Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness by David Casarett


Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness by David Casarett

Review by Lauren

source: copy from BEA16; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryTwo nights ago, a young woman brought her husband into the emergency room of the Sriphat Hospital in Thailand, where he passed away. A guard thinks she remembers her coming in before, but with a different husband - one who also died.

Ladarat Patalung, for one, would have been happier without a serial murderer-if there is one -- loose in her hospital. Then again, she never expected to be a detective in the first place.

And now, Ladarat has no choice but to investigate...


ReviewThis was a book I picked up at BEA16. I can't remember how I came across it, though I imagine it was a simple book drop that I came across and realizing it was a mystery, I grabbed a copy. I'm a huge fan of mysteries because I love following the case, whether I guess the culprit or piece it all together or not. 

Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness is the first book in a new series which follows a nurse ethicist in Thailand named Ladarat Patalung. She's an intriguing character, having lost her husband 12 years prior and still living alone with only her cat. She loves her job and is very committed though. I loved that the book was set in Thailand though, as I don't believe I've read another book set in this country. The author did a great job not only describing the hospital and its functions, but also the language, the people, and certainly the food. There is the use of Thai throughout the book, but it is always explained and therefore, I never felt confused or lost while reading the book.

As for the mystery in this one, Ladarat is approached by a detective at the hospital she works at concerning what he believes could be murder. A woman had brought her husband into the emergency room of Ladarat's hospital the night before, where he was declared dead and his death certificate signed. The woman left and that was it, except someone who worked at the hospital thought he had seen this same woman bringing her dead husband in a few months previous, at a different hospital. Is it the same woman, and is she marrying and killing off men? What could she gain? And how would they find her?

It's not known until near the end of the book while the detective enlists Ladarat's help, besides her being the nurse ethicist of the hospital (this means she's a nurse, yes, but she also deals with any ethical decisions the hospital may face), but I promise there is an answer. It's nothing huge, but it does make Ladarat even more determined to continue her detective work at the end of this novel. However, back to the initial story - there is a lot going on in this book besides the mystery, but it worked well. The author handled these various story lines with ease, weaving between them throughout the book so you were always curious what would come next, yet never confused. I thought about explaining some of this, but I think it would be best to enjoy the book without knowing too many details! Believe me, it's worth it!

I love books where the main character is not a detective but is called upon to become one. This isn't like cozy mysteries, where the main character makes themselves a detective. Ladarat is called upon for her help and she does waver if she should help as much as she can, or focus instead on her paying job, especially with a big inspection coming up. 

One of the things that I really loved about this book is the writing style. It's not one I can really explain, but it seemed to suit the story and most especially the character of Ladarat. I appreciated how the author talked about Thai culture and explained how it is very different in many ways to American culture, as Ladarat is often commented to be a bit American. She spent a year studying there in college, but she also seems to understand the world in a slight American way and all of this is included expertly in the story. 

I definitely loved this one - five stars for sure- and I am excited to read more about Ladarat and her mysteries!

13 comments:

Marina said...

I love mistery books! Will have to check this one out!

Christy LoveOfBooks said...

Is this serious or is there a humorous undertone to it? It seems like something that could have some dark humor in the mix.

Verushka Byrow said...

Oh, I like this! It's sounds so good, and thailand! I don't think I've ever read a mystery set there. I like that Ladarat is trying to balance work and detective work.

Erika Sorocco said...

I do love a good mystery - especially during the fall season!

xx

Joyous Reads said...

I love a good mystery as well and it sounds like this one hit the spot for you. It's so gratifying when you can follow the clues and solve the mystery along with the character.

Keertana said...

Wow I've never heard of this but it sounds really interesting and I love a good mystery! Thanks for putting this on my radar.

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I love a good mystery that doesn't get dark. I will have too look this one up. Always happy to see a five star rating.

Grace @ RebelMommyBookBlog said...

I love mysteries too. Glad to have another one to check out now. Love the cover too!

Cleo Bannister said...

This sounds fantastic Lauren, a little less dark than many of my reads but that's not a bad thing.

Medeia Sharif said...

Thanks for sharing this. I haven't seen it before.

The Bibliophile Babe said...

I'll have to check this one out!

Jennifer Humphries said...

A five star review! Well then this is one that I will definitely need to pick up.

Anna (herding cats-burning soup) said...

LOL the title. I would have grabbed it up just seeing that. Sounds like one I need to check out.