'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone



Friday, October 19, 2012

The Maine Massacre by Janwillem van de Wetering

Crime Fiction Alphabet  letter V this week! Stop over at Kerrie's @ Mysteries in Paradise and see what everyone else is reading this week.


This is my first van de Wetering mystery. I picked it up because it is set in the state of Maine, one of my favorite places. I enjoyed it very much. This was also my first book with Dutchmen as the main characters and I enjoyed getting a view of Holland and their police force. I always thought of Holland as a snowy country and was surprised that it is wet and muddy not snowy and frozen. The two detectives were taken with the wide open spaces and the snow and ice in Maine. They had a lot of trouble driving in the weather and right off the bat got two cars stuck in a snow bank and had to be towed out and they had a hard time standing upright outside. I especially liked the sharp wit of van de Wetering.

Excellent complex mystery, involving a series of death that had been ruled accidents. The commissaris sister's husband was one of them. He goes over to America to help her settle the estate and move back to Amsterdam. Sergeant de Gier comes over to keep an eye on their beloved commissaris who has been ill lately and has bad rheumatism. The sister is very afraid and wants to get out of town as fast as possible and the new sheriff finds a file on the deaths and is sure there is something fishy going on and takes advantage of de Gier being there to help him get to the bottom of it. Not only were there the deaths, but something is going on with the property of those who died. The houses have set empty or burned down and no one seems to be buying or moving into these properties. There's something odd about the land ownership in the town of Jameson Maine also.

"Their all dead, Jan, all of them, I must get away. They are all dead now. There's only me left, me."

"Six houses on one line, south shore of Cape Orca. That was the main clue of course, the connection, the thread. Only one house occupied now; the Opdijk house. The others are empty and two of them burned down. Strange, wasn't it? Valuable property, left to rot, left for storms to blow through, for vandals to desecrate and ultimately destroy, to burn. Burn, that was the limit; they wouldn't burn by themselves. Right."

Publishers Weekly said: A flawless story, imbued with van de Wetering's wit, acute comments on America and a spicy romance.

The New York Times: Triumphant!...The best of the van de Wetering mysteries so far!

Peggy Ann

9 comments:

  1. This sounds very good. I am aware of the author, but the only book I have of his is short stories, and I bought it for the cover. I want to try this author. I wonder if it makes a difference, reading them in order or not. Did it cause problems for you to read the 7th book first?

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    1. No it didn't, Tracy. I loved the cover on this book too!

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  2. I've never even heard of this author but I've just checked my library's catalogue and they have four of his books! I'll have to request them, thanks for the info. My eldest brother has lived in Holland for about 40 years, the weather is very similar to the UK's.

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  3. I just checked my shelves as it's a long time since I read this. I've got all the first seven of the series in paperback and have read a couple more, plus several short stories. I love the characters of Gripstra and de Gier (his description seems to match the author's photograph!) and the commissaris, not to mention the supporting characters and the dialogue which is wonderfully witty.
    Definitely books worth looking for.

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    1. Yes, I will be looking for more! Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I've just emailed the library asking them to ILL the first book, Outsider in Amsterdam. This series has been in my mind for a long time, and I thank you for getting me to finally begin!

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  5. Oh, and I meant to say that I love the banner pic! I've always wanted to go there.

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    1. Thanks, Nan. It is nice there, but in the summer the Mosquitos are horrendous! My son was there in Sept. on a camping weekend and he said they were unbelievable unless you were on the shore and then the breeze keep them away. The horses pretty much stay on the shore area in the summer because of that. I'm going to put up a post with pics soon!

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