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The Taint of Midas    by Anne Zouroudi order for
Taint of Midas
by Anne Zouroudi
Order:  USA  Can
Reagan Arthur, 2011 (2011)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Taint of Midas follows The Messenger of Athens as the second in Anne Zouroudi's cozy mystery series set in the Greek islands and starring Hermes Diaktoros, a well-bred, manicured fat man in winged sandals (gleaming white canvas tennis shoes). He's a most unusual - and engaging - investigator, who follows a higher authority and works to see justice done and the guilty punished.

The victim in this second episode is beekeeper Gabrilis Kaloyeros (a very old friend of Hermes) on the Greek island of Arcadia. The fat man arrives on the scene in time to report the death - and come under brief suspicion for it. This story is all about greed, primarily that of Aris Paliakis, an entrepeneur who 'fishes the rising tide of tourists' and 'whose lust for money can't be satisfied.' The overreaching obsession of this Midas draws him - and his family - into a true Greek tragedy.

Along the way a young police officer, PC Petridis, is tempted to go astray, but saved by the actions of his superior and by Hermes, who also improves the life of a helpful fisherman/barber. Many individuals, including corrupt officials, make moral choices, and are ultimately judged for them. Hermes gives warning, but strikes hard if ignored.

The Taint of Midas is another appealing episode in this cozy Greek island series, and I'm looking forward to seeing what sin Zouroudi - and Hermes Diaktoros - take on next.

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