When my mom gave me this book she described it as Frog and Toad Solve a Murder in Amsterdam. And now I can't really see it as much else. Her description refered to the entire series Amsterdam Cops and though this is the only book I've read in it, I can't see the others being much different. Don't get me wrong, this was a very enjoyable book. It was, well, weird. Weirdly written, oddly constructed, full of strange characters and bizarre moments. And the two cops, de Gier and Grijpstra, spend an awful lot of time describing the world to each other and themselves (like Frog and Toad!) and are very unlikely cops (at least from an American perspective). The book definitely makes you long for Amsterdam. And hey, I've always thought that Dutch people are a little peculiar and this book certainly did nothing to disabuse me of that notion. So, yeah, pick it up if you see it in the store. Plus it has the added benefit of being set in the 70s so all the cops are wearing denim suits and jaunty colorful scarves and have bristling mustaches and long hair. Heee! It feels a little like reading a very, very twisted alternative universe Dirty Harry set in Holland. Wheeee!
February 5, 2007 at 2:51 pm
Wow, I didn't know anyone else on this side of the Atlantic read his stuff. You may wish to check out Freeling's Van der Valk series but you'll probably only find them on second hand stores.
February 6, 2007 at 12:29 pm
I just remembered, Van de Wetering wrote at least two books about Buddhism ( The Empty Mirror: Experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery and A Glimpse of Nothingness: Experiences in an American Zen Community) in the early seventies. They are probably second hand store finds, too.
February 6, 2007 at 4:45 pm
Thanks for the tip! I'll look for them!