The Taint of Midas (The Greek Detective, #2)
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The Taint of Midas (The Greek Detective #2)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  296 ratings  ·  76 reviews
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 d...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 4th 2009 by Bloomsbury UK (first published November 3rd 2008)
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Second in the delightful, highly recommended Hermes Diaktoros "Seven sins" series of mysteries. The theme of each novel in this series concerns a certain sin: in this one, Greed. This was a gentle mystery.

Hermes' good friend of many years, Gabrilis, farms a rocky and nearly worthless plot of land and keeps bees near an old Temple of Apollo. Gabrilis is killed by a hit-and-run driver, while taking watermelons to market. Hermes finds his body lying near the road and after the police arrive, becom...more
Book Review by Linda S. Brown

The Taint of Midas
Anne Zouroudi
Reagan Arthur /July 20, 2011

I missed Zouroudi’s first book in the Seven Deadly Sins series, THE MESSENGER OF ATHENS, but savored this second book, THE TAINT OF MIDAS. It has a deliciously slow, sunbaked, dusty pace: slightly melancholy, slightly drowsy, but sharpened by the dry humor of its protagonist, and by the hidden secrets and tensions of a small village on a small Greek island being overtaken by progress, and the village...more
Disclaimer: ARC copy from Netgalley.

The Taint of Midas, by Anne Zouroudi, is an exceptional book. This book is much better than her first one. This story again features Hermes Diaktoros, a mysterious investigator with "the highest authorities". In this novel, he goes to visit a friend only to find that friend a victim of a hit-and-run. During his investigation, he finds bribery, corruption, murder, indifference, and more sins of greed. Each of her books, it turns out, revolves around one of th...more
Althea Ann
Ohhh... I didn't realize, reading the first in this series (Messenger of Athens) that this is a 'Seven Deadly Sins' series. The previous book focused on 'Lust' - this one is 'Greed.'

Greed, as it so often does, comes in the form of a rapacious developer, who will stop at nothing to acquire a prime spot of land, on which he wishes to build retirement villas for wealthy foreigners.

Sadly, the owner of this plot of land, an elderly beekeeper, has recently been killed in a vicious hit-and-run. The bod...more
Marina Sofia
Charming book, soaked in the atmosphere of a Greek island. Not just the rose-tinted glasses either, but also sharp, witty observations about tourists, the interplay between them and the natives, and the risks of overdevelopment. Did not quite make 4 stars because the 'mystery' element was not quite mysterious or compelling enough, but I enjoyed the characters, the descriptions and everything else about the book.
Read my review of the first book in the series, The Messenger of Athens, here:

In Zouroudi's second novel featuring Hermes Diaktoros, she takes on the deadly sin of greed, bringing the story of King Midas into the contemporary setting of ruthless land development. As was the case in the first book in the series, The Messenger of Athens, Zouroudi entwines Diaktoros in two distinct, but related, mysteries; I found this structure more successful here because...more
This is the 2nd book of the 'Seven Deadly Sins' mysteries. My library only carries the first book, so I had to go hunting for the others. There's just something about them.

This book is about avarice. Like her first book, the story builds slowly. The descriptions of the very small village in Greece comes to life bit by bit. This time, I knew about Hermes Diaktoros, the detective, the avenger, the solver of wrongs. He is a bit mystical, or in this case, out of the Greek mythology, but it's not too...more
This is the third book in the series I have read, in one week. I need to find the order of the books in the series because I can see changes in the main character and in the writing. For instance, in the first book the protagonist is "the fat man" in almost every sentence. He is still "the fat man" but the phrase is not used as often; it got tiring.
I can also see differences in the character. In the first two books, he's almost violent and vindictive. By the third book he's more detached, an obs...more
Nelda Brangwin
Set on the remote Greek island of Thiminos, Zouroudi has created a mystery that includes my favorite things--an interesting location, interesting characters, and a good plot. When an elderly local beekeeper dies, his body is discovered by an old friend, Hermes, who seems to have mythical powers to help the local police solve the case. Zouroudi's descriptions of this fat man who loves his snow white tennis shoes as well as her descriptions of the other characters make this a book I want to follow...more
Sally Williams
I really enjoy this series, and this book is one of the best in it. Zouroudi writes so well that you can smell and touch and taste Greece. Her characters are believable, ordinary people doing the best they can but often failing, and that's where the Fat Man comes in, with his fine moral sense and interesting view of justice. The Fat Man with the white tennis shoes - the detective who is more than he seems and who answers to 'higher powers' - is a marvellous device. I'm recommending these books t...more
Ashland Mystery Oregon
Anne Zouroudi's The Taint of Midas was a wonderful surprise, not only because of the clever protag, Hermes Diaktoros, the rich language and lush Greek setting, but because Midas is just the second of six in the series.

