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Dr. Siri Paiboun Books In Order

Publication Order of Dr. Siri Paiboun Books

The Coroner's Lunch (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Thirty-Three Teeth (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Disco for the Departed (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Anarchy and Old Dogs (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Curse of the Pogo Stick (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Merry Misogynist (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Love Songs from a Shadow Grave (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Slash and Burn (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Woman Who Wouldn't Die (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Six and Half Deadly Sins (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
I Shot the Buddha (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Rat Catchers' Olympics (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


The Dr. Siri Paiboun series is a series of mystery books written by one of the popular British-Australian authors named Colin Cotterill. This series is comprised of 10 books in total, which were published between the years 2004 and 2015. All the novels in this mystery series feature the lead character in the form of a trained physician from France. He is depicted as the national coroner living in Laos. All the books in the series are set during the middle of the 1970s. In the series, it is shown that the Communist Party called as Pathet Lao has taken over Laos. This Communist party appoints Dr. Siri as the national coroner because of the fact that he has received training as a physician from Paris, France. The fact that he is the only one left to even remotely have the qualification for the job also makes him the right person for it. Author Colin Cotterill began writing the series in the year 2004 with its debut novel titled ‘The Coroner’s Lunch’ After its publication, he wrote 9 more novels in the series till now. Currently, author Colin Cotterill is working on the development of the story of the next book in the series, which makes the series to be still going on.

One of the earliest novels of the Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery series written by author Colin Cotterill was published under the title ‘Disco For The Departed’. It was released by the Knopf Canada publication in the year 2006. Author Colin Cotterill has chosen Laos as the setting of the plot of the story. As the story begins, Dr. Siri is depicted as a reluctant national coroner working for the People’s Democratic Republic in Laos. He gets summoned to a far away location in the mountainous region of the Huapha Province. After reaching there, Dr. Siri comes to know that the current government leaders had been hiding in the caves of the mountains for a number of years. They seemed to be waiting for the day they will be able to assume their power. On the other hand, preparations are being made for the scheduled major celebration of the new government. But, before it can actually happen, a hand is found protruding out from the concrete path that was laid down from the former hideout of the President in the caves to his new mansion located under the cliffs. Due to this unwanted glitch in the middle of the celebrations, the government officials ask Dr. Siri to carry out an investigation and lead the disinterment of the dead body to which the hand belonged. He is also asked to establish the identity of the corpse and find out the reason behind his death.

After the autopsy, he becomes surprised and shocked to know that the man was actually buried alive. The fact that Dr. Siri was gifted as being a shaman, which enabled him to establish the discovery also helped him to identify the killer. The only thing left to find out was the reason why the killer buried the victim alive. This seemed possible only if he was able to hunt down the killer. And therefore, he sets out with the permission from the new government of Laos to catch the killer, with the help of a few other men. Even though the book forms a part of the Dr. Siri Paiboun series, it can also be read as a stand alone book. At the start of the story, Dr. Siri is described by the author to have become the host for a dead Hmong shaman’s spirit known as Yeh Ming. Due to this, it is clear that the new communist country of Laos is filled with the combination of the supernatural and the indigenous. The readers praised author Colin Cotterill for managing to develop a story which is both witty and accessible. The main crime story depicted in this book appears to be in two strands.

One is of the mummified body with a protruding arm found near the old headquarters. Dr. Siri takes the help of his assistant named Nurse Dtui for identifying the corpse, his killer, and the reason behind the killing, all before the arrival of the President at the headquarters. The story also makes several visits to the Vietnamese and Cuban characters, and introduces a dark form of the black magic of Cuba, called as Endoke. This part of the crime story is set in the karst caves which also houses the revolutionary army at the time of the war. The other half of the story deals with the travels of a young man named Geung Watajak, who suffers from Down’s Syndrome and works for Dr. Siri in Vientiane. When Dr. Siri gets summoned to the north, Geung takes charge. As soon as Dr. Siri sets out, the head of the Justice Department named Judge Haeng passes the order that Geung Watajak does not fit as the right person to take charge of the national morgue, as per the wishes of the Communist Party. However, Geung seems to be full of endurance and persistence to keep the promise made to Dr. Siri at any cost.

Another book among the initial ones of the Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery series was released under the title ‘Anarchy and Old Dogs’. It was published in the year 2007 by the Soho Crime publication. Just like the other books in the series, this one too is set in Laos. At the beginning of this book, it is shown that a blind and retired dentist gets run down by a truck in Vientiane on the street just beside the post office. After this, his dead body is sent to Dr. Siri’s morgue, who is the only official coroner of Laos. Being of the age of 74, he does not appear to be in the awe of the bureaucrats of the new communist party for which he works now. Dr. Siri goes on to identify the dead body with the help of a letter in the pocket of the man. However, he is first required to decode it as it is written in invisible ink and in the form of a code. After inquiring with the widow of the dentist, Dr. Siri comes to know that the enigmatic numbers and letters describe the chess moves. But for Dr. Siri, they appeared to be unlike any other chess symbols that he has seen in his life. In the end, he goes on to solve the mystery case with the help of his old friend Civilai, Nurse Dtui, Aunt Bpoo, and a police officer named Phosy. In the end, he becomes successful in establishing the coded letters and the running down of the retired dentist. In doing so, Dr. Siri foils a deadly plot for overthrowing the Laos government.

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