Monday, February 12, 2007

FREE BOOKS and a protagonist with two interesting lines of work

More FREE BOOKS are available in Euro Crime’s competitions. I urge you to visit and enter often for this fine source of FREE BOOKS – even though I haven’t won any yet.

It's a Crime! (or a mystery...) offers a list of new crime fiction available in the U.K. in 2007. I’ve posted here about villains as protagonists and also about amateur sleuths with interesting professions, so I was especially taken with the description of Chris Ewan's novel The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam: “The main character is one Charlie Howard who writes caper novels about a career thief and also happens to be one.”

© Peter Rozovsky 2007

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6 Comments:

Blogger Euro Crime said...

Hmm, but have you entered this month's competitions yet.... :-)

I've got 3 more competitions lined up for next month, including a special DVD prize for US residents.

February 12, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

I have now.

I got my exposure to Baantjer a couple of years ago. I studied Dutch, and the classes included occasional showings of parts of Baantjer episodes. That's how popular Baantjer is in the Netherlands: The TV series (and the board game!) are named for the author rather than the character.

And there's an oddity about the spelling of the protagonist's name in the English translations: DeKok. In the Dutch version, the name is spelled De Cock, and the joke is that the character always has to spell it out: "De Cock, met C-O-C-K."

February 12, 2007  
Anonymous crimeficreader said...

Thanks for the link, Peter.

I'm told a copy is on its way to me within the next week or so and I will certainly provide a "heads up" at a later date.

That's another cover I love, by the way. Amsterdam, dark and forboding, with the lights on inside the houses, inviting you to take a peep... Apparently the monkeys are embossed in gold; thus bright and cheeky they suggest some humour to come. That pretty much sums up the synopsis of the novel for me.

When I first read about this novel, I thought it sounded great. I'm now looking forward to reading it.

February 22, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

It's a foreboding cover all right, perhaps evocative also of the windows in Amsterdam's red-light district.

I think a novel with a writer/thief protagonist can't help but suggest humor to come. I'll keep an eye open for your comments.

February 22, 2007  
Anonymous crimeficreader said...

Not for me, it's not, as I tend to see it literally. I went there on a business trip in 1992 (ouch - was it really that long ago? - and perhaps things have changed now...). My colleague and a friend were fascinated to see the area, so I tagged along twice. (Honestly, if I'd been on my own, I think I would have avoided the area. Having said that, for the "curious", it proved to be a non-threatening area. Not so, for it's workers, I'm sure, whatever the decade.)

As I recall, the "open windows" of the red light area were all on ground floor level and in most cases appeared like the addition of boxy conservatories to the buildings, such was the extent of floor to ceiling glass). Thus, for me, I just don't see a visual link. Proof of the pudding will be in the reading, though!

If Ewan manages to avoid use of the area in his story, then it's a cliche not missed and will lend itself to originality. If he goes there in the story, then I wait to see how it's treated.

Sadly, Amsterdam's red light area is also a focus for commercial tourism.

February 23, 2007  
Blogger Peter said...

Perhaps the reader with a more casual experience, if any, with Amsterdam might associate canal houses and windows with "de rose buurt". But that's just a guess.

I've been to Amsterdam a number of times, and I've never found anything threatening about the windows and the women behind them. I once happened to be in the area around 11 in the morning. It was something like being in a conventional market district at dawn. I could see the district just waking up for business. It was quite the experience.

February 23, 2007  

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