Hermes is presented as a bit odd, eccentric. He's usually not named, but is referred to as "the fat man", though he's light on his feet, and when described at the beach, his torso is strong and muscled. His background and occupation are not explained, but he's remarkably knowledge...more
There is a definite tinge of Mr. Harley Quin in this book's "the fat man" and this study on greed for money. The author is Greek but lives in England and the book certainly has no difficulty for unilingual English readers. There are Greek phrases, but the obvious ones of greeting, so it doesn't matter if they are familiar or not since you know what the intent is. You can certainly feel the heat of a Greek summer in the writing as the dust gets up your nose, everyone becomes slow, and you really...more
Susan Ferguson
I have discovered - and probably already knew, but forgot - but in the reading guide, it states that this series will be one book of each of the deadly sins. As is apparent from the title, this one is greed.

Hermes Diaktoros is a mysterious figure. He is apparently quite wealthy. When he returns to his home on a Greek island, he finds an old friend that has been killed. The police suspect him at first of hitting the old man and knocking him off the road, but there is no damage to his car. Hermes...more
I read the following review, and agree with it. However, I postulate that the "fat man" is an allegory for a god messing around w/ the humans...

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 w...more
The Taint of Midas is the second installment in Zouroudi’s Greek Detective series. Hermes Diaktoros finds an old friend’s body at the side of the road following a hit and run accident. The police quickly suspect him of being responsible, but Daiktoros is not deterred from searching for the true culprit and encounters a family driven by greed along the way.

This novel is both similar and different from the first in the series. There are still descriptive passages that do little to move the narrati...more
I wasn't as in love with book #2 in The Greek Detective series. Maybe it's because the book I finished before this was a marathon devouring of the Hunger Games, and anything after that roller coaster would be hard to feel captivated by. This time around I found myself distracted, the Greek names hard to keep straight, and halfway through the book I had a realization. The fat man is God. Not the all loving God of the new testament, but the fat man definitely reminds me of the all vengeful God fou...more
In this second book of the series by Anne Zouroudi, I find exactly the same qualities that intrigued me about her first novel.
So I'm copy/pasting from my review of The Messenger of Athens:
"The descriptions of the Greek landscape, the flora and the fauna are very accurate, almost scientifically exact. All of this fascinated me more than the mystery plot, and I truly did not care at all about who done it and why; I let myself enjoy the descriptions of the Greek rural domain and its people.
The au...more
Mary Gramlich
THE TAINT OF MIDAS by Anne Zouroudi
A Seven Deadly Sins Mystery
07/11 - Little, Brown & Company – Hardcover, 306 pages

Does right always win over wrong?

The return of Hermes Diaktoros, aka The Fat Man is again a quiet, understated event that has him working with the police on a case but this time it is personal. His elderly friend was the victim of a hit and run, left injured to die alone. Hermes is going to do right by his friend and make sure that whoever did this will see justice one way or a...more
Gerald Sinstadt
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...more
Austen to Zafón
I've started out reading these in the wrong order and while each story does stand alone, it would be better to read them in order to see the development of the detective, Hermes Diaktoros, who is an interesting character. I'm still waiting to find out what they deal is with his white shoes though! While I didn't enjoy the first book in the series (too dark), this one was a winner. During the dreary NW winters, it's important to be transported to dry, hot, bright places.
I didn't read the first book in this series yet, although I don't think that's a hindrance with this series. The detective, Hermes Diaktoros, is mysterious. He appears suddenly, disappears suddenly, chats with everyone and helps change their lives. He is often called "the fat one" in the story, which I found annoying, but after reading some other reviewers' thoughts on how the epithet might be an oblique reference to Diaktoros as a god, I have softened a bit towards it.

