Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill
(Soho Crime)

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A blind retired dentist has been run down by a logging truck on the street in Vientiane just opposite the post office. His body is duly delivered to the morgue of Dr. Siri Paiboun, the official and only coroner of Laos. At the age of seventy-four, Dr. Siri is too old to be in awe of the new communist bureaucrats for whom he now works. He identifies the corpse, helped by the letter in the man’s pocket. But first he must decipher it; it is written in code and invisible ink. The dentist’s widow explains that the enigmatic letters and numbers describe chess moves, but they are unlike any chess symbols Siri has previously encountered. With the help of his old friend, Civilai, now a senior member of the Laos politburo; Nurse Dtui (“Fatty”); Phosy, a police officer; and Aunt Bpoo, a transvestite fortune-teller, Dr. Siri solves the mystery of the note and foils a plot to overthrow the government of Laos.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Colin Cotterill

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Born in London, COLIN COTTERILL has worked as teacher in Israel, Australia, the U.S. and Japan before he started training teachers in Thailand. Cotterill and his wife live in a small fishing village on the Gulf of Siam in Southern Thailand. He has won the Dilys and a CWA Dagger and has been a finalist for several other awards.
Published July 5, 2011 by Soho Crime. 290 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, History, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Anarchy and Old Dogs

Kirkus Reviews

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In his fourth outing (Disco for the Departed, 2006, etc.), Dr. Siri Paiboun, the only coroner in the grimly totalitarian Laos of the late 1970s, is settling into a more comfy, bantering relationship with his tart assistant, Nurse Dtui, despite their age difference and his curmudgeonly manner.

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The New York Times

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Skip to next paragraph Jessica Cotterill Colin Cotterill An excerpt from "Anarchy and Old Dogs" (from Now look at Dr. Siri Paiboun, the septuagenarian coroner at the center of an outstanding string of books by Colin Cotterill.

Aug 23 2007 | Read Full Review of Anarchy and Old Dogs (Soho Cr...

Entertainment Weekly

In Ananarchy and Old Dogs, the fourth mystery featuring Dr. Siri Paiboun, the 73-year-old national coroner of 1970s Laos (and host to a shaman spirit) discovers a plot to overthrow the country's Communist regime.

Aug 10 2007 | Read Full Review of Anarchy and Old Dogs (Soho Cr...

The Bookbag

Anarchy and Old Dogs is in fact the fourth book in this series and I would love to read the first three but the way the characters are subtly developed means a veteran of the series would not be bored by going over old ground.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Anarchy and Old Dogs (Soho Cr...

Reviewing the Evidence

There are ghosts, nevertheless – ghosts of the glory days of revolution, ghosts of Siri's youth, and they are troubling enough.

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Historical Novel Society

Beneath the good beach reading froth this novel grapples with serious and absorbing questions about the relationship between the individual and the state, and about what comes to fill the vacuum left by the pulling out of a colonial power.

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Mysterious Reviews

Review: Colin Cotterill's Anarchy and Old Dogs, the fourth in his Dr. Siri Paiboun series, serves up another history/mystery with a distinctly Asian flavour.

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