The Woman Who Wouldn't Die by Colin Cotterill (Random House, February 2013). It is now 1978, and Dr. Siri Paiboun is retired from his job as national coroner of Laos; however, a judge has asked Siri to look into a case involving the minister of agriculture's wife, who has hired the supposed-to-be-dead Madame Keui to lay rest the ghost of the minister's brother. Siri, who has a healthy regard for the supernatural, is the perfect man for the job. This is the ninth book in Cotterill's witty Dr. Siri Paiboun series. (Read Della Streetwise's review of the first book, The Coroner's Lunch, here.)
Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster, February 2013). “There is very little peace for a man with a body buried in his backyard.” Thus begins Mason's debut about an ordinary man named Jason Getty, who kills and buries a man behind his house. That is enough to disconcert Jason right there, but things become even more complicated when police dig up two bodies, and neither is the one that Jason buried. The publisher says this book is for fans of offbeat, black thrillers and the Coen brothers' movies––in other words, for me, and you, too?
Perfect Hatred by Leighton Gage (Soho Crime, February 2013). For a police procedural that combines terrific characterization, action, setting, and social issues, Della Streetwise, Maltese Condor (see her review here), and I read Leighton Gage's Chief Inspector Mario Silva series, set in modern Brazil. In the sixth book, Silva's team investigates a suicide bombing, the assassination of a gubernatorial candidate, and the revenge plot of a newly released felon who hates Silva. It's not necessary to read Gage's books in order, but these characters grow over time, and you'll want to follow them. The first book is 2007's Blood of the Wicked, in which Bishop Dom Felipe is assassinated when he visits the agricultural town of Cascatas do Pontal.
What about you? What's on your schedule for early 2013?
I'll be back later this week to tell you about Vine's The Child's Child and Engelmann's The Stockholm Octavo. I hope your festivities tonight will deliver a wonderful 2013 for you.