Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pg. 69: Colin Cotterill's "Anarchy and Old Dogs"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: Colin Cotterill's Anarchy and Old Dogs.

About the book, from the publisher:
A blind retired dentist has been run down by a logging truck on the street in Vientiane just opposite the Post Office. His body is duly delivered to the morgue of Dr. Siri Paiboun, the official and only coroner of Laos. At the age of seventy-three, Dr. Siri is too old to be in awe of the new Communist bureaucrats for whom he now works. He identifies the corpse, helped by the letter in the man’s pocket. But first he must decipher it; it is written in code and invisible ink. The dentist’s widow explains that the enigmatic letters and numbers describe chess moves, but they are unlike any chess symbols Siri has previously encountered. With the help of his old friend, Civilai, now a senior member of the Laos politburo, and of Nurse Dtui (“Fatty”), Phosy, a police officer, and Aunt Bpoo, a transvestite fortune-teller, Dr. Siri solves the mystery of the note to the blind dentist and foils a plot to overthrow the government of Laos.
Among the praise for the Dr. Siri Paiboun series:
“Keeps a perfect balance between the modern mysteries of forensic science and the ancient secrets of the spirit world.”
New York Times Book Review

“Paiboun’s droll wit and Cotterill’s engaging plot twists keep things energetic.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Exotic locations; a world that few of us know well; crisp, intelligent, and often witty writing; and, most of all, a hero unlike any other.”
Philadelphia Inquirer

“This witty and unusual series just keeps getting better.”
Publishers Weekly

“Once again, Cotterill demonstrates his extensive knowledge of Laotian history and his ability to create memorable characters.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“With such a compelling cast of characters, the twisty mystery comes as a nice bonus.”
Colin Cotterill is the author of The Coroner’s Lunch, Thirty-Three Teeth, and Disco for the Departed -- all featuring Dr. Siri Paiboun -- and other works.

Visit his website and his Crimespace page, and learn more about the "Dr. Siri" novels at the Soho Press.

The Page 69 Test: Anarchy and Old Dogs.

--Marshal Zeringue