Summary and book reviews of Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill

Curse of the Pogo Stick

by Colin Cotterill

Curse of the Pogo Stick
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2008, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2009, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Vy Armour

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

In the engaging fifth entry in Cotterill's unusual crime series set in 1970s Laos, A Pogo Stick Brings a Curse Down upon a Hmong Village.

In Vientiane, Laos, a booby-trapped corpse, intended for Dr. Siri, the national coroner, has been delivered to the morgue. In his absence, only Nurse Dtui’s intervention saves the lives of the morgue attendants, visiting doctors and Madame Daeng, Dr. Siri’s fiancée.

On his way back from a Communist party meeting in the north, Dr. Siri is kidnapped by seven female Hmong villagers under the direction of the village elder so that he will, in the guise of Yeh Ming, the thousand year old shaman with whom he shares his body, exorcise the headman’s daughter, whose soul is possessed by a demon, and lift the curse of the pogo stick.

Prologue

As there were no longer any records, the Hmong could not even tell when they actually misplaced their history. The event had deleted itself. But the oral legend that was passed on unreliably like a whisper from China would have them believe the following:

The elders of the Hmong tribes had gathered to lead the great exodus. For countless centuries, their people had been victimized by the mandarins. With no more will to fight, the time had come to flee. Traditional nomads, the Hmong had few valuable possessions to carry. They would lead their animals and build new homes when they reached the promised lands to the south. But there was one artifact that belonged to all the Hmong. It was the sacred scroll that contained their written language, legends, and myths of ancestors in a sunless, ice-covered land, and, most importantly, the map of how to reach their nirvana: the Land of the Dead in the Otherworld.

With great ceremony, the scroll was removed from its ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Just scanning the chapter titles, with titles such as "How to Blow Up a Coroner", "Shots from the Grassy Knoll", and "Cashews Make Me Fart", should have been my first clue that this would not be your usual whodunit. Abstaining from cashews for fear of flatulence saves the life of one of Siri's staff after a gift-wrapped box of nuts arrives for Dr Siri. But it leads to the demise of the two American auditors who indulge as they crunch numbers in Dr. Siri's office, which is just another of Cotterill's humorous asides - who hasn't wanted to kill an auditor?

In spite of what seems nonsensical, there are many gems in the book (which reminds me of Alexander McCall's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series).   (Reviewed by Vy Armour).

Full Review Members Only (852 words).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Dr. Siri's fifth with its echoes of Orwell and Waugh, tips more toward social satire than detection, with Cotterill's ironic pen as sharp as ever.

Library Journal

How all of this gets resolved is another example of the superb storytelling readers have come to expect from Cotterill.

Publishers Weekly

The time spent with the Hmong, not the attendant mysteries, provides the most satisfaction.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

A Brief History of Laos

The Lao People's Democratic Republic, commonly known as Laos (sounds like 'louse') is located in South-East Asia where it is sandwiched by Vietnam on the East and Thailand on the West. It shares its northern border with China and Burma/Myanmar, and its southern border with Cambodia (map). It's population is about 6.6 million people.

Laotian are believed to be descendents of Thai tribes from the 13th century. In the mid-14th century a powerful kingdom was founded by Fa Ngoun (1353-73) who is credited with the introduction of Buddhism to the area. In 1707 internal dissent split the country into two kingdoms (upper northern and lower southern). Vientiane, the setting of the novel is...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Curse of the Pogo Stick, try these:

  • In the Shadow of the Banyan jacket

    In the Shadow of the Banyan

    by Vaddey Ratner

    Published 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Displaying the author's extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.

  • The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing jacket

    The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing

    by Tarquin Hall

    Published 2011

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    A prominent Indian scientist dies in a fit of giggles when a Hindu goddess appears from a mist and plunges a sword into his chest, and Vish Puri, India’s Most Private Investigator, master of disguise and lover of all things fried and spicy, must discover the truth: Was it a supernatural death, or murder?

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...
  • Book Jacket: Night of the Animals
    Night of the Animals
    by Bill Broun
    Debut novelist Bill Broun is a gentle, exquisite literary surgeon. His protagonist, 90-year-old ...
  • Book Jacket: My Name Is Leon
    My Name Is Leon
    by Kit De Waal
    Kit de Waal's striking debut, My Name is Leon, has inspired this big, long, complicated question: ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.