Cotterill, Colin. Curse of the Pogo Stick. New York: Soho, 2008.
Reason read: to continue the series started in May in honor of Laos Rocket Day.
Here’s what we know about Dr. Siri Paiboun. He is a 73 year old coroner in the village of Vientiane, Laos. He has two loyal sidekicks, Nurse Dtui (now three months pregnant) and helper Mr. Geung. When we last left Dr. Siri he had proposed to Madame Daeng and she accepted so now he has a girlfriend to add to the mix. He is still plagued by the spirit of a thousand-year-old shaman, Yeh Ming and it’s this spirit that gets Siri into his trouble this time. He is kidnapped by a group of women Hmong villagers thinking Yeh Ming can exorcise the head tribesman’s daughter. She appears to be pregnant with twins by a demon. The title of the book comes from the Hmong belief that a pogo stick, sent in a relief package, was the root of evil.
Meanwhile Nurse Dtui and Phosy search for the Lizard, a woman hellbent on killing Dr. Siri.
One of the best things about Cotterill’s writing (besides the humor) is that way he subtly reminds the readers where they are at in the saga. Like a television series voice over recap “previously on Badge of Justice…” before the new episode. In this case, Siri’s best friend was found to be a traitor in the last installment. When Madame Daeng & Nurse Dtui pay him a visit in Curse his new role in the story makes sense.
Line I liked, “It was rather sad that his last memory on earth might have been how to encourage bulls to increase their semen count” (p 37).
Book trivia: This is another really short book. Expect to finish it in a weekend.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Laos” (p 128).