Nicolas Freeling

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Nicolas Freeling (born Nicolas Davidson; March 3, 1927 – July 20, 2003), was a British crime novelist, best known as the author of the Van der Valk series of detective novels. A television series based on the character was produced for the British ITV network by Thames Television during the 1970s, and revived in the 1990s.


Freeling was born in London, but travelled widely, and ended his life at his long-standing home at Grandfontaine to the west of Strasbourg. He had followed a variety of occupations, including the armed services and the catering profession. He began writing during a three-week prison sentence, after being convicted of taking home some veal from a restaurant where he worked, though this was common practice in the restaurant trade.[citation needed]

Freeling's The King of the Rainy Country received a 1967 Edgar Award, from the Mystery Writers of America, for Best Novel

Gun Before Butter won France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière and was a runner up for the 1963 Gold Dagger Award.

In 1968 his novel Love in Amsterdam was adapted as the film Amsterdam Affair directed by Gerry O'Hara and starring Wolfgang Kieling as Van Der Valk.



Van der Valk series

  • Love in Amsterdam (1962), aka Death in Amsterdam
  • Because of the Cats (1963)
  • Gun Before Butter (1963), aka Question of Loyalty
  • Double-Barrel (1964)
  • Criminal Conversation (1965)
  • The King of the Rainy Country (1966)
  • Strike Out Where Not Applicable (1967)
  • Tsing-Boum! (1969)
  • The Lovely Ladies (1971), aka Over the High Side
  • A Long Silence (1972), aka Auprès de ma Blonde
  • Sand Castles (1989)

Featuring Arlette Van der Valk

  • The Widow (1979)
  • One Damn Thing After Another (1981), aka Arlette

Henri Castang series

  • Dressing of Diamond (1974)
  • What are the Bugles Blowing For? (1975), aka The Bugles Blowing
  • Sabine (1976), aka Lake Isle
  • The Night Lords (1978)
  • Castang's City (1980)
  • Wolfnight (1982)
  • The Back of the North Wind (1983)
  • No Part in Your Death (1984)
  • Cold Iron (1986)
  • Lady Macbeth (1988)
  • Not as Far as Velma (1989)
  • Those in Peril (1990)
  • Flanders Sky (1992), aka The Pretty How Town
  • You Who Know (1994)
  • The Seacoast of Bohemia (1994)
  • A Dwarf Kingdom (1996)

Other novels

  • Valparaiso (1964, 1. edition as by F. R. E. Nicolas)
  • The Dresden Green (1966)
  • This is the Castle (1968)
  • Gadget (1977)
  • A City Solitary (1984)
  • One More River (1998)
  • Some Day Tomorrow (1999)
  • The Janeites (2002)


  • The Kitchen (1970)
  • Cook Book (1972)
  • Criminal Convictions (1994)
  • The Village Book (2001)
  • The Kitchen and the Cook (2002)

External links[edit]