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Janwillem van de Wetering (1931-2008) was born and raised in Rotterdam, but lived most recently in Surry, Maine. He served as a member of the Amsterdam Special Constabulary and was once a Zen Buddhist monk. He is renowned for his detective fiction, including Outsider in Amsterdam; The Corpse on the Dike; Death of a Hawker; The Maine Massacre, which garnered him the Grand Prix de Littï¿½rature Policiï¿½re; and ten other books in the Amsterdam Cops series.
Van de Wetering's series about zany Amsterdam police detectives Grijpstra and de Gier (The Hollow-Eyed Angel, etc.) has its own very special wiseass surrealism, and the latest entry is a doozy, as its author might well say (his ear for American slang being acute). The pair are lying around idle, having formed their own private agency in the wake of a windfall (they confiscated millions in drug money), when the apparently shady operators of an oil tanker come to them with a wild yarn: their ship was hijacked, a crewman was killed and the valuable cargo, which they were planning to sell to Cuba, was stolen. Can Grijpstra and de Gier get it back? They're not overjoyed at the thought (and besides, their clients are from Rotterdam), but when their Commisaris gets involved too, along with constables Karate and Ketchup, they head off to Key West and the islands to see what they can find out. There's sprightly local color galore as van de Wetering makes many trenchant observations on Caribbean history and supplies a splendid array of miscreants before the story is wrapped up with several debonair triple crosses. For lovers of the Amsterdam Cops, this is an especially exotic treat; for newcomers it will be a sparkling and more than usually offbeat introduction. (Oct.)
Praise for The Perfidious Parrot "One of their most exotic adventure to date . . . A shamelessly materialistic good time is had by all." --The New York Times Book Review "Sit back and revel in the pleasures of van de Wetering's original take on everything from police corruption to the U.S. Military's role in international oil piracy." --Chicago Tribune "Entertaining." --Washington Post Book World "For lovers of the Amsterdam Cops, this is an especially exotic treat; for newcomers it will be a sparkling and more than usually offbeat introduction." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review "A worthwhile and spiritually side-splitting experience." --Maine Times "What the author has pulled off here is significant: He's managed to write a noir thriller animated by a genuine (if cynical) sense of humor." --Islands Magazine