Thirty-three Teeth

Thirty-three Teeth

Book - 2006
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The reluctant national coroner of Laos, Dr. Siri Paiboun, is no respecter of persons or Party; at the age of seventy-two he can afford to be independent. In this latest investigation, Dr. Siri, dubbed "Super Spirit Doc," travels from his home base to Luang Prabang where he communes with a deposed king, who is convinced he lost his kingdom because his special channel to the occult closed, and he attends a conference of shamans called by the Communist government to deliver an ultimatum to the spirits: obey Party orders or get out.

Something wild and evil has been let loose in the city of Vientiane and a series of mutilated corpses lands in Dr. Siri's morgue. With the assistance of his helpers -- Mr. Geung, a mentally challenged lab technician, and Nurse Dtui, whose nickname means "Fatty" -- Dr. Siri investigates these strange deaths. But it is only when Nurse Dtui is threatened that the prickly, independent doctor can identify the creature, animal or spirit that has been slaying the innocent.
Publisher: Toronto : Vintage Canada, 2006, c2005
Edition: Vintage Canada ed. --
ISBN: 9780676978322
Branch Call Number: FIC Cotte
Characteristics: 230 p. --


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May 28, 2017

Maybe the best aspect of this series is that the three main characters are three dimensional. They learn and grow, and we readers learn more and more about them. One could rightly wonder what could be so intriguing about a story that concerns people living in Laos in 1977. It seems long ago and far away. The main character, an elderly doctor, is a communist, though not an enthusiastic one. The 2nd main character is a young nurse living in deep poverty but who is studying English and Russian on her own. The 3rd main character is a lovely, charming young man who happens to have Downs Syndrome, but who has much more going on in his head than he is usually given credit for. Unlikely as it may seem, I'd love to be friends with all three of these characters. I hope they remain so engaging through the rest of this mystery series, which I plan to read slowly, savoring every word.
I have recently read two reviews of this book by readers who claim to love this book even more than the first in the series, The Coroner's Lunch, but who complain that this one has too many references to supernatural beings, and too much activity of same. I would gently point out that the supernatural beings appear in technicolor and stereo in The Coroner's Lunch, and it would be hard to figure out how Siri keeps eluding the evil people who wish him dead without the help of said beings.
For the record, I don't really believe in such active spirits, either, but when reading a book that includes them in the plot, I just accept it as written and do not worry about it. Notice that Siri doesn't like them, either, in this book and for some time to come. He just deals with them and gets on with what he has to do.

Sep 21, 2016

Headline: "Weretiger killed by Chicken". What's a weretiger? How was it killed by a chicken?

multcolib_susannel Feb 17, 2015

Dr. Siri is faced with a new case when several people are brutally murdered. Is it a bear? A Tiger?
A supernatural being? Or is the solution more of a human nature?
Number 2 in the series.

Feb 13, 2015

Reading the series for the 2nd time. This is one of the best - a great setting in Luang Prabang, the former Royalist capital, and plenty of involvement of the animist spirits that the Communists are trying to make a deal with. You are never sure what Cotterill is making up and what is based in fact, which is part of what makes the series so much fun.

Dec 13, 2013

Intriguing characters! Love this series, I'm going to READ THEM ALL!

JCLCourtneyS Oct 29, 2010

One of a series of mysteries featuring a healthy dose of humor and an intriguing peek into the culture of Laos.

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