The Dutchman

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

A husband and wife, both experienced mystery writers, have teamed up to produce THE DUTCHMAN, which is published under the pseudonym “Maan Meyers.” Martin Meyers, of the Patrick Hardy books, and Annette Meyers, creator of the Wall Street sleuths Smithand Wetzon, spent five years researching this book, which is the first in a projected series of historical mysteries.

The setting for THE DUTCHMAN is New Amsterdam; the time, 1664. The protagonist, Pieter Tonneman, Schout (sheriff) of the town, is faced with at least one murder to solve, along with a puzzling case of arson and numerous hints of treason. Unfortunately, Tonneman is not at his best. Depressed by the death of his beloved wife and the seeming suicide of one of his closest friends, Tonneman has taken to drinking heavily. However, with the British massing for invasion, the townspeople need a sober sheriff, not only to keep law and order in tense times but to persuade the testy Pieter Stuyvesant to make terms, rather than letting the colony be destroyed.

Fortunately, as the mysteries and murders multiply and as the political intrigue increases, Tonneman comes to his senses. Aided by the beautiful Jewish woman Racqel Mendoza, he undertakes a determined search for the malefactors; in the process he finds not only the murderer of his friend but also a new life for himself. If future works in this new series are as meticulously crafted as THE DUTCHMAN, Maan Meyers should soon be ranked along with Anne Perry and Ellis Peters.