SURRY (AP) – Janwillem van de Wetering, a Dutch-born author who penned a popular detective series set in his home country, has died at age 77.

Born in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Van de Wetering moved to Maine in 1975 and enjoyed a passion for Zen Buddhism, motorcycles and jazz, among other things. He died on July 4 of complications from cancer, said Nikki Smith, his longtime literary agent.

Van de Wetering lived in a number of countries including Japan, where he joined a Zen monastery, which he wrote about in his first book, “The Empty Mirror: Experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery.”

Later, Van de Wetering created the popular “Grijpstra and de Gier” series of detective novels set in Amsterdam that drew from his experience as a police officer.

In 1984, he was awarded the international Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere, a French prize for crime fiction, for his book “The Maine Massacre,” a Grijpstra and de Gier mystery set in Maine. He also wrote three children’s books set in Surry, Maine, that feature a porcupine named Hugh Pine.

Van de Wetering settled in Maine after coming to the state to join a Zen community and he later sailed up and down the coast in an old lobster boat, Smith said. He is survived by his wife, Juanita, and a daughter and a granddaughter.


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