The Coroner’s Lunch

The Coroner’s Lunch

, Book # 1
Soho Crime
April 14, 2023 April 20, 2023
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Laos, 1976: Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old medical doctor, has been unwillingly appointed the national coroner of newly-socialist Laos. Though his lab is underfunded, his boss is incompetent, and his support staff is quirky to say the least, Siri’s sense of humor gets him through his often frustrating days.

When the body of the wife of a prominent politician comes through his morgue, Siri has reason to suspect the woman has been murdered. To get to the truth, Siri and his team face government secrets, spying neighbors, victim hauntings, Hmong shamans, botched romances, and other deadly dangers. Somehow, Siri must figure out a way to balance the will of the party and the will of the dead.


About the book

First in the Doctor Siri Paiboun series. The plot follows Dr Siri, now a coroner, who is faced with peculiar cases such as a body recovered from the river and a judge’s wife whom he thinks has been poisoned.

What I think

I read this book because it was set in Laos and obviously I haven’t read anything set in this mysterious country yet. Too bad the author is not from Laos but, English? However, like all communist and socialist countries, corruption reigns supreme, of course the book is set in the 70s, therefore a very different period from ours, or at least I hope so. I have absolutely no knowledge of what the situation is like in this part of the world.

However, I liked the book quite a lot, even if I found it very slow. I quite liked the main character, the doctor turned coroner, the case too. The only flaw is having talked about visions that I know exist in this part of the world but in a book focused on science, since it is a mystery, I found it out of place. Or rather, to talk about it when Siri is with the native people it’s fine, but saying that Siri has visions I didn’t like it. Maybe I’m the one who didn’t fully understand it. At one point I was quite tired of reading and could not wait to finish it.

I don’t know if I continue with the series.

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