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'yet the psychology (and I am borrowing from one of the cover blurbs) is most Zen-like' is referring to the other side to Janwillem van de Wetering's writing. He was a spiritual seeker who spent time in Japan; (wrote books about the Japanese policeman Saito too, but that on a side note). He was influenced by Zen philosophy and wrote three books about that: The Empty Mirror, A Glimpse of Nothingness and After Zen.


Interesting duo, Danielle. They, and Amsterdam, sound quite likable. I'm enjoying your "trip" to The Netherlands.

vicki (skiourophile / bibliolathas)

There seems to be such a strong core of social criticism in books from the region (I know I shouldn't squash all the northern countries together but geography isn't my strong suit). One thinks particularly of the Martin Beck series, e.g.


What an interesting-sounding man! I didn't realize he had written another detective series--that might be worth looking into later, but for now I think I will stick with Grijpstra and de Gier--the stories really do seem very Zen-like. I think I will enjoy exploring the books. Have you read any of his other writings?


Now I am reading a book (nonfiction) about the city of Amsterdam--hopefully it will give me a deeper look at what it is really like. I am very much enjoying all my reading, too. I keep coming across books and adding them to my pile, so this is dangerous, though happily my last two books were from my own shelves! :)


I tend to group countries together, too, and I know I really shouldn't but I totally know what you mean! I like that social criticism--as long as it is not too heavy handed. You can learn so much about a culture from their crime and how they deal with social ills. That's part of why I find mysteries and crime novels so good! I have yet to read the Martin Back series, though you will not be surprised to know I have some of their books on hand.


Yes I've read The Empty Mirror, but that was before I started to make notes from books read so it has faded, maybe I must look for it again.


Too many books fade too quickly unfortunately--I guess that's what makes rereading so inviting! I will look at his other books--though I think I will stick with the detectives for a little while now.


I've read de Weterings Zen memoir. It's pretty hilarious. He's so open about things - like cramps when you sit in the lotus position or being hit on the head by a monk because he fell asleep although he has a great way of pretending to be awake.
Compared to the US almost all of Europe is pretty crime free but some countries like Switzerland and The Netherlands maybe more than others.

vicki (skiourophile / bibliolathas)

You should definitely at least read Roseanna, which has the dual advantages of being first in the series and astonishingly good.


They have their own LOC subject headings? Wow, that is really something. There must be a lot of books then or are they super popular?


I wonder where I put it... I know I own it. I have most of my mysteries in plastic bins and as you also use that sort of (packing away for storage and safekeeping) method, I am sure you understand my pain. It will inevitably be in the last bin on the bottom and the book will be in the bottom of the bin. I have thought of going through the bins and making a master list--if not of titles then of authors at least, but I am too lazy and think that time might well be used for reading.... :)


How nice that would be--little crime! There is a reality show here that shows police working city streets and they are actually going to film here in Omaha this summer. How sad that we have enough crime for them to come and film it! I will have to check out the zen memoir--that certainly sheds a little light on his mysteries!


I think there are at least a dozen books. And the author has his own authority record, too (his own classification number!). Something for an author to strive for, eh? :) I think the books are popular, classic mysteries really as they have been around since the 80s or so.

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