Fancy a trip to the Netherlands? Whether you enjoy amateur sleuth mysteries, psychological thrillers or WWII historical fiction, these (audio)books are guaranteed to transport you to Holland – no passport required!
All three authors – Anja de Jager, Imogen Matthews and Jennifer S. Alderson – have a special bond with the Netherlands and their descriptions of setting are sure to resonate with readers who have visited this lovely country before, and inspire those who have not yet been!
Happy travels 😀
The Lover’s Portrait by Jennifer S. Alderson
Narrated by Carol Purdom
Adventures of Zelda Richardson series
Missing masterpieces, Nazi blackmailers, and a pesky amateur sleuth.
When a Dutch art dealer hides the stock from his gallery – rather than turn it over to his Nazi blackmailer – he pays with his life, leaving a treasure trove of modern masterpieces buried somewhere in Amsterdam, presumably lost forever. That is, until American art history student Zelda Richardson sticks her nose in.
When two women claim the same portrait of a young girl entitled Irises, Zelda is tasked with investigating the painting’s history and soon finds evidence that one of the two women must be lying about her past. Before she can figure out which one it is and why, Zelda learns about the Dutch art dealer’s concealed collection. And that Irises is the key to finding it all.
Her discoveries make her a target of someone willing to steal – and even kill – to find the missing paintings. As the list of suspects grows, Zelda realizes she has to track down the lost collection and unmask a killer if she wants to survive.
Jennifer S. Alderson – an American by birth – moved to the Netherlands in 2004 to study art history, married a Dutch man and settled in Amsterdam. Her life as an expat, her love for art and museums, and her adopted hometown provide constant inspiration for her thrilling mysteries.
A Cold Death in Amsterdam by Anja de Jager
Narrated by Caroline Ramsay
Lotte Meerman series
Set in Amsterdam, the novel introduces Lotte Meerman, a Cold Case detective still recovering from the emotional devastation of her previous investigation.
A tip-off leads Lotte to an unresolved 10-year-old murder case in which her father was the lead detective. When she discovers irregularities surrounding the original investigation that make him a suspect, she decides to cover for him. She doesn’t tell her boss about the family connection and jeopardises her career by hiding evidence.
Now she has to find the real murderer before her acts are discovered, otherwise her father will go to jail and she will lose her job, the one thing in life she still takes pride in….
Anja de Jager is a London-based native Dutch speaker who writes in English. She draws inspiration from cases that her father, a retired police detective, worked on in the Netherlands.
The Hidden Village by Imogen Matthews
Narrated by Liam Gerrard
Wartime Holland. Whom can you trust?
Deep in the Veluwe woods lies Berkenhout, a purpose-built village of huts sheltering dozens of persecuted people. But the Germans can find no proof of its existence. The whole community pulls together to help the Berkenhout inhabitants adjust to a difficult new life and, above all, stay safe.
Sofie, a Jewish Dutch girl, struggles to adapt to living in Berkenhout, away from her family and friends. As weeks turn to months, she’s worried they’ll abandon her altogether. Young tearaway Jan likes to help, but he also enjoys roaming the woods looking for adventure and fallen pilots. His dream comes true, until he is found out. Henk is in charge of building the underground huts and organizing provisions to Berkenhout, but his contact with the Germans arouses suspicions.
Whom can you trust? All it takes is one small fatal slip to change the course of all their lives forever.
Imogen Matthews was born in Rijswijk, the Netherlands to a Dutch mother and English father. Though her family moved to England when she was very young, her connection to the Low Lands remains strong. While on holiday in the Dutch village of Nunspeet, she discovered the story of the hidden village, and together with her mother’s vivid stories of life in WW2 Holland, was inspired to write her novel.