Saturday, April 08, 2006

Two mysteries

I read 'Murder Must Advertise' (Dorothy Sayers) and 'Corpse on the Dyke' (Janwillem van de Wetering) recently. Both books are cool, but 'Murder...' is definitely the quirkier of the two.

The Dutch book 'Corpse...' is set in Amsterdam. The initial impression of Amsterdam you get is of an idyllic, crime-less city with multi-talented cops and a benevolent government. And gay-friendly too... But the picture changes slowly and vice and xenphobia (perhaps the author's own) take over. A nice 'slice of Amsterdam life' as much as a mystery.

It's like Europe. Europe seems idyllic to the outsider - great parks, forests, architecture, quality of life, education... Until you figure the misogyny and xenophobia that hides behind the facade.

The Dorothy Sayers book was written just after she finished working at an ad agency for several years, and is really an excellent description of the profession too. A good page-turner.

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