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Love in Amsterdam (Van Der Valk #1)

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Alluring, unstable, and frantically self-absorbed, Elsa de Charmoy was a dangerous woman, and now she's a dead one, shot with a gun bought by her former lover. Sulking in an Amsterdam jail, he swears it's been years since he saw Elsa, but Inspector Van der Valk isn't quite ready to be persuaded. Like Inspector Maigret (to whom he is often compared), Van der Valk tends to p ...more
Paperback, 205 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Felony & Mayhem (first published 1975)
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Ivonne Rovira
I had wanted a break after reading a number of Maigret novels, so I turned to Love in Amsterdam. English author Nicholas Freeling’s Dutch detective Inspector Van der Valk is compared to Belgian author Georges Simenon’s French Chief Inspector Jules Maigret by Audible — and perhaps by others. But whereas I find Simenon’s writing thoughtful and a great commentary on human nature, I found Freeling simply plodding.

The novel, the first in a series, was published in 1962, but the setting seems older t
Michele Weiner
First impressions are often unreliable, but I just couldn't wait to tell you about this author. I believed he was from the Netherlands, since he writes about a detective from Amsterdam and pretends to know all the inside stuff only a native would know and throws in lots of Dutch words. But he's from England. He's apparently traveled widely in Europe, and now lives in France. So you see what I thought was a very poor translation from Dutch to British English is just very poor British English with ...more
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Andrew Wildman
Apr 15, 2013 Andrew Wildman rated it really liked it
I have always enjoyed Van der Valk (remember the TV series?) and the books are great, if not always an easy read. I would have liked a bit more in the way of characterization and location and a bit less crime solving but a good read and a must for any true Nederlandophile.
Bert van der Vaart
Jan 20, 2017 Bert van der Vaart rated it really liked it
While the middle dragged a little, this book was superbly written with a particularly good officer of justice. This is the first so-called "van der Valk" mystery, and though written 50+ years ago, it seems fresh today. will be looking to read the other three in the series.
Carol Colfer
Sep 29, 2016 Carol Colfer rated it liked it
This was an unusual mystery/detective story. The characters in the story are cosmopolitan, intellectual and artistic. The book is focused on one man and his relationships with two women. Billed as a 'Van Der Valk mystery', Detective Van Der Valk plays a fairly minor role. The first and last thirds of the book are in the 'present', and the middle third takes place during the relevant part of the hero's life history. The latter clarifies his relationship with both of the two women in his life, tho ...more
Lukasz Pruski
Aug 15, 2015 Lukasz Pruski rated it really liked it
"I don't want it particularly accurate; my whole idea was to write about Europe in a European idiom. Something that has a European flavor and inflection."

"Love in Amsterdam" (1962), Nicolas Freeling's very first novel, was retitled "Death in Amsterdam" in the U.S.; how's "Death sells better than love" for a snide remark? The fragment quoted above is uttered by Martin, the novel's protagonist, a Dutch writer of sorts, but it aptly describes Freeling's own writing. His entire opus, all about Europ
Mar 30, 2013 Hollie rated it it was ok
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May 02, 2012 Anna rated it did not like it
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2012
I started the book some time in February, but it was so boring I ended up reading at least a dozen other books before giving it a second try. The covers promise it to be "The most outstanding detective in European fiction since Maigret", a clip they've added from NYT book review. That New York Times book review must have been when the book was first released in 1962, since it's hard to find ten more boring European detectives. Or it's all loosely definable by how and to what you apply the outsta ...more
Jul 16, 2010 Mark rated it liked it
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Mar 30, 2013 Jim rated it it was ok
Set in the early 1960s primarily in Amsterdam, this novel is both a mystery and a character study of the femme fatale victim and her "wronged man" suspect. Despite a number of place references to actual Amsterdam sites, it is not that successful in evoking the city and the bohemian atmosphere in which the protagonists act. Curiously, the detective investigating the murder is not the focus of the novel and does not appear in the middle third of the novel. For readers who did not live through the ...more
John Frankham
Jan 11, 2013 John Frankham rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-detective
The first van der Valk detective novel from 1962. Great picture of early post-war Amsterdam, and psychologically true range of characters.
Jan 13, 2010 Laura rated it it was ok
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Shirley Plummer
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Jun 15, 2009
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Jan 02, 2015
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Nicolas Freeling born Nicolas Davidson, (March 3, 1927 - July 20, 2003) was a British crime novelist, best known as the author of the Van der Valk series of detective novels which were adapted for transmission on the British ITV network by Thames Television during the 1970s.

Freeling was born in London, but travelled widely, and ended his life at his long-standing home at Grandfontaine to the west
More about Nicolas Freeling...

Other Books in the Series

Van Der Valk (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Because of the Cats
  • Gun Before Butter
  • Double-Barrel
  • Criminal Conversation
  • The King of the Rainy Country
  • Strike Out Where Not Applicable
  • Tsing Boum
  • The Lovely Ladies
  • Auprès de ma blonde
  • The Widow

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