Author: Anne Zouroudi
The Mistress of myth and mystery froze us in present and past with her brilliant last novel, The Taint of Midas. I waited with baited breath for the next in the series, The Doctor of Thessaly. And Zouroudi did it again.
Hermes Diaktoros (the messenger and traveler of the gods among men) has traded in his golden sandals once more as he travels from Arcadia to Morfi, a small town on the outskirts of Greece forgotten by most everyone except its few unhappy occupants. As Hermes arrives with his pristine white tennies and his frequent interferences in the ways of humans, he finds Morfi filled with residents that have befallen tragedy, in the name of envy. Zouroudi is not an author who dotes on the gods, she creates her own. And Hermes, the Fat Man as he is known, knows how to deal with his predestined human progenitors of ill will. The magic of Zouroudi is in her nuances: Hermes is an idiosyncratic and quirky character, a mastermind of action, rather than the epitomey of a god, Greek or not. The Fat Man treads where no one else goes, but he does it in his own character, which owns the series.
Two sisters, both spinsters, have had a falling out. Chrissa and Noula live together in a bare downstairs flat, with the top floor saved in memory of their parents for “the dowry.” Chrissa has finally made a match, a doctor who has fled to Morfi under strange circumstances. And when Chrissa’s doctor fiancé leaves her at the altar, alone, on the day of her wedding, Chrissa’s dowry is undone. She will stay downstairs with bitter Noula.
The said doctor has had an unfortunate series of events. Someone in Morfi has waylaid him and thrown acid into his face. But who? Hermes is on it.
And then there is the new mayor, hated by four of the townspeople, for he has won his political spot on a platform of giving back to the town, and sending the old mayor packing. He is expecting a visit from a dignitary of Greece, and the entire town is aglow with pride. But the four men have set him up, until Hermes steps up to the plate.
Since there are no inns in the town, Hermes ends up staying with frightful Evangelia, who offers a bed with lice and food unfit to eat. As Hermes suffers the innkeeper’s constant allusions to marriage, he has to fend for himself and rid Morfi from its ill influences. And when Adonis finds the doctor, Chrissa and Noula discover that truth and love are always better than illusion and deceit. And envy.
Unorthodox, Hermes is one of our best criminologists of the godly kind. Zouroudi plies her trade as talented author and demandss a detective both human and not, as Hermes offers his own slice of justice to the pie of crime he feeds upon.
Delicious, delightful and full of Zouroudi’s lust for a Greece both living and dead, Hermes creates his own decisive and creative punishment for the human dilemma of envy gone to crime.
You can’t get better than Zouroudi for mystery, nuance of locale, and her quirky characters that delight in mischief and mayhem. And in Hermes Diaktoros, we discover an investigative talent that is purely Greek.
A must read, while we all hold our breath for Zouroudi’s next installment of The Seven Deadly Sins series.
The Doctor of Thessaly: A Seven Deadly Sins Mystery (Seven Deadly Sins Mysteries) arrived on shelves last week.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Overall: Loved it! 4
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own.