Hermes Diaktoros visits a remote island which is home to an ancient icon famed for its miraculous powers. But something about the Virgin troubles him, and Hermes calls on an old friend to confirm his suspicions that the icon is a fake. Ready to hand the matter over to the authorities, Hermes intends to leave - until the island's icon painter is found dead at sea. Did he die of natural causes or by a wrathful hand? What secret is a dishonest gypsy keeping? And what haunts the ancient catacombs beneath the bishop's house?
In the heat of a Greek island summer, some slake their thirsts with cool, clear water. Others prefer something stronger, but disgraced government minister Gikas Fragolis has taken his love of the bottle too far. His habitual drunkenness has cost him his job and lost him many friends - but is it at the root of an enemy's wish to see him dead? In this first short story featuring the enigmatic Greek detective, Hermes Diaktoros uncovers good intentions gone bad and plumbs the murky depths of human nature for an unlikely killer.
Idyllic but remote, the Greek island of Thiminos seems untouched by the modern world. So when the battered body of a young woman is discovered at the foot of a cliff, the local police - governed more by archaic rules of honor than by the law - are quick to close the case, dismissing her death as an accident.
"Scales of justice slide into balance deliciously"
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.
Archie Schwartz is close to the end of his life, but he's not intending to go quietly, or before he's secured the future of the Montana land his family have farmed for generations. In the midst of a storm, a stranger - Rosita - arrives to help with Archie's care, winning the old man over with her hot Latin looks. But is Rosita a perfect angel, or a devil in disguise? And will Archie live to regret placing himself in her hands?
Gabrilis Kaloyeros is a bee-keeper on the beautiful Greek island of Arcadia. The ruined Temple of Apollo has been in his care for decades, and he has worked to protect it. But when crooked developers take over the island and the value of the land soars, he is persuaded through unscrupulous means to sign away his interest. Hours later he meets a violent, lonely death. When detective Hermes Diaktoros finds his friend's battered body by a dusty roadside, the police quickly name him the prime suspect.
When the battered body of a young woman is discovered on a remote Greek island, the local police are quick to dismiss her death as an accident. Then a stranger arrives, uninvited, from Athens, announcing his intention to investigate further. His methods are unorthodox, and he brings his own mystery into the web of dark secrets and lies. Who has sent him, on whose authority is he acting. And how does he know of dramas played out decades ago?
"Worthwhile and compelling, but tragic"
The olive harvest is drawing to a close in the town of Dendra, and when Hermes Diaktoros arrives for the celebratory festival he expects an indulgent day of food and wine. But as young men leap a blazing bonfire in feats of daring, one of them is badly burned. Did he fall? Or was he pushed? Then, as Hermes learns of a deep-running feud between two families, one of their patriarchs dies. Determined to find out why, Hermes follows a bitter trail through the olive groves to reveal a motive for murder, and uncovers a dark deed brought to light by the sin of gluttony.
It is summer, and as tourists, drawn by the legend of a priceless missing artefact, disembark on the sun-drenched quay of Mithros, the languid calm of the island is broken by the unorthodox arrival of a stranger who has been thrown overboard in the bay. Lacking money or identification, he is forced to remain on Mithros. But is he truly a stranger? To some, his face seems familiar. The arrival of the investigator Hermes Diaktoros, intrigued by the island's fabled bull, coincides with a violent and mysterious death.
Hermes Diaktoros visits a remote island which is home to an ancient icon famed for its miraculous powers. But something about the Virgin troubles him, and Hermes calls on an old friend to confirm his suspicions that the icon is a fake. Ready to hand the matter over to the authorities, Hermes intends to leave - until the island’s icon painter is found dead at sea. Did he die of natural causes or by a wrathful hand? What secret is a dishonest gypsy keeping?
Hermes Diaktoros, the inimitable Greek Detective, returns in a tale of hubris and Homer, dark coffee and even darker secrets. It is winter in the mountains of northern Greece, and as the snow falls in the tiny village of Vrisi a coffin is unearthed and broken open. But to the astonishment of the mourners at the graveside, the remains inside the coffin have been transformed. Then, in the shadow of the shrine of St Fanourios (patron saint of lost things), a body is found, buried under the fallen snow.
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. In the latest instalment of the Mysteries of the Greek Detective, Hermes must solve a brutal crime that the victim does not seem to want solving, thwart the petty machinations of the town’s ex-mayor and his cronies, and pour oil on the troubled waters of a sisters’ relationship.
For over half a century, the beautiful, ruined Temple of Apollo has been in the care of the old beekeeper Gabrilis. But when the value of the land soars, he is forced to sign away his interests – and hours later he meets a violent, lonely death. When Hermes Diaktoros finds his friend’s battered body by a dusty roadside, the police quickly make him the prime suspect.
"Good story. Depressing narrator."