Nicolas Freeling

Nicolas Freeling lives near Strasbourg. He is the author of many crime novels and his investigators include Van der Valk and Henri Castang.

Diary: On Missing the Detective Story

Nicolas Freeling, 11 June 1992

The pensée that no woman has ever given more pleasure in bed than Agatha Christie, now mildly feline, is much too kind, we would have said in the early Sixties when trying to write crime fiction under that then-monstrous shadow, doing the splits in the process. Everyone then mouthed the inanity that ‘the plot must come first’: a sense of character in crime-writing was a Gothic gargoyle, an afterthought.

Letter

Elsa

9 April 1992

Elspeth Barker wrote in warm praise (LRB, 9 April) of Robert Liddell’s Stepsons, which plainly merits this. She emphasises the writer’s refusal to snipe at an easy target: ‘nothing cheap here.’ Is it not painfully out of key then to lash the pathetic ‘Elsa’ with her own scorn? The dim middle child, the Prussian boots, the ‘Gerwoman’ of whom ‘kindly...
Letter

My Suggestion

4 April 1991

I do wish to say that having E.S. Turner’s ‘Turbot, sir’ is by itself worth a year’s subscription.

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