In Vientiane, Laos, a booby-trapped corpse intended for Dr. Siri, the national coroner, has been delivered to the morgue. In his absence, only Nurse Dtui’s intervention saves the lives of the morgue attendants, visiting doctors, and Madame Daeng, Dr. Siri’s fiancée.
On his way back from a Communist Party meeting in the north, Dr. Siri is kidnapped by seven female Hmong villagers under the direction of the village elder so that he will—in the guise of Yeh Ming, the thousand-year-old shaman with whom he shares his body—exorcise the headman’s daughter, whose soul is possessed by a demon, and lift the curse of the pogo stick.
©2008 Colin Cotterill (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Like Dr. Siri, Colin Cotterill has a touch of magic about him.” (Boston Globe)
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
I'm out of credits for the month. I have at least half-a-dozen Audible books bought on special, waiting for a listen, so I'm not totally bereft of listening options. But Audible, Audible, how about a BOGO on books in a series? I'll have to pause at Book 5 "Curse of the Pogo Stick" (2008) until I can afford last 4 Dr. Siri Paiboun mysteries.
At the end of the civil war when the communists have assumed power, 72 year old Comrade Dr. Siri Paiboun, a French trained Laotian field doctor longs to quietly retire. Instead, he is pressed into very reluctant service as the National Coroner of Laos. Book 1 "The Coroner's Lunch" introduces Dr. Siri, who's learning to do autopsies with an outdated French textbook. The stunningly green eyed Dr. Siri is a catch for any woman who remembers a time when a radio was an even greater technological sea change than the iPhone. Dr. Siri runs into Madame Daeng on Book 4 - and in Book 5, he marries in a boring bureaucratic exchange of paperwork, followed by a traditional wedding. A pregnant Nurse Dtui and her investigator husband, Posee (spelling, I don't know!) and a cheerful Mr. Gueng are there to celebrate.
Shortly after their ceremony, a Hmong clan badly in need of supernatural assistance kidnaps Ya Ming. That's a particular problem for Dr. Siri, who is the physical host for the ancient spirit. Ya Ming is able to help the Hmong with their problem; and Dr. Siri solves a more human mystery at the same time. As always with Cotterill, the spiritual is a neat listen and a respectful introduction to non-Western beliefs, but the earthbound mystery isn't solved by 'idolum ex machina'.
The narrator is smooth, and his British? Australian? English is smooth, and he handles Laotian and Hmong words easily.
Worth the credit, as always. And my birthday is coming up - now I've got something to ask for.
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I really like this series but this book felt as if it had been written in a hurry and there were pieces of the story missing. I will continue to read the series but I would not recommend this book to anyone who does not already like the characters, and is prepared for a storyline full of holes.
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