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“I just finished a series of charming mysteries by Colin Cotterill placed in Laos in the ’70s, during the communist revolution, when nothing works, the poverty is striking but people remain calm and good humored. The sleuth is Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 74-year-old coroner haunted by spirits and helped by an overweight and smart nurse and his Down syndrome assistant at the morgue. Although these novels are about gruesome crimes, they warmed my heart. Go figure!”

Isabel Allende,

author of Ripper

Allende appears at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Chapman Conference Center at Miami Dade College, 300 NE Second Ave. in downtown Miami; vouchers required and available with purchase of book at Books & Books locations in Coral Gables, Miami Beach and Bal Harbour

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