Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Pages: 176
Date: 24/04/2011
Grade: 4
Details: no. 1 Peter van Opperdoes & Jacob mystery
            Title translates into: A Russian in the Jordaan.

This is the first book in a series which was started in 2009. For A.C. Baantjer this meant a departure from De Cock (DeKok in the English translations). But, in many aspects this new book is very similar to the previous series. Again we have an older Detective working with a much younger colleague.
Peter van Overdoes transfers from the police station in the Warmoestraat to the Raampoort station after the death of his much beloved wife and hoping to get away from prostitution and everything associated with it.
In his new station he is partnered with Jacob. While Jacob is a great believer in the modern methods of detecting, Van Overdoes values the old fashioned ways. And there are more reasons why Jacob might be having questions about his new partner's efficiency.
Van Overdoes has only arrived at his new desk when he is visited by a young, very beautiful and exclusive prostitute (so much for getting away from that side of policing) who reports that one of her clients  showed up carrying an antique gun which was stolen from her father years ago. The girl doesn't know or refuses to share the name of the client, and is found murdered only a short while later.
The two detectives soon find themselves caught up in a case that has far more angles then they could ever have guessed and dealing with very dark forces in the underbelly of Amsterdam. They also find they have a guardian angel looking out for them.
This was a nice book. The solution wasn't a big mystery given the title of the book and the story line, but the way the two men got to the answers and learned to work together at the same time was fun. 

I subsequently learned that the two characters in this book are losely based on the two authors who were both policemen in Amsterdam. That does add a nice touch to the novel.
Even though this is of course a police procedural, it reads more like a cozy mystery; charming and enjoyable.

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