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Van Der Valk Books In Order

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Publication Order of Van der Valk Books

Love in Amsterdam / Death in Amsterdam (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Because of the Cats (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gun Before Butter / A Question of Loyalty (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Double-Barrel (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Criminal Conversation (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The King of the Rainy Country (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Strike Out Where Not Applicable (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tsing Boum (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lovely Ladies / Over the High Side (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Long Silence / Auprès De Ma Blonde (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Widow (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Damn Thing After Another / Arlette (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sand Castles (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Van Der Valk book series is a wonderful series of crime fiction, mystery, suspense, cultural, and thriller stories. It is written by a renowned crime novelist from England named Nicolas Freeling. This series is comprised of 13 novels in total published between 1962 and 1989. Nicolas Freeling has described the chief characters in this series as Commissaris Simon ‘Piet’ Van Der Valk, Arlette Van Der Valk, Johnny Kroon, Hoofd-commissaris Samson, Big Mertens, and Wim Van Der Valk. Piet Van Der Valk is depicted as a detective inspector living in Amsterdam. He undertakes a number of mysteries throughout the series and solves them with all his dedication and determination. Arlette Van Der Valk is mentioned as a gourmet cook, who also assists her husband in solving the various mysteries. The books are primarily set in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

In addition to the main characters, the other essential characters described in the novels include Elsa de Charmoy, Inspector Maigret, Carl Merckel, Cabestan, Henri Castang, Esther Marx, Arthur Davidson, Jan Rijk, etc. Following the successful publication of the books and the outstanding response, it was developed into a television series with the same name. This TV series was produced by the Thames Television for ITV network. Barry Foster was cast in the lead of Dutch detective Piet Van Van Der Valk, while Susan Travers, Joanna Dunham, and Meg Davies played the role of Arlette in different seasons. The first television series was broadcast in 1972. It was based on the atmosphere and characters, but not the actual plots of the books. In all, five series were developed consisting of 32 episodes in total. In both the book TV series, Van Der Valk is shown as a intuitive and cynical detective. His case works mostly comprise of sex rackets, drugs, murder, etc. contrasted against the picturesque locations of Amsterdam.

Johnny Kroon is depicted as Piet’s naive assistant and Samson as his commanding officer, who was mainly involved in the cases’ political fall-outs. This role was played by 3 different actors over the course of the TV series, including Martin Wyldeck, Nigel Stock, and Ronald Hines. The popular TV series that ran from 1972 to 1992 was released on DVD in the United Kingdom by Network in 2007. Some of the other popular adaptations of this famous mystery series include Amsterdam Affair (1968), Because of Cats (1973), and several other French and German productions in the national languages of the respective countries.

Nicolas Freeling was a reputed British novelist of crime fiction novels. He was particularly popular for his creation of the detective novels featuring Van Der Valk as the main lead. Nicolas Freeling was born on March 3, 1927 in London as Nicolas Davidson. Throughout his life, Nicolas traveled extensively and visited numerous places of interest. During his last days, Nicolas Freeling lived in his long standing house at Grandfontaine, located near Strasbourg. He even breathed his last at his house on July 20, 2003. Prior to taking up writing as a full time career, Nicolas Freeling had worked in different occupations such as catering, armed services, etc. While working at a restaurant, Nicolas was arrested and sentenced to 3-week prison time for taking home leftover veal. He was actually not at fault because it was practiced by restaurant workers commonly at that time, but was still sent to prison. Nicolas Freeling used the jail time judiciously and tried his hand at writing. After writing the Van Der Valk stories for some years, author Freeling was bored with it. So, he killed the lead character in 1972 and had no intention of bringing him back. After this, Nicolas wrote a couple of novels showing Van Der Vall’s widow Arlette as a detective. When Nicolas Freeling was going through a bad time financially, he started a second series featuring French Inspector Henri Castang. Many of the fans of Nicolas Freeling consider Henri Castang as being superior to Piet Van Der Valk. Nicolas has won the Edgar Award from the MWA in 1967 for one of his books in the Best Novel category.

An exciting novel of the Van Der Valk series written by author Nicolas Freeling is entitled ‘Because of the Cats’. The Faelony and Mayhem publishing company released it in 2006 after it was first published in 1963. At the book’s beginning, it is shown that Bloemendaal aan Zee is a seaside town where smuggling is on a rise. This prosperous town is believed to have the number of TV sets per capita that no other town in entire Holland has. The houses in this town are sparkling clean and tidy, its drunk have discipline and politeness in their attitude. But, there seems to be a big problem with the town’s kids. Most of the teenagers have joined gangs and are attacking nearby Amsterdam. Their attacks have viciously increased. Inspector Van Der Valk becomes worried after hearing about the growing number of attacks. Before taking any action, Van Der Valk wants to know what does the town of Bloemendaal has in it that has turned its children into vicious monsters. He takes the help of his colleagues and goes on to investigate the matter. Inspector Valk hopes to bring the attacks to a complete stop and help the children find the right path in their lives.

Another very interesting book of this series is called ‘Criminal Conversation’. The Vintage Books published this novel in 1981, however, its first release had taken place in 1966. This book features the primary characters as Clark Merckel, Lutz Brothers, Cabestan, Henri Catang, and Detective Van Der Valk. The story starts by showing that Valk is involved in another thrilling case of murder when he comes across a mysterious letter that hints at the murder of Cabestan. More than finding the killer, whose name is already written in the mysterious letter, Valk wishes to find out the one who has written the letter. Later, the events transpire into a tale of adultery and deception. The wealthy Carl Merckel, MD of Lutz Brother bank, accuses a cold-blooded homicide. He also claims that his wife does not have any role to play in the homicide. Now, it is up to Detective Valk to get to the bottom of the mystery and unravel the culprit before another innocent life is lost. Criminal Conversation is yet another masterpiece by Nicolas Freeling. It captures the innate empathy of France very well and describes its rich culture. Just like all of Freeling’s other novels, this book too has the European flavor that the readers like about his books mostly. And there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this novel is going to do good business all around the world, which it actually did.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Van Der Valk

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