From Publishers Weekly
At the start of Zouroudi's intriguing first in a series based on the seven deadly sins, self-styled investigator Hermes Diaktoros (aka "the fat man") arrives from Athens on the island of Thiminos to look into the death of Irini Asimakopoulos, a young woman whose body was found at the foot of a high cliff. Irini's sad story unfolds slowly as Hermes, who can ask questions gently or demand answers gruffly, talks to a number of people involved, including Irini's husband, Andreas; her putative lover, Theo Hatzistratis; Theo's wife, Elpida; and the island's police chief, Panayiotis Zafiridis, who officially deemed her death an accident but privately believes it was suicide. The secrets the locals keep or share can't be hidden from Hermes, who weighs the evidence and, in the end, rewards or punishes in ways that have little to do with written laws. Zouroudi writes well, but this leisurely tale is more likely to appeal to armchair travelers interested in Greece than mystery buffs.
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"Anne Zouroudi writes beautifully - her books have all the sparkle and light of the island landscapes in which she sets them." (Alexander McCall Smith)
"Hermes Diaktoros is a delight. Half Poirot, half deus ex machina, but far more earth-bound than his first name suggests, the portly detective has an other-worldly, Marlowesque incorruptibility as he waddles through the mean olive groves. There is also a cracking plot, colourful local characters and descriptions of the hot, dry countryside so strong that you can almost see the heat haze and hear the cicadas - the perfect read to curl up with as the nights draw in."
"This powerfully atmospheric mystery embraces Mediterranean passion, mythic meddling and patriarchal persecution." (Independent
"Absorbing and beautifully written...reveals the savage, superstitious reality behind the pretty facade that is all that most of us know of any Greek island." (Literary Review
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