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Outsider in Amsterdam (Grijpstra & de Gier Mystery #1)
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Outsider in Amsterdam (Amsterdam Cops Mysteries #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  1,025 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
On a quiet street in downtown Amsterdam, the founder of a new religious society/commune—a group that calls itself “Hindist” and mixes elements of various “Eastern” traditions—is found hanging from a ceiling beam. Detective-Adjutant Gripstra and Sergeant de Gier of the Amsterdam police are sent to investigate what looks like a simple suicide, but they are immediately suspic ...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Soho Press, Inc. (first published January 1st 1975)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,948)
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Jul 10, 2016 Paromjit rated it really liked it
This is a police procedural written and set in the 1970s Amsterdam. As a result, it carries some of the toe curling attitudes towards women and 'foreigners' prevalent at that the time. It captures Dutch colonial history and its consequences rather neatly. The author has skilfully created a strong sense of Amsterdam as a location which I appreciated as I love the city. Piet Verboom is the leader of a religious group/cult known as the Hindists who is discovered hanged. Detective-Adjutant Gripstra ...more
Aug 08, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it
This was a pleasant surprise.

First published in 1975 as Het link in de Haarlemmer Houttuinen, I received this new English translation, apparently translated by the author, and was introduced to his charismatic world of partner investigators Detective-Adjutant Gripstra and Sergeant de Gier. The two combine to form a yin and yang of Dutch detective cool.

What begins as a simple investigation of a probable suicide of an unlikeable and problematic young man leads to an outright murder investigation.
Sep 09, 2016 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Thomas by: Soho crime
I enjoyed reading this book and rate it 4.5 stars out of 5(rounded up to 5). I received it through NetGalley from Soho crime. Soho crime is celebrating 25 years of publishing international crime fiction with a reading challenge. I'm reading my way through Janwillem van de Wetering over the next two months.
This is book one in the Grijpstra and de Gier mystery series. Grijpstra is an adjutant and de Gier is a sergeant in the Dutch Amsterdam municipal police. They are called to the scene of a man f
This is my first Dutch mystery, perhaps my first Dutch novel. It begins with the arrival of the lead detectives at the Hindist Society, whose leader has been found hanging from a noose in his quarters. Of course there are questions without answers about the death, the Society, life and death itself,the presence of drugs in Amsterdam, cats--yes cats as there is one over active and somewhat diabolical, well-loved specimen involved in the story.

Grijpstra and deGier are the lead detectives in questi
Sep 09, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of crime novels that are different
The first novel in the Grijpstra en de Gier series is a famous one because it was filmed with the brilliant Rutger Hauer, sans the mustache de Gier carries in the novels, and the equally brilliant Rijk de Gooyer ( who did play Grijpstra in another movie but sadly without Hauer). The movie breaths like the book by the Wetering the laidbackishness that is actually quite characteristically of most of the series. The books are less about the solving of crime but far more about the human interaction ...more
Feb 03, 2013 Harry rated it it was ok
A bit of a disappointment for me. I am Dutch and have lived in and around Amsterdam, so imagine my anticipation of reading Wetering (a well known Dutch author), knowing it would be like coming home. But it didn't happen. I'm not sure exactly what the problem is with this book. Some of the Dutch humor does come through, the curious Dutch sensibility that lets any emotion come to the surface only after filtering it through a sobering, rational mind often does come through as funny. Perhaps it's a ...more
Outsider In Amsterdam is very much a book of its time reflecting the chauvinistic attitudes of the 1970s to both gender and race. This frequently jarred my concentration on the story and took a conscious effort to overcome. Once I had done so however, the police procedural story was engaging and even elegant in its structure. Our sort-of-heroes, the policemen Grijpstra and de Gier are perfectly real characters with eminently believable flaws and prejudices - these, sadly, can't be as easily dism ...more
Jun 25, 2016 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
Published in 1975, Outsider in Amsterdam by Janwillem van de Wetering is the first of 17 mystery novels featuring the duo of Amsterdam policemen, Adjutant Gripstra and Sergeant de Gier. I was offered this book as a promotion via Netgalley in return for a review. Years ago I had read another entry into this series The Rattle-Rat and I remembered enjoying it so I accepted the offer. (Thank you Soho Crime.)

