Love Songs from a Shallow Grave : A Dr Siri Murder Mystery, Paperback Book

Love Songs from a Shallow Grave : A Dr Siri Murder Mystery Paperback

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


As usual, all is abnormal in Dr Siri Paiboun's morgue in downtown Vientiane.

Siri and his team are investigating the case of the Three Epees: three women skewered by a sword through their hearts.

A culprit has been apprehended, tried and sentenced to death in a week's time.

But Siri isn't sure they have the right man. Unfortunately, the number one, and only, coroner of Laos isn't in a position to help anyone - not even himself.

As his 74th birthday dawns, Siri finds himself incarcerated in prison by the Khymer Rouge, facing torture and starvation.

As usual, his curiosity is to blame for his predicament, but this time it looks as though his inquisitiveness could be the end of him.

Could Dr Siri's next outing be from beyond the grave?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9781849160476

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

This is the last book in this series that has kept me amused for a couple of years now. Colin Cotterill has blog, if anyone is interested, which is very amusing, too. Good writing, a well plotted mystery set in Laos about who killed 3 seemingly unconnected women with a fencing sword. Siri also manages to be imprisoned while on a trip to Cambodia, and, as the books are set in the mid-70's, Cotterill graphically reminds me of how horrifying the situation was in that country under the Khamer Rouge (sp?) I think of it every time I need a cable guy, as most of ours here are Cambodians. I'm not writing much on this book, as I assume anyone who has gotten this far in the series has a good idea of what it's about. I'll miss Siri, but Cotterill has begun a new series about a crime reporter somewhere in Asia. I've got the first book, Killed at the Whim of a Hat, and am looking forward to reading it.

Review by

Dr. Siri Paiboun of Laos, Number 8.The year: 1978. The book opens with Dr. Siri manacled by his ankle to a 27 ft length of lead pipe, and expecting to be executed.And then we switch back to a time previous. The heavens have opened up and unprecedented rain has come down, turning roads into quagmires and flooding everything else. Siri and Civilai, his best friend, are being prepped for their upcoming status as Heros of the Revolution, pleasing the two old men enormously. But lest he become complacent, suddenly Siri is presented with 3 corpses in 3 days--all murdered by epée, a weapon that Siri and Civilai, his best friend, agree that 99.9% of Laotians would not know which end to grasp, never mind use. The three victims, all young women, seemingly have nothing in common.The plot switches back and forth from Siri in life-threatening custody and Siri and his friends and colleagues trying to solve the baffling murders. It’s the usual Siri Paiboun type story, except that it’s more subdued. Cotterill uses a Dr. Siri mystery to illuminate the horrors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and the atrocities of the Pol Pot regime.It’s Dr. Siri, so it’s good, but not quite up to the standard of the others in the series. Recommended for Dr. Siri fans.