Colin Cotterill was born in London in 1952. He trained as a teacher and worked in Israel, Australia, the US, and Japan before training teachers in Thailand and on the Burmese border. He wrote and produced a language teaching series for Thai national television and spent several years in Laos. Colin is involved in a number of social projects, many to benefit children. With his wife he set up a book and scholarship program in Laos and runs a small school for the children of Burmese migrants near his home. All the while Colin continues with his two other passions: cartooning and writing. Since 2000 he has written over fifteen books, including the Dr. Siri crime series set in Laos. Colin lives in Chumphon in the south of Thailand with his wife where he rides his bicycle along the coast, decapitates coconuts, eats a lot of squid, plays with his dogs, and occasionally sits down to write.
Confronted by the poisoning of an important official's wife and the sudden appearance of three bodies that may create an international incident between Laos and Vietnam, 72-year-old state coroner Dr. Siri Paiboun keeps his cool in Cotterill's engaging whodunit, set in Laos a year after the 1975 Communist takeover. Ably assisted by the entertaining Geung and ambitious Dtui, Siri calmly gleans clues from minute examinations of the bodies while circumnavigating bureaucratic red tape to arrive at justice. Only an attempt on his life manages to rattle him-and for good reason. In addition to being comfortable around corpses, Siri actually converses with the dead during his dreams. These scenes come across more as a personification of Siri's natural intuition than as a supernatural element. Less explainable is Siri's journey to a northern Laos army base, where he becomes involved in the witchcraft and spirit world of the local tribespeople. Despite this minor detour into the implausible and a later, jarring change in viewpoint, this debut mystery, with its convincing and highly interesting portrayal of an exotic locale, marks the author as someone to watch. Agent, Richard Curtis. (Dec. 15) Forecast: A blurb from S.J. Rozan compares Cotterill to Alexander McCall Smith, whose fans ought to give a boost. The London-born author lives in Chang Mai, Thailand. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Praise for The Coroner's Lunch A Booklist Book of the YearAn Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Killer Book of the YearA Book Sense Selection A wonderfully fresh and exotic mystery . . . If Cotterill . . . had done nothing more than treat us to Siri s views on the dramatic, even comic crises that mark periods of government upheaval, his debut mystery would still be fascinating. But the multiple cases spread out on Siri s examining table . . . are not cozy entertainments, but substantial crimes that take us into the thick of political intrigue. The New York Times Book Review The sights, smells, and colors of Laos practically jump of the pages of this inspired, often wryly witty first novel. The Denver Post The Soho Press crime series . . . has done mystery connoisseurs everywhere a favor by adding Colin Cotterill to its publishing list. The author gives us exotic locations; a world that few of us know well; crisp, intelligent, and often-witty writing; and, most of all, a hero unlike any other. The Philadelphia Inquirer This series kickoff is an embarrassment of riches: Holmesian sleuthing, political satire, and [a] droll comic study of a prickly late bloomer. Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review In Siri, Cotterill has created a detective as distinctive as Maigret or Poirot. Orlando Sentinel This debut mystery, with its convincing and highly interesting portrayal of an exotic locale, marks the author as someone to watch. Publishers Weekly"