Piet Verboom, the founder of a questionable Eastern cult, Hindism, has been found hanging in
Jun 20, 2016 Elisa rated it really liked it
I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Soho Crime!
This novel is as old as me and, even if it's a little old-fashioned, it's still fresh. I loved seeing how detectives solved crimes before cell phones and computers. I got a kick out of its sense of humor and the weirdness that permeates the story and writing. "Portly, wise Gripstra and handsome, contemplative de Gier" have such a rapport that it's hard not to like them. The mystery surprised me, even if
Feb 24, 2014 Karl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book makes me want to go and visit Amsterdam, in the summer, You know this is not your average police procedural when the main character play jazz, and actually have lives outside of work. I look forward to the next book in the series.
May 30, 2016 Olivermagnus rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, europe, 2016
Grijpstra and de Gier are detectives with the Amsterdam Police. They are called to the Hindist Society because Piet Verboom, the society’s proprietor, has been found hanging in his room. Initially it appears to be a suicide. Sergeant de Gier and Detective-Adjudant Grijpstra are determined to perform a complete investigation nevertheless. The two detectives make a great team but they are very different. Senior officer, de Gier, is a married family man and very set in his ways. Grijpstra is younge ...more
Mar 19, 2016 ania rated it liked it
"Nature doesn't like gaps, it fills them up."
Jan 03, 2016 Linda rated it liked it
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book when I started. But when I realized it was the first in this series (written in the 1970s) I gave it more of a chance.

Although they are not well-developed characters yet, Grijpstra and de Gier show their potential. Grijpstra is the overweight, married with children, not intellectual "good ole boy" cop. Of course, that make de Gier nearly the opposite. De Gier owns a Siamese cat with a temper and loves it dearly. Grijpstra ranks higher so he gets to pus
Pamela Mclaren
Grijpstra and de Gier, two Dutch homicide detectives, are called out to the Hindist Society, whose leader has been found hanging from a noose in his quarters. Almost right away, there are questions about the death and they soon come to believe that it is not a suicide, but murder because the man is not disheveled (which seems particularly weak to me) and has a bruise on his forehead.

The investigation quickly delves into the society itself, especially its finances, and no one is surprised that it
Stefan Percy
Aug 02, 2014 Stefan Percy rated it really liked it
Not sure where I first heard about this author, but seeing as he was writing about Amsterdam and the Netherlands it piqued my interest. I have Dutch heritage and family still living just outside Amsterdam, so, I was interested in at least reading one of his novels to see what it was like. I enjoyed it, and will most likely look into reading others in the series.

Outsider in Amsterdam was a very easy read. Janwillem van de Wetering keeps the reader interested, but doesn't over do it. As the story
Elizabeth K.
Jul 09, 2009 Elizabeth K. rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-new-reads
This is the first in the Grijpstra and de Gier series. I have read maybe two others, out of order, over the years, and enjoyed them well enough but for whatever reason, I had not picked up the first one until I saw it recently at the library.

So, Grijpstra and de Gier are police detectives in Amsterdam, Grijpstra is the more senior (they go over the Dutch police ranking system about a million times in the series but I've never quite absorbed it) married, rumpled, slightly stout one, and his junio
Jun 29, 2011 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first of the series that ended with >10 books involving the exploits of Amsterdam cops de Gier and Grijpstra. Good mystery, set in Amsterdam as the title implies, the city where the author spent at least a few years around the age of 30 on the police department after moving to London, South Africa and South America for a few years. The book evokes the richness of old town Amsterdam which is completely absorbing and all the more rich if you're seen it in person.

Van de Wettering who died re
Martyn Halm
Sep 22, 2011 Martyn Halm rated it really liked it
If your pleasure is the action-driven thriller with cardboard characters, skip this review. Outsider in Amsterdam, the first in the 'Grijpstra and De Gier' series, is based on the characters of Adjutant Henk Grijpstra, weary from life with oppressing wife and children, and Sergeant Rinus De Gier, a young bachelor attached only to Oliver, his psychotic tomcat.

Although, like most 'mysteries', there is a murder to solve—the apparent suicide of the leader of a small semi-religious sect—the case take
Sam Catanzaro
Sep 29, 2011 Sam Catanzaro rated it liked it
A very well written and translated foreign book is perhaps one of the most engrossing and satisfying things to read, as the reader is often given a taste of what it's like to be in the respected location. This book does all of this, plus has a engrossing mystery as it's foremost feature. But it's as if the mystery is back story, and the day-to-day life of two Dutch policemen in Amsterdam is the focus of the book. At first this can be pretty boring, but once you really get into the rhythm of thes ...more
Sep 08, 2010 Monica rated it liked it
"Piet Verboom is found dangling from a beam in the Hindist Society he ran as a restaurant-commune in a quiet Amsterdam street. Detective-Adjutant Grijpstra and Sergeant de Gier of the Amsterdam police force are sent to investigate what looks like a simple suicide. "

This quirky mystery made me smile from beginning to end. This is the first book in this series of mystery crime books by Janwillem van de Wetering...all taking place in Amsterdam. Detective-Adjutant Grijpstra and Sergeant de Gier are
John Lee
Oct 26, 2015 John Lee rated it liked it
A new author for me and , of course, the first of a series.
To be honest, at about 40%,I was going to give this one up as I felt that I was reading it for the sake of reading it rather than because I was enjoying it. For some reason I continued for another couple of evening sessions but then again I had the same feeling. This time I went as far as to prepare a review and admit to giving up. Instead I re read the precis of the book as an introduction to the two principal detectives and decided to
Ellen Keim
Oct 29, 2014 Ellen Keim rated it liked it
This is a quirky little book about two police detectives in Amsterdam. It was published in 1975, and I'm assuming that the story's time period is the same, so it has a bit of an old-fashioned flavor to it. But it doesn't really feel outdated. I call it "quirky" because of the way the personalities of and interplay between the two detectives are described. There is a certain tongue-in-cheek wit in the writing which also contributes to the quirkiness.

