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Tumbleweed by Janwillem van de Wetering

Tumbleweed (1976)

by Janwillem van de Wetering

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Amsterdam Cops (2)

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Showing 5 of 5
It had been several years since I first sampled the Grijpstra and de Gier series of Janwillem van de Wetering, so I thought I'd better pick up the second book, Tumbleweed. The book concentrates on the mystery and moves very quickly, and I discovered that, although a great deal of time had passed since I read that first book, I soon felt right at home.

Grijpstra is the older of the two detectives. He's married and a grouch. De Gier is single and likes to dress fashionably. They work together well and I liked both characters, but I have to admit that their superior officer the commissaris (who is never mentioned by name) was my favorite. The commissaris is an older man who's crippled by rheumatism yet not ready to retire. He has a lively mind and is interested in almost everything, and when he sent officers back to photograph the dead woman's bookshelves because "I am always interested in what people read," I was completely won over. Later on, his attitude toward travel was merely icing on the cake.

The mystery in Tumbleweed is intriguing, and the book reads quickly. Even though the emphasis is on the story, the characters are beguiling, and you can't help wanting to know more about them. One thing I do know for certain: I'll be grabbing the next book in the series in order to continue my literary love affair with the commissaris! ( )
  cathyskye | Dec 2, 2018 |
This is the second "Grijpstra & de Gier" novel: a woman is found stabbed to death in an Amsterdam houseboat, and there are plenty of suspects but very little hard evidence against any of them. Our two intrepid investigators have to go to the North Sea island of Schiermonnikoog whilst their boss, the unnamed Commisaris, pursues a parallel line of investigation in Curaçao - funny how it always seems to work out that way round, isn't it?
As in the first book in the series, the interest is more in the details than in the crime itself, which turns out to be quite straightforward by the standards of detective fiction. There's a bit less of the emphasis on the random events that make up the day-to-day work of police officers that we had in the first book, so we go a bit deeper into the working relationship between Grijpstra and de Gier (and the cat Olivier), and van de Wetering also starts to develop the Commisaris as a character in his own right. I had to stop and think a bit at the notion that someone who was a police officer in the seventies (a period that doesn't seem all that long ago to me) might already have been in the force before the Second World War, but of course it is perfectly possible. ( )
  thorold | Jun 6, 2016 |
In this, the second Grijpstra/de Gier mystery I've read (and the second in the series), the most interesting feature continues to be the characters of the two policemen (and various related characters) and their interactions. In this one, the Secret Service of the Amsterdam police asks the cops to investigate a woman who lives on a houseboat; she turns out to be a high-priced prostitute with some very interesting clients. Complications develop of course, and the solution to the mystery seemed to be taken a little bit after thin air, and some aspects of the plot were left unresolved. I didn't like this one as much as the first, but I've ordered a bunch more because they are quite enjoyable.
  rebeccanyc | Dec 7, 2014 |
One of my very favorite books...surprising, wise, compelling....and a mystery, too!
  okieload | Jul 6, 2011 |
Quick Good Reading: Tumbleweed is a thoughtful and entertaining read, which mystery enthousiasts will appreciate. No smoke and mirrors here; only a plainly set situation which unravels quite interestingly. Wetering offers his readers the chance to experience the climates of Hollands various nooks & crannies, lifesyles, and home-spun characters, while offering their interesting mindsets to contemplation. Though the writing style at times seems to be very representative of Dutch coloquilisms, it still resounds well and clearly to anyone who would enjoy a peek at Dutch language, custom, and characters. This is terrific for anyone such as myself who usually enjoys something just a tad different from the standards, such as Christie, who is always a pleasure to read! A quick read, I would buy this book to enjoy over an evening or two, to escape to Holland and the canals of Amsterdam.
1 vote iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Janwillem van de Weteringprimary authorall editionscalculated
Daber, FrédériqueTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahlman, BritaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deymann, HubertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eistrup, OleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hattnher, ÁlvaroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mustieles, Jordi L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stabilini, RobertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stǎnciulescu, MirelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Maria van Buren, a beautiful, high-class prostitute, is found dead with a knife in her back in her houseboat on an Amsterdam canal. Grijpstra and de Gier must solve the murder. Her tony clients all have sound alibis. Before the murderer is caught the detectives and their commissaris will investigate allegations of black magic, travel to Curacao, and pursue their clues to a chilly island off the coast of Holland.… (more)

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