No one on the Greek island of Arcadia can keep a secret from the comforting and apparently harmless investigator known as the fat man.
Strange and seemingly unrelated events plague the little village of Morfi. Bride Noula angrily casts her wedding garlands into the sea when her groom is a no-show. Hard-drinking Adonis Anapodos discovers a doctor in a local churchyard, beaten and blinded and left for dead. The victim speaks fluent Greek but with a decidedly French accent. Evangelia, a chatty and self-involved trattoria owner, is regaling an alert and mysterious "fat man" with the sad story of the aborted wedding when Adonis carries the injured doctor in and the emergency service is called. Bringing his Mercedes in for repairs, the fat man, grandly introducing himself as Hermes Diaktoros of Athens, stirs the pot with visits to the post office (a hub of local power) and Adonis' home to question him more closely about his rescue of the unnamed doctor. At length, we learn that the victim's name is Louis and he is the fiance of Chrissa, the sister of the jilted bride, Noula. News of the fat man's presence spreads, but still the locals readily open up to him, helping him move steadily to a solution.
A plus-sized Poirot with a more puckish personality, Hermes (The Taint of Midas, 2011, etc.) may be a bit twee for conventional whodunit fans. But his droll interactions with hapless locals, along with Zouroudi's intricately detailed depictions of small-town dynamics, should hold readers' interest.