All Belgian readers know Marc de Bel and grew up with his books. He is a very famous Belgian writer who writes children’s books. His first book was published in 1987. Some of his book series were continued as comic books and he also had four books appear as films. Naturally he has also been awarded a number of awards and there are even theater pieces being written inspired by his books. So yes, all you Belgian readers have certainly heard of him!
I certainly read his books as a child and loved them. I even have a signed book, that I got at a book fair. I prefer the series he writes, especially:
Blinker is a young boy living in a small town and he experiences all kinds of adventures. He’s in love with Nellie and saves the town from criminals and such. The Sisters Kriegel are triplets and they are quite horrible tomcats. They also have a lot of adventures where they prove they are not bad people, but have been through a lot. They only have each other and they would risk everything for their sisters. And last, but certainly not least: the Boeboeks. These were definitely my favorite books as a child! So basically, you’ve got the Boeboeks: green, furry creatures who live in the forest. Then Marc de Bel created a whole new world using things that are very normal for us and turning them into real adventures for the Boeboeks. He even invented his own vocabulary for them, much like Peyo did with the Smurfs.
In 2014, he also tried his hand at adult literature. Here’s the story: the current Miss Belgium has been found dead backstage at the annual Dutch Spelling Bee. Blinker and his girlfriend somehow get involved in the murder investigation. What I really like is that the girlfriend is Nellie, the same girl Blinker fell in love with as a teenager. They are in their twenties now and happily living together.
I haven’t read it yet, but going off the description, I wouldn’t call it an adult novel. It’s a whodunit-type thriller but it centers around people in their twenties. So the way it is described right now, I would call it more of a “new adult” novel. But we’ll see.
For you people who read in Dutch and are interested: it appeared in book stores (in Belgium) on 8 October 2014: De moord op Miss België.