This is one of those rare books that is mysterious, far-fetched, down to earth, funny, and educational all in one. Cotterill’s style reminds me of Macall Smith’s series.
This book is the second in a series of at least 10 Dr. Siri Paiboun stories. Siri is the national coroner of Laos in 1978 at the age of 72. With two quirky assistants, he tries to solve crimes in a new communist country that is still one foot in the sixteenth century.
A sad bear is featured in this story, but it is the cat that takes over. Through it all, there is the clumsy, paper shrouded, brain-dead bureaucracy that provides plenty of frustrations and laughs for we dear readers.
Cotterill also saddles Siri with his own powerful spirit who sometimes helps, but only when it suits the spirit. If you are going to enjoy the story, think of it as a crossover book, part mystery, part voodoish scifi.
I will read more of this series. I give this book a 4+ rating.