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 by Colin Cotterill X
Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill
  • 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 (852 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

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...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

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

More books by Colin Cotterill

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

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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Spark of Light
    A Spark of Light
    by Jodi Picoult
    The central premise of A Spark of Light involves a gunman holding hostages within the confines of a ...
  • Book Jacket: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    by Hank Green
    As one half of the extremely popular YouTube duo "Vlogbrothers" (the other half being his brother ...
  • Book Jacket: Waiting for Eden
    Waiting for Eden
    by Elliot Ackerman
    Elliot Ackerman's latest novel, Waiting for Eden, follows Marine Eden Malcom as his death ...
  • Book Jacket: A Well-Behaved Woman
    A Well-Behaved Woman
    by Therese Anne Fowler
    The full title of A Well-Behaved Woman includes the subtitle A Novel of the Vanderbilts which is ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Paris Echo
    by Sebastian Faulks

    A story of resistance, complicity, and an unlikely, transformative friendship.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Travelling Cat Chronicles
    by Hiro Arikawa

    A life-affirming anthem to kindness and self-sacrifice.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Strangers in Budapest

Strangers in Budapest

A couple trying to make a new life in a foreign land find themselves drawn into a cultural and generational vendetta.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

N M I A T Law

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.