Dr. Siri Paiboun, the spry seventy-three-year-old reluctant national coroner of Laos, is out of town when a booby-trapped corpse is delivered to the morgue in Vientiane. The lives of visiting doctors, the morgue attendants, and Madame Daeng, Dr. Siri's fiancee, are saved by the intervention of Nurse Dtui, the doctor's longtime assistant, but it is a near thing. Who is responsible for this outrage?
On his way back from a Communist Party meeting in the north, Dr. Siri is kidnapped by seven female Hmong villagers. The village elder had ordered them to bring Siri to him, hoping that Yeh Ming, the thousand-year-old shaman who shares the doctor's body, would consent to exorcise the headman's daughter. He fears that her soul has been possessed by a demon due to the curse of a mysterious artifact that they have placed on an altar. Siri agrees to help and in so doing, brings to pass a prediction of Auntie Bpoo, a transvestite fortune-teller. - Libraries Australia record