easier and more enjoyable for those of us who need a bit of help in thinking some words in an unfamiliar language. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Jul 4, 2017 |
The opening scene sets the stage for the mystery: Dr. Buagaew, a retired blind dentist, has been run down by a logging truck after picking up a mysterious letter from the post office. Dr. Siri Paibaum, now 73 years old and still described as Laos's reluctant coroner, must figure out who was Buagaew and why had he a letter written in invisible ink in his pocket when he died? Another death is far more disturbing. A ten year old boy is found dead in a river. He has two different rates of decomposition and his death doesn't look accidental. Who would have wanted this boy dead and why?
For the most part, all of Siri's friends are in Anarchy and Old Dogs except this time Mr. Geung is recovering from his ordeal in Disco and is only brought up in mention at the beginning and end. Dtui's mother has died and best friend Civilai has a new secret. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Aug 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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I would like to thank my dedicated team of readers who, I'm delighted to say, have no hesitation in insulting me. Thanks to David, Lizzie, Dtee, Kye, Cathy, Geoff, Tony, my lovely Jess, and the marvelous John Cotterill, aka Dad.
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The post office box was eighteen across, twelve down, and it had a loop of wool wound around the door so Dr. Buagaew wouldn't miss it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 156947463X, Hardcover)

A blind retired dentist has been run down by a logging truck on the street in Vientiane just opposite the post office. His body is duly delivered to the morgue of Dr. Siri Paiboun, the official and only coroner of Laos. At the age of seventy-four, Dr. Siri is too old to be in awe of the new communist bureaucrats for whom he now works. He identifies the corpse, helped by the letter in the man’s pocket. But first he must decipher it; it is written in code and invisible ink. The dentist’s widow explains that the enigmatic letters and numbers describe chess moves, but they are unlike any chess symbols Siri has previously encountered. With the help of his old friend, Civilai, now a senior member of the Laos politburo; Nurse Dtui (“Fatty”); Phosy, a police officer; and Aunt Bpoo, a transvestite fortune-teller, Dr. Siri solves the mystery of the note and foils a plot to overthrow the government of Laos.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:34 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Seventy-three-year-old Dr. Siri Paiboun, reluctant national coroner of Laos, is drawn into a conspiracy of murder and politics when he sets out to investigate the death of a retired dentist who was run down in front of the post office after coming into town to pick up a letter written in invisible ink.… (more)

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