Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness

Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness

Book - 2016
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"A fascinating mystery set in Thailand in the vein of Alexander McCall Smith, where a nurse ethicist turns detective. Ladarat Patalung, for one, would have been happier without a serial murderer in her life. Then again, she never meant to be a detective in the first place. But while content in her role at the Chaing Mai Hospital in Thailand as the nurse ethicist, Ladarat couldn't resist when police detective Kuhn Wiriya came to her with his dilemma. Two nights ago, a young woman brought her husband to the emergency room, where he passed away. Now someone remembers her coming in before, with a different husband (who also died). Is there a serial killer on the loose? One who likes to murder her husbands? And what else can one lone nurse ethicist do about it, but investigate?"--
Publisher: New York, N.Y., Redhook,, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: copyright2016
ISBN: 9780316270632
Characteristics: 358 pages ; 21 cm.


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Mar 16, 2018

I was delighted by the mystery Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness. It was set in Chang Mai, a city in northern Thailand. The protagonist is a nurse ethicist who spent a year in Chicago, learning more about her field. Three main stories weave within the book: a mysterious case of a man brought in dead to the ER for a death certificate, an American man who suffered a serious accident (and appears to be brain dead) when attacked by an elephant, and a poor man from a rural area who sits on the floor and disappears when people try to talk with him. And then there is the side story of a 40-year-old VW Bug. It is a slow-paced but very thoughtful, well-organized story, with interesting thoughts about people in general and modern Thai behavior. The main character carefully thinks through the other characters may be doing. I found it fascinating!

The include:
"When someone does what we think they should do--when they behave as we expect--we stop paying attention to them."

"If you want to teach someone your way of thinking, you need to be fluent in theirs."

Oct 18, 2017

Various aspects of Thai culture are presented in an interesting way. It may take some readers a while to warm up to ethical nurse Ladarat - and to the author's determination to explore the many different meanings which can, apparently, be conveyed with a smile* -- but by the end of the story I felt the story was a satisfying one, and am willing to try a second in the series.

*a "yim yae yae" smile, for example, means "I know things look bad, but getting upset won't make things any better, so why not smile?" In this story things look bad a lot.

Feb 14, 2017

Too man sub-plots and easily guessed mysteries.

Nov 29, 2016

David Casarett is a doctor, who has written nonfiction, and spends quite a bit of time in Thailand. This background has enabled him to write a novel with characters that remind the reader strongly of the Ladies Number One Detective Agency mysteries by Alexander McCall Smith. Ladarat Patalung, Nurse Ethicist who has studied her specialty in Chicago, is asked by Wiriya Mookja, a Royal Police detective, to use her contacts in the Sriphat Hospital of Chiang Mai to help him determine whether there is a serial killer on the loose or if the woman who brought her dead husband to the emergency room is just unlucky in her choice of husbands. Ladarat and her assistant, Sisithorn, who seems to have an unusual gift for understanding the needs and emotions of others, manage an upcoming audit of the hospital, an American couple who were involved in an accident with an elephant, and a mysterious man in the ICU visitor’s room, as well as detective Mookja’s request, with grace and calm, basing her decisions on what is truly important. The writer’s gift for immersing the reader in the culture of Thailand is truly remarkable. I am looking forward to the next in the series.

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