Outsider in Amsterdam is the first book in the Gripstra and de Gier detective series by Janwillem van de Wetering, who died in 2008 at the age of 77. This book was published in 1975, and books followed every year or so. The fourteenth and last in the series was published in 1997. The author may be gone, but I have a delightful time ahead of me reading the rest of these books.
from the back of the book:
On a quiet street in downtown Amsterdam, a man is found hanging from the ceiling beam of his bedroom, upstairs from the new religious society he founded: a group that calls itself "Hindist" and supposedly mixes elements of various Eastern traditions. 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 suspicious of the circumstances.The New York Journal of Books says,
This now-classic novel, first published in 1975, introduces Janwillem van de Wetering's lovable Amsterdam cop duo of portly, worldly-wise Gripstra and handsome, contemplative de Gier. With its unvarnished depiction of Dutch colonialism and the darker facets of Amsterdam's free drug culture, this excellent procedural asks the question of whether a murder may ever be justly committed.
Soho Crime has reissued Outsider in Amsterdam as one of 25 “classic” mysteries to celebrate the imprint’s 25th anniversary. The book certainly lives up to that “classic” billing and should definitely be read (or reread) for its unforgettable characters, unexpected plot twists, dry humor, and presentation of the facts in a way that lets the reader sift through them along with the detectives.Kirkus Reviews concludes with this: "Originally conceived and exceptionally well-written with lots of cross-cultural exotica to inform the trip."