I just love the balkans

Most people hate the countries in South Eastern Europe. I don’t agree, I love them.
And it’s great to write my Medieval hot crime novels. My books are as passionate and as warm blooded as the Bulgarians.
During my very first holiday in Bulgaria in 1991 I fell in love with the Balkan country. And I discovered the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, with its lovely icons and its great, spiritual services.


I had also a crush on my Bulgarian female guide. We were friends and lovers and penfriends for a couple of years, but we fell apart. Our hardcopy letters from that time are treasures in my writer’s archive.
The 1991 summer was also the coup against Soviet president Gorbachev. Eastern Europe was hot, hot, hot and I was right in the very middle and I absolutely loved it.
It wasn’t always like that. I was born in 1966 and raised in a working class family in Friesland, a rural and bilingual Netherlands province. I took part in a secondary school poetry chanting competition from 1979 till 1985. On the stage I fought tough battles with my competitors. In 1985 I finally won. In 1988 I competed in a Frisian language crime novel competition. I didn’t win, but I loved the battle. My future seemed to be set in the Frisian culture.


In 1989 the Berlin Wall and communism collapsed. The world changed and so did my life. After a couple of holidays to the Balkans I was in 1995 a volunteer for the YMCA Bulgaria. My boss was a Bulgarian Orthodox priest who made a living by joining the YMCA. In 1998 I travelled the country in Vassil Levski’s foot steps, and in 2007 I celebrated the EU membership with my Bulgarian friends. I learned the language and wrote articles about the changes in the former Soviet countries.

I met other people in Sofia who were just as crazy about Bulgaria as me. For instance the British journalist and businessman Patrick Brigham. He came in 1993 and stayed. And German banker Klaus Peter Baumann who adviced the Bulgarian National Bank in 1997. He fell in love with the country and stayed a couple of years.
The forgotten 1978 assassination on Bulgarian emigrant writer and journalist Georgi Markov was the topic for my first faction novel in 2017. I saw his fancy house in London and saw his grave with a bilingual epitaph on a deserted graveyard in the lovely English countryside.


I decided that that’s enough about Bulgaria and its dark communist past. Due to Covid-19 and a busy office job I did not visit Bulgaria since 2016. But 25 years of living and working and traveling does leave a mark. And there is still so much I wanna tell about the Balkan country.
So the crime stories starring father Petar emerged. Petar Ivanov is priest and archivist and detective. He is devoted to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, but does have a dark side. Deacon Alexander Nemev is on his side.
In 13th century Turnovgrad they solve crimes for emperor Plamen VI. The Imperial Palace, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’ HQ, the Yantra river and the Tsarevets Fortress are great places for mysteries and crimes and passionate, forbidden love stories.

About Jack Frisian
JF Bulgaars Labyrinth

Bulgaars labyrint – Dutch (2017)


JF Het Zwarte Handboek

Het Zwarte Handboek – Dutch (2021)