Friday, July 15, 2011
KILLED AT THE WHIM OF A HAT by Colin Cotterill (Minotaur)
Jimm Juree, first-person narrator of this excellent mystery, is a crime reporter out of a job—not because of the economy nor that she's a poor writer. Her mother, who's showing signs of early onset dementia has sold the family home and business and relocated to southern, rural Thailand, where the local paper already has a crime reporter. Jimm's grandfather, a retired cop, rarely talks and her younger brother who wants to be a world-class body builder moved with the family; her older brother, a transgendered former beauty queen stayed behind in the city where s/he is in seclusion running a computer hacking business.
Jimm feels her life is over before she hardly got started on her career, but suddenly, things begin to happen in her new village. First, a Volkswagon van, complete with two skeletons, is discovered by a well-digger. Then, a visiting Buddist abbott is violently murdered shortly after Jimm meets a nun and a monk who become suspects in the case.
As Jimm works the case, hoping to break back into news, she finds allies in unexpected places.
The charm of Whim isn't the crime story. It's the characters, the whimsey, and the humor woven subtly through the novel that make it a cut above the rest. Of course, the chapter headings, quotes from President Malaprop, are well worth the read. Don't miss the beginning of this excellent new series!
NOTE: Many readers will remember Cotterill's wonderful series about Dr. Siri, a 70-something Laotian county coroner. I predict even more fans for Jimm!
FTC Discloser - This book was provided by the publisher.