Yes, that’s right, my pick for New Classic Reads is a Laotian coroner you have probably never heard of — but should absolutely pick up — called the Dr. Siri Paiboun series. As a reader, a classic is a book that presents familiar ideas in a new way, whether through characters, setting, or inventive plot. The Dr. Siri stories accomplish all three; murder mysteries set in a unique corner of the world and featuring a cast of original characters that make me jealous I didn’t think of them. Another aspect to a classic: the author has created a work all to (in this case) his own which cannot be mimicked as a fad.
Few people know where the country is (a landlocked country that borders Thailand and Vietnam).
I stumbled across the series when doing research for my upcoming novel set in Laos in the 1970s. There’s a dirth of fiction set in Laos — volumes against the turbulent times in Cambodia, Thailand, and of course, Vietnam.
Full of history, culture, crime, and mystery, this seventy plus year old coroner is not only a shaman for spirits, he also solves crimes. The author, Colin Cotterill, is English and has lived in Southeast Asia for some time. He is my hero for bringing this part of the
world to life in such vivid and cantankerous prose.
Here’s the cover of the first book in the series. And the great thing about a series, is that you can firmly fall in love with these characters because there are over ten books.
I’m not the only one posting on this theme, so check out the Linky. for hop.
If you’d like to see the books by the sponsors of this blog hop, check ’em out below.
Mark of the Loon – Molly Greene
Synopsis: What happens when a workaholic serial remodeler falls in love with an old stone cottage built by an ornithologist and his eccentric Irish wife? If you’re Madison Boone, you kick your budding romance with handsome Psych Professor Coleman Welles to the curb and lose yourself in a new project.
Madison renovates distressed homes in addition to her busy real estate sales career. When she hears about a quaint house on a private tract of land overlooking Lake Sonoma, she climbs in the window for a private tour and falls in love with the place. Good fortune enables her to purchase the Blackburne’s property, but far more than a new home and lush gardens await discovery during this renovation.As Madison works on the remodel, she’s drawn into an old love story with dangerous consequences. She unearths buried secrets and discovers herself in the process. Good thing she has three wise, hilarious friends to advise her along the way! Mark of the Loon is the skillful combination of history, mystery, and romance in a novel that explores deep friendship, choices, and how individuals cope with loss.
In Leah’s Wake – Terri Giuliano Long
Synopsis: A Story of Love, Loss, Connection, and Grace
Recipient of multiple awards and honors, In Leah’s Wake is a compelling and satisfying reading experience with important truths to share—by a new author with the voice of a natural storyteller and an unfailingly keen understanding of the human condition…at every age.
Second Chance Grill – Christine Nolfi
Synopsis: Dr. Mary Chance needs a sabbatical from medicine to grieve the loss of her closest friend. But when she inherits a struggling restaurant in Liberty, Ohio she isn’t prepared for Blossom Perini. Mary can’t resist falling for the precocious preteen—or the girl’s father. The bond they forge will transform all their lives and set in motion an outpouring of love that spreads across America.
Welcome back to Liberty, where the women surrounding the town’s only restaurant are as charming as they are eccentric.
Second Chance Grill is the prequel to Treasure Me, 2012 Next Generation Indie Awards Finalist, which The Midwest Book Review calls “A riveting read for those who enjoy adventure fiction, highly recommended.”
Broken Pieces – Rachel Thompson