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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

“Like Dr. Siri, Colin Cotterill has a touch of magic about him.” ( Boston Globe)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jan
  • United States
  • 07-08-17

Sneaky and snarky

murder-investigation, laos, history-and-culture, historical-places-events, historical-fiction, magic, humor

The truest statement about this one is that there is little that cannot be explained by using logic and thinking outside the box. As usual, there are two converging plots to drive the reader nuts. But it is sooo worth it! See publisher's blurb for hints and clues, no spoilers here. Just enjoy the mystery and the humor, and don't let grim reality get you down.
Clive Chafer continues to be excellent as narrator. He really adds to the personalities and the humor, both dry and overt.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Love this Series but Not this Book

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cynthia
  • Monrovia, California, United States
  • 09-07-14

Curse of the Audible Series Addict

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.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

25 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

OK to read out of order - liked this one too

I listened this one out of order - because I found it on sale - but that wasn't a detriment at all. I've already "read" the first two in the series and I liked them so much.....this one isn't as good as the others, in my opinion, but still an enjoyable book. In this installment of the series the "team" at the morgue is split, with Siri being first sent away to a conference and then being taken by an indigenous group to help them by acting as their shaman. Meanwhile, back at the ranch......there are murder attempts and escaped convicts facing the rest of the group. I didn't like these characters being separated that way, as part of what I most enjoyed was the inter-personal relationships between Siri and his nurse and orderly.

Still really worth it, though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

What Fun!

Would you consider the audio edition of Curse of the Pogo Stick to be better than the print version?

Yes. I love to listen and play games on my phone. This book had me laughing.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

I never knew what was going to happen next. I loved how the book was set at a time and place in history that had relevance to my childhood, that is post Vietnam war Laos.

What does Clive Chafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He narrated the book well. He enunciated every word with aplomb.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes. Dr. Siri's vision in the Hmong village.

Any additional comments?

I thought his book was enlightening and very funny.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Curse of the Pogo Stick

Excellent book! The Dr. Work series is one of my favorite "exotic" mystery serieses. Great sense of humor, characters a reader really cares about, a touch of fantasy.