Colin Cotterill is a cartoonist, illustrator and novelist. An Australian citizen, born in London, he has lived and been employed in various educational roles in Australia, Israel, the USA, Japan and Laos, before settling in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. For the last several years he has been involved with local nongovernmental agencies working to prevent child prostitution and rehabilitate abused children, and he recently set up the Books for Laos project, which raises money for the production of children's books.
The once retired Siri Paiboun - now national coroner, confused psychic and disheartened communist - decamps from the steamy capital and heads north to examine two badly charred bodies. Siri's a busy man, dining with the deposed king, attending a shamans' conference and being rescued by the ghost of an elephant.
Meanwhile, back at Vientiane headquarters, savaged corpses start to pile up. Could it be the missing bear from the circus, or is it a weretiger? Siri's trusty assistant Nurse Dtui goes snooping bug, unlike her boss, the spirits aren't looking out for her... And just what creature, if any, has thirty-three teeth?