Ex- library stock, this was the 54th book read for my 100+ Reading Challenge.
Against all expectations Dr Siri Paiboun, reluctant chief coroner to the Laos People's Republic, has enjoyed his first five months in office.
Now, as hot-season nights close in, Siri is ordered away from Laos' steamy capital of Vientiane, on a Matter of National Security, to Luang Prabang, the former Laotian royal capital.
Meanwhile, in his absence, savaged bodies are piling up in the Vietiane morgue. Is it the missing black bear from the hotel, or could it be a weretiger? Siri's trusty assistant Nurse Dtui goes snooping but, unlike her boss, the spirits aren't looking out for her ....
And just what creature, if any, has thirty-three teeth?
.... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): The sun baked everything in the new suburb.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 12): Dtui fumbled in the back of the freezer for the corked bottle that held her mother's secret brew. Although there was a hospital ban on using the morgue freezers for personal perishables, her mum's brew looked enough like body waste to fool the most pedantic inspector.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Not.
A new posting for almost 73 year old Siri Paiboun, he solves crimes with the help of his spirit clients who regularly come to him with clues - not an element of the story that I enjoyed, I think the author was trying to do something different with a crime novel and to me it just did not work.
I thought Thirty-three teeth a very apt title as for most of this novel I felt I was having my teeth pulled. Dull and plodding, to be honest for most of the story I wasn't sure exactly what was happening nor exactly where it fit in with the main element of the novel (just what has 33 teeth and is murdering women?) This would have made a great short story as for me there was nothing of note really happening until the last 100 or so pages - not exactly a good recommendation when it is a read of only 244 pages.
The only positive thing? That I managed to read the whole book? No,not just that - the humour. At times quite funny (if you have a fairly dark/gallows sense of humour) though at other times I think the author took this too far and it all became too silly. The without fail bumbling Lao officials being a case in point - if only there had been one or two bumbling idiots this might have been amusing but with every official portrayed as a fool it became tiresome and boring.