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A.C. Baantjer Books In Order

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Publication Order of Inspector DeKok Books

DeKok and the Somber Nude (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Sorrowing Tomcat (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Mask of Death (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and Murder on the Menu (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Corpse on Christmas Eve (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Disillusioned Corpse (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Dead Harlequin (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Romantic Murder (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Careful Killer (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Brothers of the Easy Death (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Corpse at the Church Wall (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Dancing Death (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Naked Lady (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Dying Stroller (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Deadly Accord (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and Murder in Seance (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and Murder in Ecstasy (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Begging Death (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and Murder by Installment (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Corpse Return (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Murder in First Class (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Deadly Warning (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Geese of Death (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Murder in Bronze (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and Murder on Blood Mountain (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Death of a Clown (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and Murder by Melody (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Dead Lovers (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and the Vendetta (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
DeKok and Variations on Murder (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

A.C. Baantjer is among the most broadly read authors in the Netherlands. The famous author was also a detective inspector of the Amsterdam police, thus many of the fictional characters depicted in his books stem from a reflection of the complexity and personality of persons he came across during his long career spanning an incredible 38 years in law enforcement. He was most notably knighted by the Dutch monarchy. Albert Cornelis Baantjer is the author of an enormous number of novels, 70 of which are a portion of the Inspector DeKok series. The author was born on the 16th day of September 1923 in Urk, Netherlands and died on the 29th day of August 2010 at the age of 86 years. Baantjer lived in Medemblik during his writing years.

He is predominantly famous for his great series of detective novels orbiting around police inspector DeKok and sergeant Vledder, his side kick. The name of the protagonist, DeKok, basically means “cook” in Dutch.

Baantjer’s works of fiction have made their way into the English language via the publishing house Speck Press where the De Cock’s name was initially translated as DeKok. There are around 23 of the 60 published A.C. Baantjer titles offered in English. His volumes have similarly been translated into French, Spanish, Russian, Estonian and Korean.

Looking at the author’s first English publication, Murder in Amsterdam, we find a serial killer is murdering prostitutes in the Red Light District of Amsterdam. The dead body of a woman is discovered in one of Amsterdam’s canals. These are also the premises behind DeKok and the Corpse on Christmas Eve and DeKok and the Sunday Strangler, these two novels in A. C. Baantjer’s Murder in Amsterdam and the foundation of the author’s DeKok series. DeKok has his own peculiar quirks for instance his eyebrows have a life of their own and has his own way of doing things to get the job done such as when he asks the help of a cat-burglar friend. Baantjer’s style is further easy reading/pure entertainment kid of writing.

DeKok is more of a mature detective, virtually a relic of the past in comparison to the new class of younger detectives; nevertheless he is well acquainted with the city of Amsterdam and posseses a profound knowledge of the city’s inhabitants. The younger generation of detectives don’t comprehend his methods; however they are in reverence of his formidable repute for solving offences. Each of these series instalments are seen to force DeKok back into an assignment during a holiday. In the Sunday Strangler instalment, DeKok has been delight in a vacation in the provinces together with the love of his life and his old dog, Flip. He gets a telegram calling him from the bright skies and quiet beaches to return to the gloomy and rainy city. Somebody has smothered Fat Sonja, a prostitute in Amsterdam who Dekok knew well. No clues have been left behind by the killer and the limited leads that the police force could find have all run to dead ends.

This preliminary book shows us a DeKok character who appears very much discontented with his lot as detective and, nonetheless, all together, far more logical about the work. He repeatedly gives “lectures” pondering on the way things are done in the detecting business. A.C. Baantjer offers sufficient vision into what makes his chief detective tick in addition to providing great descriptions of the city of Amsterdam in the mid-60s and mid-70s.

DeKok is an appealing character, a veteran policeman with various small unconventionalities and peccadillos; his eyebrows have been described to move autonomously to the rest of his face, he wears a rickety little hat every time, and he is weary of always having to prove himself to the rest of the police force and is more intent in letting the younger lads live up to all the stories of his past glory. He’s friendly with delinquents such as well-known pick pockets and prostitutes, and preserves a bottle of his favourite liquor in a Tavern under the bar. DeKok tends to hold back the contrivances of his thinking process, letting his confrontational partner stumble all over the place in the dark before illuminating his rational. He is soft and able to disregard things that he decides to take no notice of, but has a ferocious temper when pushed.

In another instalment, DeKok and the Dead Harlequin he is presented with a most unusual circumstance when a note is brought to him by Pierre Brassel, an accountant, who asserts on meeting the police officer at exactly 8:00 a.m. the following morning to talk over a murder he himself, plans to commit. Brassel while at DeKok’s office states that a man has been killed at a close hotel. It is soon established that Jan Brets, a well-known burglar, sure enough, had his head knocked in with a hockey stick while Brassel was with the inspector. DeKok is momentarily confronted with a countless interlocking parts to a puzzle that initially appear to be the perfect crime.

As he carries on with his investigation it seems to lead him to a gang planning to commit a major crime, however all the facts don’t weave together and the puzzle develops even further.

The novels have been adapted into spin-offs in the form of a long running TV series and a motion picture both entitled Baantjer instead of the main characters. The author also has a website;

In 2009 A.C. Baantjer published, Een Rus in de Jordaan,this is the first book in a series which was a departure from DeKok . But, in various facets this new book is very parallel to the earlier series. Once more we have an older Detective operating with a much younger partner.

Peter van Overdoes transfers from Warmoestraat to the police station in Raampoort when his much beloved wife dies.

In his new station he is partnered with Jacob a stout believer in the modern techniques of detecting, although Van Overdoes believes in the old fashioned ways.

A.C. Baantjer is an icon in the literature world and will forever be remembered as such.

Book Series In Order » Authors » A.C. Baantjer

One Response to “A.C. Baantjer”

  1. Joseph Terebieniec: 4 weeks ago

    Lived in A’dam in the late 60’s and early 70’s walked everywhere. So I know the city well. I know the Warmoes straat politie bureau,walked past it many times. I also know some of the people in the buurt. Loved the city and the people! Loved broodje ham and cheese. Goes great with a Heineken. Great memories of my youth. I frequented the bars on the Lange Nietzel as well. What great characters to rub elbows with. Central Station is majestic as well. Some great characters as well op de wall.


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