4

This is a dodgy question as I have few details about this book, however:

I am trying to find a book that was already around in the 1990s and famous enough to be translated into Dutch. (It wasn't a Dutch book but was read in the Netherlands, in Dutch, around then).

Its main character was a clock keeper who spent his time keeping many, many clocks running in a large old house.

I believe the genre was mystery and I think there was a murder.

I know it's not a lot to go on but does anyone have any idea what book this could be?

Edit: I believe the house was very large and had many clocks which had to be wound and looked after. The period was probably Victorian, maybe later but before battery operated clocks. The man looking after the clocks was probably employed by the owner of the house and the house was very large (probably an aristocrat's house).

6

I found the book.

It is:

Een heilige van de horlogerie by Willem Frederik Hermans.

I have to apoligise because it turns out to be a Dutch book after all.

Here is a rough translation of the plot from Dutch, as described here:

Constantin Brueghel, the son of a Dutch cheese farmer who emigrated to France and a French woman, is a graduate philosopher who has a doctorate with a thesis on Time and Duration. He has not eaten much cheese from cheese, and a job in education says little to him, so he takes a job with his uncle. He is responsible for the clocks in a local empty palace. And so Constantin is responsible for the excitement of 1473 bells and pendules, spread over 297 halls and rooms. The builder of the palace - some duke at the time of Napoleon - had stipulated in his will that his belongings would be transferred to the congregation, provided that the clock collection would be preserved and ministered. And so the ironic fate of a doctoral student about Time and Duration wants to fill his days with the excitement of clocks ...

  • Great! I'm glad you managed to solve it, and I hope this answer gets enough upvotes to overtake the incorrect one :-) But could you possibly edit to include more info, e.g. a link to or quote from a summary of the book? That way, this Q&A might be useful to more people in the future: anyone else looking for the same book will immediately be able to see from your description that it's the right answer. (See also our guidelines for a good story-ID answer.) – Rand al'Thor Dec 24 '17 at 15:29
  • I can only find Dutch references to it, it doesn't even have a wikepedia page...so would links to Dutch sites be fine? – Mirte Jan 9 '18 at 14:01
  • Sure! Anywhere that the information can be found. (Ideally, if you have the time, it would also be nice to include English translations of the info from those sites.) – Rand al'Thor Jan 9 '18 at 16:05
  • See also the description on this blog. – user800 Jan 9 '18 at 16:33
3

Perhaps The 3 Investigators: The Screaming Clock?

Front cover

The alarm clock went off with the bloodcurdling scream of a woman in mortal terror! Who could have made such a clock--and why?

The Three Investigators immediately set out to discover where the mysterious clock came from. When they come across a run-down house in Hollywood, they find an entire room full of dreadful clocks--and time is running out!

I am trying to find a book that was already around in the 1990s

It was published in 1991, so it fits your time frame, according to Amazon.

and famous enough to be translated into Dutch.

And it looks like it's been translated to Dutch, so that fits too.

Its main character was a clock keeper who spent his time keeping many, many clocks running in a large old house.

I don't remember exactly, but there were a whole lot of clocks running an old, rundown house.

I believe the genre was mystery and I think there was a murder.

It's a mystery series, although I don't think that there was actually a murder in this one.

  • This is a good guess but I am pretty sure it is wrong because the main character looked after the clocks where he lived and I'm almost certain he was an adult. – Mirte Jun 1 '17 at 6:29

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