Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill


The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill is the first novel in the 'A Dr. Siri Paiboun Mystery' series. I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill, which was narrated by Clive Chafer.

I enjoy reading mystery novels. I also enjoy discovering new to me authors and new to me mystery series. So, I am pleased to have discovered The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill for these reasons. 

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill!! The novel itself is set in 1975 in communist Laos. The main character, Dr. Siri Paiboun, is a 72 year old doctor who has been appointed the national coroner. Dr. Siri Paiboun does not want this job as he hasn't been trained as a pathologist and also because he wants to retire after living a long life. However, the Laos government has no other trained candidates besides Dr. Siri Paiboun as most of the educated class has fled the country. So Dr. Siri Paiboun is stuck with working as national coroner.

Dr. Siri Paiboun is a wonderful character! He's smart (brilliant actually), witty, compassionate, and interesting to say the least. Dr. Siri Paiboun also dreams/receives communications from the spirit world, which makes for interesting reading and plot development. I would definitely say that Dr. Siri Paiboun is my favorite character from this novel. I also enjoyed most of the other characters as well.

The writing for The Coroner's Lunch is solid and so is the storyline. I may just continue on with this mystery series as I liked the characters and the writing so much!

Below is the publisher's summary for The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill from Chirp's website:

Laos, 1975. The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a seventy-two-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

He is expected to come up with the answers the party wants, but crafty and charming Dr. Siri is immune to bureaucratic pressure. At his age, he reasons, what can they do to him? And he knows he cannot fail the dead who come into his care without risk of incurring their boundless displeasure. Eternity could be a long time to have the spirits mad at you.

I am giving The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!


  1. Dr. Siri is a particular favorite of mine. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

    1. If memory serves me correctly, you've read several of the Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery novels and I can see why after finishing this novel.

  2. Replies
    1. I enjoyed reading a novel set in a location outside the US.