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If you love to read as I do, you are always on the lookout for books to enjoy. It is my vice that I love mysteries, especially those set in other cultures in recent times. Here are a few that made my A list each for their own reasons that may also help to expand cultural awareness. All are entertaining, eye-opening, heartwarming, and most are lighthearted. Many of them are series and when you’ve fallen in love with the protagonist you may insist on reading every one. I hope you will enjoy some of them. It is gratifying to share a good book!

  1. The Dr. Siri Paiboun Series by Colin Cotterill

The Dr. Siri Paiboun Series by Colin Cotterill

These 8 mysteries are set in People’s Democratic Republic of Laosin the mid-1970s, at the end of the Vietnam War. The protagonist, Dr. Siri Paiboun, is a 72-year old doctor, who has been drafted as the country’s chief medical coroner. Dr. Paiboun was himself a onetime revolutionary and was married to a leader of the revolutionary party. He also has the ‘gift’ of receiving information from those beyond the grave, a mixed blessing from his perspective. The first book in this series is The Coroner’s Lunch.


  1. Inspector Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov Series by Stuart Kaminsky

a whisper to the living Kaminzky

Stuart Kaminsky was an American novelist who created the fictional character Inspector Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov, a police investigator in Moscow. Rostnikov is an upstanding man in a bankrupt society, a realist who is sometimes depressed and at other times a sweet romantic. The earliest of the 16 mysteries, Death of a Dissident, is set in the early 1980s in the old Soviet Russia. The novels progress with time into contemporary Russia. The final book, A Whisper to the Living, was published posthumously in 2010. Kaminsky died in 2009.


  1. Flower Net, Dragon Bones, and The Interior by Lisa See

Flower net lisa see

These three books are mysteries set in modern China and the author is of Chinese descent. The protagonist is Liu Hulan, a red princess. The focus is on corrupt government, archeological theft, international gangs, and manufacturing plants. Each book gives a fascinating view of a world seemingly open but also well hidden from Western eyes.


  1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

This book is set in England. It is told from the perspective of Christopher, a 15 year old who is very intelligent and also ‘different.’ Specifically, he displays characteristics associated with Asperger’s syndrome. Christopher discovers his neighbor’s poodle, Wellington, shot dead. He sets out to discover the murderer and in the process uncovers much more: deep and tightly held secrets that change his life.



  1. The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad

The Bookseller of Kabul Asne Seierstad

Asne Seierstad is a Norwegian journalist. This book is the true story of her life with an Afghan bookseller and his two wives during the rule of the Taliban. The bookseller is portrayed as a courageous man although the treatment of the women is painful. Controversy surrounded the book when the family sued her for false reporting and invasion into their lives. The court ruled that the family knew what she was doing and were co-operative in her project.


  1. Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini

This is a stunning and not so lighthearted book about Amir. Amir grew up in Afghanistan though he has immigrated to the United States. The novel focuses on his childhood, a devastating experience and choices made as a pre-teen that carried consequences from which he must redeem himself. I could simply not put this book down.

I could continue this blog indefinitely with mysteries I have read and loved from other cultures, a truly wonderful an unique cultural awareness activity. I’ll stop here to give you a chance to make a dent in these 30 books if you are so inclined. May you have many happy hours of reading.

If you’re interested in learning more about personal self discovery and expanding cultural awareness in Scottsdale contact Dr. Sandra Egli about her spiritual healing services or book an appointment online now.



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The wisdom of a thousand generations guides you today. Only listen. Without a sound their voices reverberate in your cells. Settle within and choose your path.

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