cover image Dekok and the Corpse at the Church Wall

Dekok and the Corpse at the Church Wall

Albert Cornelis Baantjer, Author, H. G. Smittenaar, Translator Intercontinental Publishing $7.95 (202p) ISBN 978-1-881164-10-4

Detective-Inspector DeKok, of Amsterdam's homicide department, returns to sort out a trio of puzzling deaths in another solid offering from Baantjer ( DeKok and the Sorrowing Tomcat ). DeKok is called in when tourists discover a corpse, with legs crossed and hands folded, neatly laid out by a church wall. A newspaper article on the death prompts beauty consultant Abigail Manefeldt to identify the deceased as her rich and eccentric uncle, Archibald Manefeldt, who occasionally liked to live in the gutter ``to learn about people.'' When Johan Brewer, a small-time offender, is picked up carrying a pound of hashish, a wad of money and Archibald Manefeldt's identification papers, DeKok interrogates him; Brewer soon hangs himself in his cell. Even as DeKok and his assistant Dick Vledder wend their way through Archibald's gutter-life and his polished but thoroughly unlikable family, another body is discovered--and identified as Archibald Manefeldt. Shrewd but never slickly perfect, DeKok and Vledder play well off each other as they explore some of the uglier depths of Amsterdam and occasionally worry DeKok's superiors. (Dec.)