I found The Coroner's Lunch to be a refreshing book. It takes place in Laos in the 1970s, just after the end of the Vietnam War. Laos is now run by a communist regime, and the people are struggling to come to grips with the changes that communisim brings to their lives. This could have been a bleak, serious, post-war book, but it wasn't. I don't know if there is such a thing as "communist-cozy" mysteries, but this could certainly fit into that genere.
The main character, Siri Paiboun was a 72 year old coroner, who really wasn't that great at his job, and who was really just looking forward to retirement. He was not an expected hero, but he was a fun one. Cantankerous, sarcastic, and well, too old to give a damn, Siri refuses to conform to what the communists expect of him, and if he has to work, then he's going to go about it according to no one's standards but his own, and the threats of re-education or reassignment to ditch digging can just go to hell.
I laughed out loud several times during the reading of this book. It's got some really funny scenes and some funny lines, and that made it refreshing and unexpected (honestly, how many post-Vietnam War communism stories can you think of that are funny?). The book did get a little mystical for my taste in parts, and I was not satisified with the ending, but overall, I liked it, and look forward to the next book in the Dr. Siri Paiboun series.