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Dr Siri is sent to Luang Prabang, the old royalist capital, to investigate two charred and bullet-ridden bodies but soon finds himself involved in a plot to rid the country of its King and all the royal spirits. He finds himself an attendee at a conference of shamans called by the Communist government to give the spirits an ultimatum: obey party orders or get out. But the spirits aren’t going to give up without a fight… and before it’s all over Siri will face death and arrest (in that order).
Meanwhile, his able assistant Nurse Dtui is left to follow the gory trail of an old, long-abused and now escaped bear – an animal she is convinced is being framed…
This energetic sequel to The Coroner’s Lunch will appeal to all who like their mysteries literate, witty and exotic.

Reviews

A wonderfully fresh and exotic mystery - New York Times Book Review
New York Times
an embarrassment of riches: Holmesian sleuthing, political satire, and droll comic study of a prickly late bloomer - Kirkus (starred review)
Kirkus
Delightful. A wry, eccentric addition to the genre - Booklist (starred review)
Booklist
Quirky, exotic and winning - Publishers' Weekly
Publisher's Weekly
Cotterill is one of the best things to happen to crime fiction in years - Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald