Janwillem Van de Wetering was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands on February 12, 1931. He traveled extensively, both geographically and philosophically, his adventures ranging from being a motorcycle gang member to a Buddhist, a real estate salesman in Australia to an exporter in Holland. He was a police officer in Amsterdam from 1966 to 1975 and his crime novels featuring detectives Grijpstra and De Gier were based on his experiences. He also wrote a trilogy based on the time he spent at a Japanese Zen Buddhist monastery and wrote children's books about a porcupine named Hugh Pine. In 1984, he received the French Grand Prix de Littrature Policire. He died on July 4, 2008 at the age of 77.