Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Review of "Murder in Mykonos" [38]

Murder in Mykonos by Jeffrey Siger
Poisoned Pen Press, ISBN 978-1590585818
January 10, 2009, 288 pages

For most people, to learn that they were going to Mykonos, the lovely Greek island, would be good news. Beautiful blue Aegean, full of restaurants and shopping, beaches and nightlife, it is a huge tourist destination. But for homicide detective Andreas Kaldis, it is a punishment for stepping on the wrong, politically connected toes in Athens. Now he is the new Police Chief on the island and if anything, the political toes are even more numerous. The name of the game on Mykonos is tourism and no one, not the mayor, not the old families with all the power, want to hear anything that will negatively effect the view of the island as a safe and fun destination.

When the dead body of a young woman, a tourist who disappeared some weeks before, is found hidden in one of the tiny churches that dot the countryside, it is bad news. The fact that she was buried alive, that it appears to be some sort of ritual killing, is even worse. The fact that her body is resting on the bones of the bodies of other young women that have been murdered over recent years will be a disaster for the island when it gets out, evidence of Greece's first serial killer. And as much as they say that they want to find the killer, the locals would also very much like to keep this all quiet if they can, even as the number of suspects mount. But when another girl disappears, the niece of a prominent Greek politician, a young woman who fits the killer's physical type to a tea, that seems impossible. Especially if she too turns up dead, something Andreas Kaldis will do everything in his power to prevent.
Not that Chief Kaldis is too concerned about the political consequences...after all, that is how he got there in the first place.

From the very beginning of the book, the author surprises us with a bit of misdirection, and it will not be the last time in this quite engaging story. The story is told from several points of view. At times, the story is told from the perspective of a victim, at times from the very twisted viewpoint of the killer. But mainly it is told through the eyes of Chief Kaldis, an appealing character, smart and clever, even if he is not above some suspect intimidation and a little strong arming. He is assisted by veteran homicide detective Tassos Stamatos, from headquarters on the island of Syros, a man who bring a great deal of experience and knowledge to the investigation, and someone who knew Kaldis' father, something that adds an interesting dynamic to the relationship. Mykonos may look all clean and whitewashed on the exterior, a vacation paradise, but we get a glimpse of a much seedier and more dangerous side of the island as well. And it all leads up to a great ending with a twist that I admit I never saw coming.

Mykonos was one stop in my recent Great Eastern Mediterranean Cruise and I must admit that I enjoyed recognizing a number of places mentioned, both on Mykonos and the nearby island of Delos where I spent one very windy and fascinating afternoon. I think the author, who I read lives on Mykonos for part of the year, gives a realistic if not always flattering view of the island, beautiful yet inhabited as is everyplace, by less than perfect people. He also gives some interesting glimpses into the historic and mythical past of Mykonos and Delos that brought back some fond memories from my recent trip but I think would be just as interesting for those only visiting in their imagination.

This is the first book in a series featuring Kaldis and I admit that, after finishing this book in one day, I am already reading the second,  Assassins of Athens , on that handy tool of those with no patience, the Nook.


  1. Ooh, glad this worked so well for you. I think there might be another couple of books available and then you'd be caught up. It's a series that has been on my list for quite a while. I need to get started on this one. Lovely picture, by the way!

  2. Now I want to read the book and go to Mykonos! It looks gorgeous.

  3. Looks a good series, added to wish list......no actually I'm off to look at Amazon now!

  4. oh my, the third one came in the mail today...love that Amazon Prime!!

  5. Wow, that sounds like a story written just for you. I'm surprised that you were surprised at the ending - a sign of a very well written mystery. Glad you are enjoying the series and your Nook. I almost hate to admit it but I just love my Nook!

  6. Our neighbors are going there on vacation later this summer. Perhaps I should get them a copy of this book as a "Bon Voyage" present!

  7. I think it is a great idea! we sure to tell them to take the boat over to Delos one day and check it out.


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