Posted on 19th October 2010

By Daneet Steffens, Journalist and Editor

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Fiction Uncovered by… Daneet Steffens

I’ve been delighted to see the pioneering Martin Beck mysteries by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo getting well-deserved play recently with the meteoric rise (and rise… and rise!) of Scandinavian crime lit. I’d love to see Janwillem van de Wetering – whose ‘Amsterdam cops’ series I discovered at the same time as enjoying Beck’s adventures – do the same. Van de Wetering’s Dutch detectives, Henk Grijpstra and Rinus de Gier – along with Rinus’ cat, Oliver – are groovy, grumpy, glorious fun. Their characters grow over the series – developing into well-loved, old friends by the end – as they mix Zen Buddhism with crime-fighting, and intersperse musical interludes with solving mysteries. Get to know them from the chilling, atmospheric beginning with Outsider in Amsterdam (1975).

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