Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Colin Cotterill

Photo of Colin Cotterill

Colin Cotterill (1952-) holds dual Australian and English citizenship. He was born in London but, after training as a teacher, left to travel around the world and never returned. He taught in Israel, Australia, the U.S., and Japan before settling in Thailand, where he lives in a fishing village with his wife and a pack of dogs. Cotterill worked with UNESCO in Laos and with ECPAT, a child protection organization. His “Books for Laos” program sends books to Lao children and sponsors teachers. Cotterill also has written columns for the Bangkok Post and has been a regular cartoonist for national publications. In 2000 he published his first novel, The Night Bastard, followed by two books about child trafficking. In 2004 he began his first mystery series.

What he writes: The Dr. Siri Paiboun series is set in Laos just after the 1975 Communist takeover. Dr. Siri, a 72-year old physician, longs for retirement but instead is assigned to be the national coroner. The morgue is full of insects and primitive equipment and, though Siri participated in the insurgency that established the Communists, he is now passively resistant. The recently deceased, whose bodies lie in his morgue, come to him in his dreams, providing clues as to their demise. Plot- and character-driven, grisly and metaphysical, this series features witty dialogue and political satire.

The Jimm Juree mysteries are set in contemporary rural Thailand. Jimm’s career as Thailand’s only female crime reporter is on the rise when her mother insists they move to a shabby backwater resort in the south. But things start looking up when dead bodies are discovered. With the help of her sleuthing Granddad, a local cop exiled for being gay, and her transgender internet guru sister, Jimm’s back in business. Humor and an unusual setting, fascinating characters, and serious human rights issues combine in this fast-paced new series.


List of works
Dr. Siri Paiboun series
  The Coroner's Lunch (2004) - CD The Merry Misogynist (2009) - CD
  Thirty-Three Teeth (2005) - CD Love Songs from a Shallow Grave (2010) - CD
  Disco for the Departed (2006) - CD Slash and Burn (2011)
  Anarchy and Old Dogs (2007) - CD The Woman Who Wouldn't Die (2013)
  Curse of the Pogo Stick (2008) - CD  
Jimm Juree series
  Killed at the Whim of a Hat (2011) - CD - large type
  Granddad, There's a Head on the Beach (2012)
2005 Nominee for Barry Award “Best First Novel” for The Coroner’s Lunch
2006 Dilys Award for Thirty-Three Teeth
2007 Prix SNCF Du Polar for The Coroner’s Lunch (French version)
2008 Short-listed for “CWA Dagger” for The Coroner’s Lunch
2009 Short-listed for Crimefest “Last Laugh Award” for Anarchy and Old Dogs
2009 CWA “Dagger in the Library” award for the Dr. Siri Paiboun series
2010 Finalist, Dilys Award for Love Songs from a Shallow Grave
What the critics say
...about The Coroner's Lunch
  "This series kickoff is an embarrassment of riches: Holmesian sleuthing, political satire, and [a] droll comic study of a prickly late bloomer." - Kirkus Reviews
...about Thirty-Three Teeth
  "Paiboun’s droll wit and Cotterill’s engaging plot twists keep things energetic; the rather grisly murders are offset by comedy…. The elegant, elderly Paiboun seems an unlikely vehicle to carry a series but he does so with charm and aplomb." - Entertainment Weekly
...about Disco for the Departed
  "Readers who enjoy Eliot Pattison's Asian thrillers (Bone Mountain) will find that Cotterill shares the same sardonic view of Asian communism mixed with a touch of mysticism (the dead speak to Siri), a quality that sets the work of both authors apart from most mystery fare." - Library Journal
...about The Merry Misogynist
  "The consistently fine characterizations of the entire cast are matched by a tightly constructed plot in which tension is heightened with excerpts from the killer's point of view" - Booklist
...about The Woman Who Wouldn't Die
  "Readers who appreciate reluctant cops and detectives, like Tarquin Hall's Indian sleuth, Vish Puri, or Stuart Kaminsky's Russian Inspector Rostnikov, will love Cotterill's cynical, haunted coroner." - Booklist
...about Killed at the Whim of a Hat
  "Laugh-out-loud observations coupled with George W. Bush quotes make this book remarkably fresh. This outstanding series debut would appeal to crossover readers who enjoy well-developed ensemble casts and a sense of the absurd. It's not just about Thailand; Cotterill understands people and writes subtle humor like a master." - Library Journal
  "Cotterill combines plenty of humor with fascinating and unusual characters, a solid mystery, and the relatively unfamiliar setting of southern Thailand to launch what may be the best new international mystery series since the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency." - Booklist
...about Granddad, There's a Head on the Beach
  "Cotterill masterfully blends real-world issues with appealing cozy elements and his trademark humor. Series readers will be thrilled with this installment and anxious for the next one. Must reading." - Booklist


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