4 May 2014

Review: THE DOCTOR OF THESSALY, Anne Zouroudi

  • originally published in 2009
  • now available as an e-book, published 2012
  • ISBN 9780316217859
  • review copy made available from NetGalley by publisher Little Brown & Company
  • #3 in the Hermes Diaktoros series: aka the Seven Deadly Sins Mystery series (Envy)

A jilted bride weeps on an empty beach. A local doctor is attacked in an isolated churchyard. Trouble arrives at a bad time to the backwater village of Morfi, just as the community is making headlines with a visit from a high-ranking government minister. Fortunately, where there's trouble, there's Hermes Diaktoros, the mysterious fat man whose tennis shoes are always pristine and whose investigative methods are always unorthodox.

Hermes must investigate a brutal crime, thwart the petty machinations of the town's ex-mayor and his cronies, and try to settle the troubled waters of two sisters' relationship. But how can he unravel a mystery that not even the victim wants solved?

My take

I'm still as intrigued by the character and origins of the central character in this series, Hermes Diaktoros as I was when I read the first in this series a couple of years ago. He introduces himself as coming from Athens, not a policeman, but responsible to "higher authorities". He shares characteristics with Agatha Christie's Mr Harley Quin as he seems to mysteriously appear from nowhere to see that justice is done. But he also reminds me both of Hercule Poirot of the immaculate patent leather shoes, and Shamini Flint's Inspector Singh who also wears rather incongruous white sandshoes.

It is easy to accept Hermes Diaktoros, always referred to as "the fat man", as a messenger of the gods. He arrives on Thessaly driving his cousin's immaculately kept vintage car, and he interferes willy nilly in the machinations of local politicians who want to bring the downfall of the newly elected young Mayor. The sort of justice he brings to bear would not be found acceptable by the police and yet it seems what the perpetrators deserve. His methods of investigation involve him listening and observing the locals.

If you are looking for a cosy that is just a little different this may be just the trick. It may also set you hunting for others in the series.

My rating: 4.5

About the author (from Fantastic Fiction)

Born in rural Lincolnshire in 1959, Anne moved to South Yorkshire at the age of two. Following her education at Sheffield High School for Girls, she went into the IT industry, a career which took her to both New York's Wall Street and Denver, Colorado. In America she began to take seriously her ambition to write fiction, and bought a typewriter for her first short stories.

On returning to the UK, she booked a summer holiday with her sister. The location they chose was a tiny island in southern Greece. Anne spent a number of years living in the islands; she married a Greek, and her son was born there.

Returning again to the UK, she was still writing, but the short stories had grown into novels.Anne currently lives with her son in Derbyshire's beautiful Peak District, where she's working on the next book in the Greek Detective series.

The Hermes Diaktoros series (Fantastic Fiction)
1. The Messenger of Athens (2007)
2. The Taint of Midas (2008)
3. The Doctor of Thessaly (2009)
4. The Lady of Sorrows (2010)
5. The Whispers of Nemesis (2011)
6. The Bull of Mithros (2012)
7. Feast of Artemis (2013)

I've also reviewed


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - I like Hermes Diaktoros too. Somehow the fact that he's a bit of an enigma doesn't bother me although I usually like to get to know my characters. Glad you enjoyed this.

Irene said...

I think I might be in love, with the fat man. Thank you for introducing me to him in the first book, I've got the next ready to read on my next road trip.


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