Jimm Juree is a modern Thai woman: smart and divorced, she desires a career in crime journalism but is a good enough daughter to move from cosmopolitan Chiang Mai to a backwater beach to help out her mother with her new venture: the Gulf Bay Lovely Resort and Restaurant, located on the Gulf of Siam. Jimm also has a penchant for finding trouble at every turn. Whether investigating the murder of a Buddhist abbot (Killed at the Whim of A Hat), finding a severed head near her mother's resort (Granddad, There's a Head on the Beach), or finding romance while attempting to track down the local doctor (The Axe Factor), Jimm risks the life and limbs not only of herself, but of those near and dear.
And what a collection they are: Arny, Jimm's brother, is a weight lifter and engaged to a colleague old enough to be his mother. Mair, Jimm's mother, is very possibly senile and is still chasing Captain Kow, a local fisherman. Sissi, Jimm's sister, did not start out life in the body she has now chosen and is a computer genius who does not always stay on the proper side of the law. Grandpa Jah, who has a hobby of watching cars, is the last honest policeman in Thailand, which would explain why he is retired. That's just the family. Colin Cotteril has peopled this series with plenty of unusual and memorable characters that one hopes to see again.
The other charms of these books include the exotic and well-rendered locale, Jimm's sharp, sardonic observations, and the hilariously mangled phrases that start each chapter. If you liked The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, but like a bit more of an edge, the Jimm Juree mysteries are for you.