7 Jul 2011


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.


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.


GMR said...

Ouch. Sounds like this one fell off the cliffs pictured on the cover. Oh well, it's bound to happen some time or another. Better luck on your next read! thanks for the share...

Misha said...

This one sounds very very boring! Even the premise seemed quite uninteresting.
Thanks for the review!

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

thanks for another wonderful review, Tracy.
you have a way with words.

it sounds very disappointing! i don't think i'm putting this on my 'to read' list.

hope your day is going well.

big hugs
betty xx

Monalisa said...

Alright.. I was beginning to think it can't good when i first saw the outer cover

Arti said...

Sounded good till the - Keep it or Not!! Well looked it could have been a great novel based on what you have given, but poor execution ruined it probably!!
Have a great week ahead:)

Kelly said...

Well I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this. I was thinking how nice it would have worked for my Global Challenge. I do love gallows humor, but I think you've convinced me that I probably wouldn't enjoy this.

Mamakucingbooks said...

oouch! That bad ya? some books does that to you. I have come across quite a few too


Suko said...

The cover is very eye-catching--too bad the contents are not quite as exciting. At least you found (dark) humor in the book.

Dorte H said...

What a pity you didn´t like this one. I have only read one of Cotterill´s books so far, but I just loved the character of Dr Siri so much I didn´t mind the spirits. And I met him in Bristol during CrimeFest so I can assure you he is really funny ´live´.

BookQuoter said...

As I always say with honest reviews like this, thanks for saving me precious time.

kavita said...

Not a book for me too.Thanks for the review .

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Aw... sorry this one just didn't work for you. It sounds like it might be interesting with the premise.. but oh well... hopefully the next will be better.

dr.antony said...

I couldn't get access to your site from the clinic.I was away for some time with a change of job.Have to read the posts I missed.
Take care

naida said...

thats too bad, good for you on finishing it though.