In a remote Island in Greece is a church that holds the icon of the Lady of Sorrows, who is known to do miracles and listen to the prayers of the faithful. Greek detective Hermes umm, Fat Man, that's how he is addressed throughout the book, visits the church, only to find that the Icon is a clever imitation. Leaving matters to his friend Kara, he decides to sail away on his holiday. Only in the meanwhile, the Icon painter is found poisoned. Who killed him and why? What happened to the Orginal Lady of Sorrows icon?
The story moves at a leisurely fashion, the Fat Man goes about enjoying his life, swimming with his friend Kara, sailing happily, going to Peach orchards to get the pick of the best Peaches, and also solving the case. He has no official standing, just gossips with people makes them talk and get the information. He asks seemingly random questions and finally solves the case with the answers to these seemingly random questions. Almost like Sherlock Holmes, only we have no Dr.Watson here to ask the reasons for the seemingly random questions. Given the leisurely pace, the last few pages have lots of twists and turns. I couldn't quite fathom how the fat man guessed what had happened and how he solved the case. I couldn't guess who the killer is, but had a vague idea of the icon imitation. But it all kind of adds up in the end.
This book is very different in tone, setting and atmosphere from Zone Defence by Petros Markaris , the only other Greek Mystery I read and one of my favourite reads last year. But both the mysteries evoke the feel of the place. Zone Defence shows us the modern Athens with its traffic jams, pollution, corruption and deals with the death of a night-club owner, is a clever multi-layered Noir. The Lady of Sorrows takes us to a remote beautiful Island to a laid back leisurely life, to a place one would like to go on a holiday. The other common factor in the books is the earthquake. The Lady of Sorrows published in 2010 is the fourth book featuring Greek Detective, Hermes Diaktoros. Enjoyable cozy mystery!
This counts for various challenges including Crime Fiction Alphabet