Sunday, 3 November 2013

Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill

If you start digging a well in your field, you would expect to find maybe water, sometimes a hidden treasure or oil , but what did Old Mel find in his palm field in SouthernThailand? He found a Volkswagen buried in the soil with two skeletons in it. However did a VW get buried in a Oil Palm field in the middle of no where, and what are these skeletons doing in it, well, people before they became skeletons.

This is the first excitement in Jimm Juree's life in nine months after her family moved to this dump resort. Jimm Juree had been a successful crime reporter in Chang Mai slowly hoping to fill in the shoes of her senior who may die very soon. But as things do happen Jimm's mother Mair decides to reroot the family and 34-year old Jimm decides to be loyal to her family and moves with them. Jimm sets to action making contact with local police and getting a few bylines.

While this excitement would be enough to get her on track for a while, Jimm also finds that an Abbot had been murdered. Jimm's all set to solve these crimes, with the help of a grandad who grunts all the time and had worked all his life as a traffic police, a younger brother who body builds and an older ex -brother now a sister and an internet diva. An ally in the local police helps her get the inside information.

This story had been compared to the No. 1 Ladies Detective agency series. I haven't read it, so I can't tell if the comparison is justified. The story is funny, and engaging and you get a lot of local colour. But the mystery gets solved very easily in the end, it looks like all that it needs to solve crime is technology. I liked the small details like in the middle of a murder investigation Jimm is worried that if she didn't cook, her family will starve, or when she ponders any male reporter would file the report go home to a wife who would cook him his dinner, and Jimm had to come back home and cook for her eccentric family or a brother who insists on accompanying her when she needs to do her investigation late night.

I didn't even notice the George W. Bush quotes in the beginning at the start of each chapter. Then when I started paying notice I found them very funny and looked them up again and had a good laugh. If you wondered what Killed at the Whim of a hat is, there is not only an explanation but also the title is justified. I wonder if one of Cotterill's students did a study on George W. Bush's speeches!

I picked up the Dr. Siri book set in Loas to read next.

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