Readers of literary mysteries will want to seek out a copy of The Coroner’s Lunch, the first of a series set in the country of Laos in the throes of its communist takeover during the 1970s. These engaging stories feature a strong sense of place and a sympathetic protagonist, one Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old physician and lonely widower. Dr. Siri, who hopes to retire quietly is instead conscripted as the country’s sole medical examiner and finds his work draws him into ever more suspicious and dangerous entanglements.
”The sights, smells, and colors of Laos practically jump of the pages of this inspired, often wryly witty first novel.” —Denver Post
”In Siri, Cotterill has created a detective as distinctive as Maigret or Poirot.” —Orlando Sentinel
”This series kickoff is an embarrassment of riches: Holmesian sleuthing, political satire, and [a] droll comic study of a prickly late bloomer.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
”A wonderfully fresh and exotic mystery . . . If Cotterill . . . 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 . . . are not cozy entertainments but substantial crimes that take us into the thick of political intrigue.” —New York Times Book Review