Who better than an iconoclastic detective to solve the murder of an icon painter?
A lengthy prologue set in 1863 presents a lost suitcase full of unspecified but priceless cargo aboard an unnamed ship. In the present, on the remote Greek island of Kalkos, the cruiser Aphrodite slips unassumingly into a dock, attracting the attention of charismatic Father Linos Egiotis, whose Holy Church of the Lady of Sorrows seems to be the hub of the island community. Hermes Diaktoros, the enigmatic "fat man" (The Doctor of Thessaly, 2012, etc.), is also present, to the surprise of the priest, who prides himself on knowing all the locals. Hermes charmingly gets to know the community and arranges a reunion with his lovely old friend Kara Athaniti, an art historian who makes the unwelcome discovery that an icon in Father Linos' church is actually a fake. While taking a swim, Hermes and Kara hear some of the locals' stories of chicanery concerning valuable objects, and lights appear from time to time inside the allegedly deserted Aphrodite. When an icon painter named Sotiris is murdered, it's convenient that Hermes is a crack, if unconventional, investigator and that Kara is also on hand. It almost seems as if the fat man were prescient. The church custodian and his gardener brother become key sources for the information Hermes needs to crack the case.
The fourth of Zouroudi's projected Seven Deadly Sins mysteries is much like its hero: droll, expansive and leisurely.