Killed at the Whim of a Hat

Killed at the Whim of a Hat

3.74 (2,618 ratings by Goodreads)
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The launch of a brand new series by the internationally bestselling, critically acclaimed author of "The Coroner's Lunch""" With worldwide critical acclaim, Colin Cotterill is one of the most highly regarded "cult favorite" crime writers today. Now, with this new series, Cotterill is poised to break into the mainstream. Set in present day rural Thailand, Cotterill is as sharp and witty, yet more engaging and charming, than ever before. Jimm Juree was a crime reporter for the "Chiang Mai Daily Mail "with a somewhat eccentric family--a mother who might be drifting mentally; a grandfather--a retired cop--who rarely talks; a younger brother obsessed with body-building, and a transgendered, former beauty pageant queen, former older brother. When Jimm is forced to follow her family to a rural village on the coast of Southern Thailand, she's convinced her career--maybe her life--is over. So when a van containing the skeletal remains of two hippies, one of them wearing a hat, is inexplicably unearthed in a local farmer's field, Jimm is thrilled. Shortly thereafter an abbot at a local Buddhist temple is viciously murdered, with the temple's monk and nun the only suspects. Suddenly Jimm's new life becomes somewhat more promising--and a lot more deadly. And if Jimm is to make the most of this opportunity, and unravel the mysteries that underlie these inexplicable events, it will take luck, perseverance, and the help of her entire family. One of "Library Journal"'s Best Mystery Books of 2011
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Product details

  • Hardback | 374 pages
  • 148 x 218 x 32mm | 449g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • maps
  • 0312564538
  • 9780312564537
  • 1,478,025

Review quote

"The Jimm Juree series is off to at least as good a start as the Dr. Siri one was. It has the potential to be even better."
--Janet Maslin, "The New York Times" "Excellent ... Cotterill ... combines a wry narrative voice with an appealing picture of a world unfamiliar to most Americans."
--"Publishers Weekly" (Starred Review) "An ebullient series kickoff."
--"Kirkus Reviews""" "Cotterill's fiction has been compared to Alexander McCall Smith's, presumably because it also has a colourful location. It is far more complex and perceptive."
--"The Independent""" "A procession of memorable local characters.... By coming up with an original and entertaining new formula, this author reaffirms his creativity and versatility."
--"Japan Times"
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About Colin Cotterill

Born in London, COLIN COTTERILL has worked as teacher in Israel, Australia, the U.S. and Japan before he started training teachers in Thailand. Cotterill and his wife live in a small fishing village on the Gulf of Siam in Southern Thailand. He's won the Dilys and a CWA Dagger, and has been a finalist for several other awards.
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Rating details

2,618 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 21% (562)
4 42% (1,093)
3 29% (755)
2 6% (161)
1 2% (47)

Our customer reviews

The origin of the title comes from her school studies of oratory skills, where Jimm was picked to study George W. Bush: George was in Washington DC and he'd fallen off the edge of the teleprompter again and he was caught somewhere between "on a whim" and "at the drop of a hat" and ended up with terrorists killing one another "at the whim of a hat." This also explains the less-than-phenomenal Bush quotes that head each chapter. I would definitely describe this as a "cozy Thai mystery". When Jimm's mother, who is apparently suffering from senility, sells their family business and moves to a little-known backwater, Jimm, as well as her shy, body-building brother Arny and the normally taciturn Grandad Jah, who used to be a police detective, move with her, leaving her older brother-turned sister Sissi in Chiang Mai. While Sissi practices her computer con games online, Jimm is forced to deal with an "inn" that gets no guests, and a store that has no customers. When two bodies are unearthed in a van buried underground, Jimm quickly rides her bike to the scene and exaggerates her press credentials to get the scoop. While undertaking her investigation of the two bodies, Jimm also manages to get caught up in the murder of an abbot. As she works the cases, she's assisted by Grandad Jah, as well as the computer sleuthing skills of Sissi. This was an entertaining read. I enjoyed my dive into the culture of Thailand, and there was much dry wit scattered throughout. The mysteries are engaging, and the relationships Jimm cultivates with the local police officers are fun as well. If you like cozies, and want to try a different take on them, pick this one up! QUOTES (from an ARC; may be different in final copy): I didn't want to sound ungrateful for the opportunity to move to the backwoods marshes of Maprao but, purely for my own entertainment, I'd put together a list of my top unfavorite things about my new home: 1. Power cuts 2. The constant smell fo drying squid 3. Neighbors with nothing intelligent to discuss 4. The thud of coconuts falling from trees in dearch of ahead 5. A shallow sea so warm it breeds Jurassic life forms 6. The drone of passing fishing boats at three a.m. 7. The close proximity of reptiles 8. No telephone line so no internet 9. No nightlife (no daylife either) 10. Garbage from all the so-called high class resorts being washed up on our beach I was starting to see myself as this Maprao-based Agatha Christie character pedalling off to solve crimes on her two-gear shopping bicycle and modeling in her spare time. "And what if we're right and they throw us in a cellar and cut us up into little pieces?" "Then that's proof that they're p to no good. I'll be able to wear my captain's stripes to your funeral and shoot real bullets in the air. Can you believe I've never fired live rounds outside the shooting range? Such a shame. I'm a terribly good shot." Writing: 4 out of 5 stars Plot: 3.5 out of 5 stars Characters: 3 out of 5 stars Reading Immersion: 3.5 out 5 stars BOOK RATING: 3.5 out of 5 starsshow more
by Julie Smith
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