Saturday, July 21, 2012
The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill
Dr. Siri, our hero, is a 73-yr-old former surgeon/drafted coroner in 70s Laos. He is assisted by his side kicks - the sweetly engaging Geung (a young man with Down's Syndrome) and bright and under the radar nurse Dtui. Other characters join the series as it progresses. Along with Dr. Siri's adventures it gives a glimpse into life in Laos after the Vietnam war and an overview of the history of that war we did not hear at the time (or at least I didn't being in high school at the time and generally clueless...)
From The New York Times:
"If Cotterill, a British social services worker who has lived in Laos, had done nothing more than treat us to Siri's views on the dramatic, even comic crises that mark periods of government upheaval, his debut mystery would still be fascinating. But the multiple cases spread out on Siri's examining table -- including the assassination of a delegation of visiting Vietnamese, the murder of a high-ranking party official's wife and the presence of spies on Siri's own turf -- are not cozy entertainments, but substantial crimes that take us into the thick of political intrigue."
b&n page here