Writer Pieter Aspe's death triggers emotional reactions: "He has left us much too early" says Flemish PM

Pieter Aspe, one of Flanders' best-selling authors, has passed away. Crime novelist Pieter Aspe - a pen name for Pierre Aspeslag - only wrote his first novel when he was 42, but it was an instant success. The Flemish PM Jan Jambon was among those to send their condolences. 

Most of Aspe's stories take place in the city of Bruges, where chief constable Van In tried to solve a murder. The commercial TV station VTM had a series made of his first 10 crime novels under the name 'Aspe'. 

Pieter Aspe was very successful and sold about 1.5 million books, not only in Flanders and the Netherlands, but also in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, South-Africa and - since 2013 - the United States. Aspe was a full-time author since 1996 and had been ill for some time. 

Aspe's death triggered a lot of reactions from actors, writers and politicians alike. The Flemish PM and Culture Minister Jan Jambon wrote that "Pieter Aspe has left us much too early". He adds that Aspe was Flanders' most successful crime novelist of the past years, "a charming man and a genius writer."

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