These aren't your typical hard-boiled detectiv
Brenda Mengeling
Dec 13, 2009 Brenda Mengeling rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, 46
Outsider in Amsterdam is the first in the Amsterdam Cops series by Janwillem van de Wetering. I enjoyed it very much. The two cops, Detective-Adjutant Grijpstra and Sergeant de Gier, reminded me of the Inspector Lewis series on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS. They are both well-rounded characters. The story takes place in 1973 and involves a Papuan man from Dutch New Guninea, who has dual citizenship and now resides in Amsterdam. The author assumes to a certain extent that the reader understands tha ...more
Larry Piper
Jun 27, 2016 Larry Piper rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
The formatting of the ebook I was given was so horrible that the book was essentially unreadable. I lasted through one chapter and then decided my life was too short for this kind of crap. If people want me to provide free reviews, the least they can do is provide readable copies.

I'm pretty sure I read a dead-tree version of this book a number of years ago and liked it. But this version, from Soho Press was unreadable, entirely due to myriad formatting flaws.
May 03, 2012 Sandie rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Janwillem van de Wetering is an acquired taste, a Dutch mystery writer who lives in Maine and who whose books were published in the 70s and 80s, I suspect. He has also written nonfiction and children's books.
This book is the first mystery in the Grijpstra and de Gier series. The two detectives have vastly different personalities and personal lives. It concerns a man found dead of an apparent suicide in a large house that is a restaurant/bar and something of a cult house. The house is run by a ma
Jon Frum
Oct 26, 2015 Jon Frum rated it it was ok
I can't see a four-star rating for this book. It was pretty good, and I did finish it, but I can't say I was every really taken by the writing.

One criticism that doesn't impede the plot, but does subtract from the pleasure of reading the story is the behavior of the ex-wife of the murdered man. We have no reason to think of detective de Gier as anything other than an ordinary middle-aged man, but the beautiful (of course) ex-wife drags him to bed, and then days later is planning their future li
Dec 28, 2012 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book when I first read it over 30 years ago, and it's a real pleasure to see how well it has stood the test of time. Grijpstra, the adjutant, and his Sergeant de Gier are great characters - Grijpstra the middle aged family man (and drummer)and de Gier, the philosophical bachelor (and flute player) with the roaming eye and the homicidal Siamese cat.

Amsterdam is as much a character as the cops - the geography, the street life and the lingering influence of the Dutch colonial experie
Dec 01, 2012 Marilyn rated it really liked it
Van de Wetering's novels are a delight to read. A cool experience - no psychological depths to plumb, some humor to enjoy, and just a lovely cerebral trip. This was his first novel where he introduces his famous characters Detective-Adjutant, Grijpstra, and Sargeant de Gier of the Amsterdam police. They are clever friends who have a philosophical bent to life which includes sorting out crimes by a pecking order of seriousness -- letting those that make no sense go by the wayside. This story was ...more
Jan 07, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing
A nearly perfect first novel in a series of great detective stories. It's about drugs and phony religions, about murder most fair. The detective team of Grijpstra and De Gier-- the former plodding, pudgy, and easily underestimated, the latter energetic, athletic, handsome, and vain-- are perhaps the only police team that solve murders while they improvise jazz on confiscated instruments.

This is a light read, but it manages to contain a wonderful panoply of Zen philosophy, humor, and police proce
May 01, 2007 Mell rated it really liked it
Shelves: haveread
This is the first of 12 I think. I don't know if it's that the author is Dutch, maybe it was written in Dutch and then translated, mayb it was written in English by someone who speaks it as a second language, but one of my favorite aspects of this book and the second in the series (the two I've read to date) is the writing. It's just cute. This one was written/published in the 70's and the things that date the book also add to the charm. That's a good way to describe the book... charming. The st ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect new cover 3 128 Jun 30, 2016 07:41AM  
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Other Books in the Series

Amsterdam Cops Mysteries (1 - 10 of 17 books)
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  • Death of a Hawker
  • The Japanese Corpse (Grijpstra & De Gier Mystery, #5)
  • The Blond Baboon
  • The Maine Massacre
  • The Mind-Murders
  • The Streetbird
  • The Rattle-Rat
  • Hard Rain

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“Dirty. Dead mice and all. And they call it a restaurant. Bah.” “You are still young,” Grijpstra said. “The world is held together by dirt. Don’t think of it or you’ll never eat again.” 0 likes
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