This was a fun read, to squeeze in on the weekend between the regular chores and Christmas planning activities. This is the first of a mystery series, set in 1970s Laos, starring an elderly wanna-be-retired-surgeon who is coerced into becoming the only coroner after the revolution. Siri might be extremely reluctant, but he is still a conscientious and honest professional, who does his job too well. This of course, is going to get him into trouble, as he clashes with the bureacrats and the bad guys. He is quite likeable and funny. When his obnoxious boss-judge orders him to start wearing proper shoes instead of sandals, because "Civilized people wear shoes. Our comrades expect it of us.", Siri replies, "...I think if the proletariat are going to kiss my feet, the least I can do is give them a few toes to wrap their lips around."
A bit of a paranormal element was slipped in, which was a bit too much -- I think it could have been left in the arena of dreams/intuition/gut feeling/ rather than being elevated to the significance it was given in the later parts of the book. But overall, it was a fun little jaunt with some snappy funny dialogue, a bit of a mystery, and some likeable characters.