The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill

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The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The fifth Sir Paiboun mystery is still fresh and possibly the best yet. Highly recommended
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: November 2009
Publisher: Quercus
ISBN: 978-1849160087

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Dr Siri Paiboun is now married to Madame Daeng and despite the fact that they have a combined age of going on for a hundred and forty they're behaving like the newly-weds they are. Even being the reluctant coroner for the Republic of Laos can't dampen Siri's enthusiasm for life. Well, it can't until he makes the gruesome discovery that a man is wooing and wedding girls in various parts of the country and then murdering them on honeymoon and binding their bodies to trees. What he does to his victims leaves the morgue staff sickened. There's a determination to find the man responsible and bring him to justice.

They're distracted though by something closer to home. Crazy Rajid is missing. Nobody knows a great deal about him but he's been a feature of Vientiane for some time and his sudden disappearance is worrying particularly as Siri has been having premonitions that he's in danger. A series of clues and revelations about the Indian's past lead them to an ancient temple in the city.

The Dr Siri series of investigations are often suggested as being suitable for people who enjoy Alexander McCall Smith's No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. There are undoubted similarities – the same gentle humour and social comment, loveable characters, a unique setting and a sense of working both with and in spite of the local culture. There is, though, a major difference. The Mma Ramotswe books are little more than a series of short stories loosely woven together to give the semblance of a unified book.

On the other hand The Merry Misogynist (and all the other Dr Siri books) are carefully-crafted police (or 'coroner') procedurals and each book has a decided twist in the tail – none of which I've yet managed to anticipate. Mma Ramotswe gives a comfortable read. Dr Siri can be decidedly unsettling.

It is possible to read each of the Dr Siri books as a stand alone but you will get far more from each book if you read them in order. The minimum amount of time is spend in bring the reader up-to-date on the back story in each novel – and it is worth knowing.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

For another book centred on a coroner we can recommend The Coroner by M R Hall.

Buy The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill at

Buy The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill at

Colin Cotterill's Dr Siri Paiboun series in chronological order


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