In 1989, British author Philip Kerr introduced the world to Bernie Gunther, his sardonic, tough-talking fictional detective who was - as the New York Times put it - "the right kind of hero for his time... and ours..."
Beginning in Germany in the 1930s, the ten Gunther novels, with the 1989 debut of March Violets, Kerr's thrillers have reached beyond the horrors of the Nazi regime, when the lunatics were running the asylum, through the viciousness of the Eastern Front, to the postwar world of starvation and exploitation, and on to the Cold War's double dealing and ruthless disregard for morality or human life.
Picking up a starred review from Publishers Weekly The Lady from Zagred finds Bernie at an international police conference in Berlin. It's the summer of 1942 and an attorney wants Bernie to gather evidence that a charitable foundation is involved in fraud. Soon after, the attorney is beaten to death with a bust of Hitler. Almost a year later, Bernie helps movie star Dalia Dresner locates her estranged father. Bernie falls quickly-and hard-for Dalia and agrees to travel on her behalf to Yugoslavia, where he witnesses some horrific scenes. Kerr combines a murder mystery with a searing look at the inhumanity of the Nazis and their allies, presented from a unique perspective.
Considered the hands-down heir to Raymond Chandler, Philip Kerr is the hard-boiled mystery fan's popular choice.