Monday, November 9, 2009
Book Review - The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill
The Merry Misogynist
by Colin Cotterill
#6 Dr. Siri Paiboun Series
Published August 2009
This eccentric mystery series takes place in Laos in the late 1970's with a 73 year-old coroner, Dr. Siri Paiboun, filling the role of the detective though certainly not by conventional means. He's fighting a Communist bureaucracy, an illiterate but lovable lab assistant and a serious lack of equipment, supplies, and technology. He is armed however with obstinancy, patience, intelligence, very strong convictions, a bit of mysticism and a cabal of friends. Oh, and an indomitable wife, Madam Daeng, who's just as eager to break all the rules for a good cause.
Like many of the best mystery series it's not all about the crime, it's about the characters, the location, and ultimately the story. And who can resist a geriatric MacGyver of the Third World?
From the Publisher -
In poverty-stricken 1978 Laos, a man with a truck from the city was “somebody,” a catch for even the prettiest village virgin. The corpse of one of these bucolic beauties turns up in Dr. Siri’s morgue and his curiosity is piqued. The victim was tied to a tree and strangled but she had not, as the doctor had expected, been raped, although her flesh had been torn. And though the victim had clear, pale skin over most of her body, her hands and feet were gnarled, callused, and blistered.
On a trip to the hinterlands, Siri discovers that the beautiful female corpse bound to a tree has already risen to the status of a rural myth. This has happened many times before. He sets out to investigate this unprecedented phenomenon—a serial killer in peaceful Buddhist Laos—only to discover when he has identified the murderer that not only pretty maidens are at risk. Seventy-three-year-old coroners can be victims, too.
Colin Cotterill's Dr. Siri Paiboun Series - The Coroner’s Lunch (2004), Thirty-Three Teeth (2005) , Disco for the Departed (2006), Anarchy and Old Dogs (2007), Curse of the Pogo Stick (2008), The Merry Misogynist (2009)