I’ve finished the 64th book for the challenge. It was Grandad, There’a Head on the Beach by Colin Cotterill. Yes, it’s a murder murder. Actually, it’s a couple of mysteries wrapped up in one book. It takes place in Thailand at the Happy Lovely Resort and Restaurant owned by our heroine’s family. Jimm Juree is a journalist is a thirty-something Thai woman who worked as a journalist for a Thai newspaper at their crime desk. Now she freelances and works at the family business. As the title indicates, as she is walking the family dogs, she comes upon a severed head on the beach. She calls her grandfather who used to be a traffic cop and they call in the local police and the local headman, who goes in for dressing in elaborate uniforms. The local rescue mission is also called in to taken possession of the remains and that sets off all sorts of alarm bells for Jimm when she visits their operation. Everyone believes the head belongs to one of the alien Burmese day laborers and it is stored away in the rescue mission’s back room.
Through a series of events, Jimm discovers that the Burmese are being mistreated and are being kidnapped off the streets of their small village and used as slave labor on the big fishing boats. She also discovers that members of the police force are involved in this despicable practice. She hatches a plan to catch the perpetrators and get the world’s attention.
In the meantime, the resort gets two paying customers, a mother and daughter, who aren’t what they seem to be. Jimm takes it upon herself to find out their secret, with the help of her transvestite brother who happens to be a quiz at computers. Jimm discovers their true identity and figures out a way to help them and get the people who are hunting them off everyone’s back.
This is a book with a cast of characters that will capture your heart and leave you laughing and cheering them on as they fight injustice and pit their wits against the bad guys. Sixty-four down, 36 to go.