Thursday, 23 February 2012

Singing in the rain or hovering inside?

Today after a marvellous late winter boost, the rain beats down in a grey sleezy curtain, everything seems grey. For someone who likes colour, this is time to cuddle up and take up a book from my collection of detective novels.I inserted a bit of colour as the tulips remind me of a favourite detective series by author Nicholas Freeling, Van der Valk, which takes place in Amsterdam. Very atmospheric, full of culinary reflections and wonderful descriptions of Amsterdam. More detective novelists who have used Amsterdam as a backdrop are Jan Willem van de Wetering (who wrote in english!) and that most macabre novel; Puppets on a chain by Alastair Maclean. I thouroughly reccomend all of them for the rainy season ahead!
Should you prefer to go for descriptions of Paris, then go for the re edited Maigret series by Georges Simenon and my all time favourite french detective novelist, Fred Vargas. For Fred Vargas do read her in the orignal french, her use of language is truly delectable and her detective, Commissaire Adamsberg is a great antihero who actually totally enthralls you with his oddball philosophy.
It would be interesting to do a search for detective novelists who have used major cities as a backdrop for their detectives, I can think of Barcelona, which is used by Spanish authors, Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett, Manuel Vazquez Montalban and Francisco Gonzalez-Ledesma.


  1. Van de Valk! I remember when those books were made into a 1970s TV series, but don't tell a soul I'm that old!

  2. I know I have been hopelessly nostalgic revisitng old series, do you remember the protectors?