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Thursday 14 December 2017

‘The Rat Catchers’ Olympics’ by Colin Cotterill

Published by Soho Crime,
15 August 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-6169-5825-1

The 1980 Olympics, boycotted by the United States and other major countries, provides Dr. Siri Paiborn, the retired Lao coroner, and his wife, Daeng, an opportunity for a trip to Moscow.  Unfortunately, the politically outspoken doctor is the last on the list to be selected as team doctor.  But that doesn’t stop him from finagling the assignment.  The games give the Democratic People’s Republic of Laos a chance to field their first-ever Olympic team, even if they have no chance to win an event.

The mystery to be solved involves a suspicion that one of the athletes is a ringer, and possibly an assassin.  Thus, begins a two-way long-distance investigation, with Dr. Siri and his team in Moscow and Inspector Phosy in Laos, attempting to identify the person.  When one of the Lao athletes is falsely accused by Moscow police of a murder, he has to solve not one but two crimes.

All the while, Dr. Siri, his wife and friend, Comrade Civilai, head of the delegation, and others are enjoying the free drinks and hospitality of the Russian Government, which permits the author to inject much humor into the conversations.  And the mystery is solved in a most ingenious manner.   Recommended.
Reviewer: Theodore Feit

Colin Cotterill is the author of the Dr. Siri series of novels. Born in London, he has taught in Australia, the USA and Japan and lived for many years in Laos where he worked for non-governmental social service organizations. He now writes full-time and lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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