"There's enough chocolate in there to fill every bathtub in the entire country! And all the swimming pools as well!"- Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 1964)
Last month, I came across a collectible curio, The Dell Mapbacks (1997), during a minor rearrangement in order to create shelf space and it wasn't the only forgotten "bibelot" I rediscovered during this project.
The unimaginatively titled De moord uit woede (Murder Out of Anger, 1998) is a little book of sixty-odd pages containing a script of an episode of the TV-series Baantjer, based on the characters created by the late A.C. Baantjer, and were commissioned by Droste B.V. – a Dutch chocolate manufacture. Peter Römer tasked one of the series regular scenario-writers, Gerrit Mollema, with fleshing out an idea, and the result was the episode/book Murder Out of Anger. The book was send out gratis with free chocolate, if you wrote Droste and asked for it, but that wasn't public knowledge until people began noticing overpriced copies surfacing on the internet a few years later.
|"Our Day Begins, When Yours Ends."|
I'm sure there were a few who shelled out a couple of bucks for this "rare" edition, and boy, they must've been disappointed when finding out they even paid the postage for something they could've gotten for absolutely nothing and were denied the goodliness of the free chocolate samples. That's just a torturous state of being for the
cheap penny-pinching tight-fisted Calvinistic nature of the Dutch, but than again, I
think Sir Simon Milligan was C.E.O of the company at the time.
Anyhow, the story is better than I remember from the episode, which I recall as being only so-so, but the scenario for Murder Out of Anger is remarkably well written, plotted and even clued. Opening scene is of a group of soccer playing children looking for their ball in the shrubbery when one of them stumbles over the body of woman. Inspector DeKok (Yes, I'm using the spelling from the English translations here) and Vledder are called-in and they are able to make a quick identification by following up on a missing person’s report filled a few hours before.
Martine de Wech was a partner in a stockbroker's firm and heir to her father's multi-million business empire, "De Wech Chocolade," but her unusual private (and professional) life leaves DeKok with more half-motives and half-alibis than are needed in a murder enquiry. Martine's husband, Pepijn Drijver, is a talented pianist/composer laboring for the past decade on an operatic masterpiece, called "Bismarck," but Pepijn is completely absorbed in this work – and Martine looked elsewhere to get Pepijn couldn’t give her. There's also a disgruntled, ex-collegue who kept bothering her on account of having ruined his career and with many millions changing hands in the background, there’s more than enough suspicion to go around.
Well, this review has taken a turn for the worse, but while the subject material of Murder Out of Anger can be on the depressing side it has a decent enough plot and it's publishing history/double life as a TV episode makes it a fun collectible to own.