Diaktoros has come to the...more
Alexandra Rogers
Great mystery novel. I love mysteries and this one reminded me slightly of Agatha Christie's stories. The mystery is set up well, not too hard to figure out whodunnit though (in my opinion). However, it wasn't uninteresting at all. I loved the characters as well as the focused and underlying themes. If you're looking for an easy to read mystery then this is a nice quick piece of fiction.
Lura Frazey
Detective Hermes Diaktoros investigates a friend’s murder, upends nefarious schemes , counsels the hopeless, and paints his shoes white on the Greek island of Arcadia—but not quite as charmingly as in The Messenger of Athens. Zouroudi still delivers a well-crafted sense of place and an eccentric, slightly otherworldly story, but the plot is more predictable in this second book. It left me hungry for a few more twists plus less lecturing and more doing out of the detective. I enjoyed traveling al...more
Entertaining book about a Greek "fat man" detective who presents himself as if he represents some shadowy authorities who are keen to know about graft, corruption, and injustice. The good things in life--fresh, wholesome food, friendship, the beauty of nature--are held up as the highest value and those characters who don't understand this, well, woe to them. The "fat man," as he is known most of the time, is seen from the outside, as if we are watching a movie or BBC mystery. He maintains an env...more
An elderly farmer is killed by a hit-and-run driver. One of his oldest friends happens upon his body, and becomes the leading suspect, until forensic tests show that the victim was hit by a white car--the friend, Hermes Diaktoros, drives a red car. Diaktoros, heavy-set, meticulous about his clothes, always polite, befriends the two honest policeman on the case, and determines to investigate himself. As he has not been in the Arcadia area of Greece for a while, he also registers changes, many of...more
Zouroudi has created an unique character and her own, different to other normal crime stories, way of fascinating the reader.
I am not sure if we could call our charming and funny Diaktoros a private detective. He is such a natural character and person. Every story about him is a pure joy. Wonderful described world and captivatingly atmosphere.
I really recommend the series! Every single book in it is readable without having read the first one and you will have a thrilling time.
Go and pick one up!...more
I like warm places, I like quaint villages, I like unique characters, I like a leisurely pace. I like this Hermes Diaktoros, otherwise known as the "fat man". He is warm and chatty yet mysterious and with holding. He is an enigma. What is his interest? Where does his knowledge come from? Who does he work for? What does he want?

Is it justice? Is it revenge? Does he seek to balance the scales? Or, does he merely seek a glass of wine some nicely prepared seafood and a good conversation with a frien...more
I completely enjoyed The Taint of Midas. It is as much about life as it is about the mystery. The mystery of who is the Greek Detective, Hermes Diakoros, is becoming a part of the series.
Judith Starkston
Blue sea, hot sand, sleepy villages with old men drinking ouzo in cafés, badly built hotels and other monstrosities of modern development, corrupt police, and ancient Greek myths that won't go away—Zouroudi certainly knows Greece and creates a detailed portrait. In a world of frenetically-paced thrillers, Taint of Midas has the cadences of a lazy afternoon nap in a hammock—just the thing if you’re suffering from an overdose of busy life. For the complete review review

Irene B.
Speed read to the end: Not much a mystery to the plot. Author seems to think that throwing around some Greek idioms (including overuse of one that I'd hoped would have been retired by 2013) excuses a poor plot. Same old thing: Greed and tourism despoil the countryside. One detail was interesting: The "fat man" could not find someone to tend to his grapes/winemaking. I bet today he'd have an easier time--I'd just read that, due to the poor economy, young people were flocking back to the islands t...more
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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, s...more
More about Anne Zouroudi...
The Messenger of Athens (The Greek Detective, #1) The Doctor of Thessaly (The Greek Detective, #3) The Whispers of Nemesis (The Greek Detective, #5) The Lady of Sorrows: A Seven Deadly Sins Mystery The Bull of Mithros (The Greek Detective, #6)

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