Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr. Siri Mysteries Book 5)


Colin Cotteril

Seven female Hmong villagers kidnap Dr. Siri on orders from the village elder who hopes that Yeh Ming, the thousand-year-old shaman who shares the doctor’s body, will consent to exorcise the headman’s daughter. He fears that her soul has been possessed by a demon due to the curse of a mysterious Western artifact. Siri agrees to help and, in so doing, brings to pass a prediction of Auntie Bpoo, a transvestite fortune-teller.

Reviews:Kindle Customer on Amazon wrote:

I love this whole series of mysteries! The hero is a coroner in 1970's Laos. The communists have won, and the country is trying to stumble along without much real government-just a lot of silly rules. Dr. Siri was a faithful revolutionary and has been "rewarded" with the position of the country's only coroner, although he's really just a regular doctor, with no training for this job. He and his loyal assistants are virtually forced to solve various odd crimes that come attached to the bodies they autopsy, as the police force is nothing to write home about. With Dr. Siri, Nurse Dtui, buxom and smart, and the stolid Mr. Geung, who has Down Syndrome, are up to the task of ferreting out the truth. They have their individual stories, as well, and I love the plot lines that follow these characters.
This episode moves the personal stories of Dr. Siri and the gang forward in a charming way. There are marriages and children involved, but I won't say more.
A surprising element in the series is the association with the spirit world that Dr, Siri finds thrust upon him, in an earlier book. He has become host to a powerful Hmong spirit from the past, who sometimes helps him solve crimes. This aspect could have made the stories ridiculous or annoying, but it does not intrude. Indeed, it provides an interesting sidelight to the goings-on in the "real" world. You learn quite a bit about the customs/beliefs of the Hmong minority in Laos.
The mysteries themselves are always pretty engaging and well resolved. They frequently require the main characters to travel around Laos and Vietnam, allowing us to learn more about the culture of the time and the general area.

These books are always lighthearted and amusing in tone, but not so much as to be goofy or annoying. I consider them to be a pleasant change from heavier, more depressing and serious mysteries, which I also enjoy.

Jennit on Amazon wrote:

Well, yet another superb book in the Dr Siri series. Often you find that as a series goes on the plots and writing start to weaken - not in the case of Colin Cotterill's books. I am now collecting the Jimm Juree series, ready to start on those when I finish the last of the Dr Siri ones. I shall be bereft when I get to the last book, as all the characters have now become part of my life - they have grown as characters in each subsequent book and are almost as real as the colleagues I work with. I have even recommended the first two books in this series to a complete stranger in a second hand book shop.

Here's to the other books he has written - and long may he continue to produce such marvellous, funny, endearing and amazing characters as those I have already met.

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