Publication Order of Hermes Diaktoros Books
|The Messenger of Athens||(2007)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Taint of Midas||(2008)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Doctor of Thessaly||(2009)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Lady of Sorrows||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Whispers of Nemesis||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Bull of Mithros||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Feast of Artemis||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Hermes Diaktoros is the main character in the Hermes Diaktoros/Greek Mystery series of novels by British author Anne Zouroudi. The series is composed of seven books that came out between 2007 and 2013. Hermes is an enigmatic character that takes after the Greek messenger god – Hermes that usually wears golden winged sandals. Hailing from Athens, Hermes Diaktoros is a portly detective that everyone refers to as fat man. Arriving unannounced at the scenes of crime, nobody knows who sent him, what his motivations are, and how he seems to know people’s secrets from way back. He fuels the enigmatic narrative when he compulsively maintains and wears a pair of pristinely white tennis shoes everywhere he goes. Despite his unorthodox methods and weird behavior, Hermes is very successful in unearthing mysteries that happened a long time ago which help in solving his detective mysteries. He deals with the unscrupulous, the likable, the lecherous, and the innocent dispensing his own brand of justice along the way. He also dispenses uncanny wisdom, provides wisdom and advice alongside his inquiries that ultimately make the Greek islands more honest, fairer and cleaner than he found them.
After the first book, the Messenger of Athens received critical acclaim and widespread popularity, Anne Zouroudi went on to write six more titles. Just as good as her maiden novel, the following six novels in the Hermes Diaktoros series cemented Zouroudi’s reputation as one of the best authors in the detective mystery genre. One of the most popular books in the series is the sixth novel, The Bull of Mithros published in 2014 that went on to win the Coventry Book Award in 2014. The fifth book in the series Whispers of Nemesis won the East Midlands Book Award in 2012, while the author was nominated as Breakthrough Author of the Year 2008 in the prestigious ITV3’s Crime Thriller Awards.
The Hermes Diaktoros series provides for some high quality entertainment for any detective mystery enthusiast. Zouroudi combines Greek mythology and spices it up with insights on the seemingly idyllic lives of the common Greek people, juxtaposed against the ugly brutality beneath the quiet veneer. In mythology, Hermes is a son to Zeus and a messenger between humans and the gods on Mt. Olympus. The depiction of Hermes as an evasive character and enigmatic character seems to imply that his name and shoe preference could be a clue to his divine origin and motivation. While this may sound a little bit farfetched, apart from his unexplained knowledge of secrets and happenings in people’s lives and unorthodox crime solving methods, Hermes retains an earthy presence throughout the seven books. Besides, he is not depicted as all knowing given that, just like any other detective, he has to conduct inquiries in solving mysteries.
The Messenger of Athens
The first of the Hermes Diaktoros series of Novels, the Messenger of Athens is set in the remote and idyllic island of Thiminos in Greece. It therefore comes as a surprise when the local police discover the badly battered body of a young woman. Strangers to the modern rule of law, the police dismiss the case as an accident, and proceed to declare it closed.
Soon after, a stranger appears on the scene from Athens and declares that, he will investigate the death, which he declares a murder. Hermes Diaktoros sets it upon himself to uncover the mysteries hidden beneath the tranquil looking exterior of the small community. His methods of investigation and inquiry are unorthodox as compared to what the villagers are used to. His instructions are clear though, tell the truth or be prepared for the consequences. It is not long before he uncovers a tangled web of murder, corruption, and passion that ties in many of the islanders. However, as he investigates the murder and the lies and dark secrets that the islanders are hiding, suspicions and questions about his identity and motivations continue to rise amongst the locals. Who is he representing in Thiminos and under what authority is he acting? And how does he always seem to know about secrets and happenings that played out a long time ago while he is a total stranger? Zouroudi weaves in an image rich palette of Greek island landscapes that most outsiders do not know about. A world where forbidden passions have the potential of resulting in severe consequences, and the myths of old still ring true.
The Taint of Midas
The second book in the Hermes Diaktoros series, The Taint of Midas is set on the island of Arcadia. It is at a time when modernity is increasingly encroaching into the idyllic ways of the islanders. However, what would have been a nice footnote to the death of the ways of old is rudely interrupted when Gabrilis an old beekeeper who also doubles up as the caretaker of the temple of Apollo turns up dead in a bloody road accident. What makes the crime even more suspicious is that he had just been tricked into signing away his interest in the temple land just hours before.
As fate would have it, Hermes Diakotros finds the body of his old friend by the roadside leading to all suspicion being placed on him. He is thus forced to assist the local police Constable Petridis and Sergeant Gazis to solve the mystery killing. A quick look around the crime scene and Gazi knows the perpetrator cannot have gone far. As the cicadas chirp in the thick leaves of the tamarisk trees, Hermes offers the helpful suggestion that they needed to start their search at the most likely places. For instance, if the perpetrator has damaged car they would hide it in a local garage where it would not be easy to find. However, it seems that the murderer has covered his tracks well leavin as the only clues scrapings of white paint. Despite the meticulousness of the execution of the crime, Gazis believes that the crime can be traced to ruthless developers that believed that the land on which the temple stood was far much valuable, particularly with the rising tides of tourists.
As he vows to avenge his friend and find the true killers, he continues to employ his unorthodox methods that have brought him great success over the years. Anne Zouroudi tells an enthralling narrative set in enchanted Greece and successfully manages to intersect Hermes’s somber mood with the realities of contemporary life and myths of the ancient past for a remarkable page-turner.Book Series In Order » Characters » Hermes Diaktoros