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Book 15 for 2011

Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill. 260 pages

Third in the Dr Siri series. When a mummified arm is found protruding from a damaged concrete path in the city of Xam Neua, Dr Siri Paiboun and Nurse Dtui  are sent to investigate. The despicable Judge Haeng uses their absence as an opportunity to have Siri's morgue attendant, Mr Geung, assigned to a work gang and sent away.

Another visit to 1970s Laos as the communist regime is establishing itself there. I confess to knowing very little about Laos in general never mind in the 1970s, but allowing for that, the characters seem very real and believable. Reminiscent of Alexander McCall Smith's Number One Ladies Detective Agency but with a bit of a harder edge and a more challenging plot. Like those books, reading this was like a visit to old friends.

Tags: crime fiction
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