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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 13 December 2012
I have only recently discovered Anne Zouroudi and what a pleasure reading her work has become. Her Greek, non-police detective is a man of mystery. He is frequently described as the 'fat man' and the reader only discovers his name when someone asks him. We then learn he is called Hermes Diaktoros. To say that he is a semi-mystical figure is perhaps reading too much into his personality, but he carries an air of authority without disclosing what its source is, except to say that he works for an authority that is higher than the police.

The mystery here is bound up with the murder of an old man who owned land with ancient remains waiting to be excavated, but which would be valuable real estate which he refuses to sell. Hermes was an old friend of his who is at first accused of his murder. Beyond that the plot is too involved with life in the area, especially as the title suggests, with the story of greed similar to that of Midas, for it to be explained. The whole book is full of the life and scents of this part of Greece. The depictions of the characters is vivid, and surprisingly there are two uncorrupted policemen, which is refreshing. It has some of the elements of a murder story with suspects and questionings, plus some well-described unpleasant events, but the whole effect is of a community busy with its own approach to life.

I have given the book four stars only because it belongs in a genre of its own. Yes, it contains a mystery of sorts, but the real mystery to me is the nature of Hermes. He has an almost god-like quality, yet is fanatical about keeping his white tennis shoes clean. He apparently used to live in the area, but now lives in Athens, a fact which makes him seem llike an alien character to the locals.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something just that bit different to read.
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on 20 June 2009
The Messenger of Athens
I would highly recommend both this book and the other book in the series involving the Hermes, the Fat Man. The books conjure up the sleepy lifestyle of the Greek Islands and introduce a mysterious stranger in his white tennis pumps, who slowly but surely pieces together any wrongdoings, ensuring that the guilty receive their just rewards.
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VINE VOICEon 29 September 2009
Life on this Greek island has been disturbed. The head of a dysfunctional family is concerned that the season is too short to allow him to make as much money from his business activities - catering to tourists - as he would like. His solution: build holiday homes that will turn the once-a-year visitors into permanent residents. But he needs the land on which to build: if you smell potential for corruption, you're not wrong. At the same time, the genial Fat Man who serves as the author's slightly mysterious detective has arrived to visit an old friend - only to discover that he has been killed in a hit-and-run incident. If you smell a possible murder, you're not wrong. The Fat Man, of course, solves both problems before disappearing as unobtrusively as he arrived.

Anne Zouroudi has lived in Greece and loves its languorous ways. The gentle tempo of her story reflects the pace of life most engagingly. It is, though, hardly a mystery. The good people are as easily distinguished from the bad as if they had worn white or black hats in the fashion of old-style westerns. Lying on a sunbed with a cold drink to hand, you will find this slips down smoothly and undemandingly.
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on 16 September 2013
For a synopsis, see elsewhere; I want merely to reassure readers that the fat man is back, in all his glory, and this time it's personal. The bad end badly, the good (what few of them there are) end well - just as it should be. Anne Zouroudi paints a powerful picture of the gnawing miasma that is avarice, poisoning all about it. Only the Greek detective can bring an end to the present trouble in paradise.
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on 5 March 2014
Set in the past, but the basic desires, emotions, weaknesses and fears of some charactors in life do not change, and life must still be similar to this in many parts of the world today. Gossip, malice, envy, superstition, bitterness, anger and laziness exist everywhere.I liked Hermes with his clear exposition of unintended consequences and his comments on life in general. His desire to make people think for themselves and take responsibilty for their choices.The plot flows steadily, while the descriptive parts bring back memories of Greece to the mind.
I found this book very easy to read and I was interested in what had actually happened and why. It does not rush along but draws you along. i have enjoyed all that I have read by this author.
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on 12 April 2015
I feel that I have spent a little time in the Greek islands when I read these books. I'm afraid that when books go over £4 I tend to look for them in the library instead, e-library as the first option, so I doubt I'll be reviewing any more by this author here, but am finding her a very consistently good read.
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on 23 February 2015
I love these Greek Detective books! Anne Zouroudi is so descriptive in her writing its a pleasure to read and enjoy 'armchair ' chair travels at the same time. Each book I have finished has left me wanting more.....Hermes is a character I just couldn't fall out with.
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on 3 November 2014
It's a pleasure to read an Ann Zouroudi book.
It means a few hours of escapism especially from the " blood and guts " novels that are my usual fare.
She conjures up a picture of a long ago Greece that makes you wish you could sample it.
Highly recommended for a jaded palate!
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on 16 November 2013
Anne Zouroudi writes with the assurance of close acquaintance with Greeks, their lives and character traits. The fact that this is also a page- turner and a rattling good story is a bonus. I have enjoyed all of her books, even though her "warts and all" portrayal of Greeks is sometimes uncomfortable, it makes fascinating reading. The fat man is an original, the concept of basing her novels on one of the seven deadly sins interesting. More please, Anne
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on 16 August 2014
Always excellent, Anne Zouroudi's Greek based adventures with her rather mystical detective, Hermes Diaktoros, are stories like no other, they are almost other worldly and endlessly fascinating. Unconventional tales,with a subtle promise of the triumph of morality and retribution and never disappoint.
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