Penguin Random House mourns the loss of author, Philip Kerr, who died on Friday, March 23 in London after an eight-month battle with cancer. He is one of most distinguished modern thriller writers, known best for his Bernie Gunther novels. His debut novel, March Violets, was published over 30 years ago and introduced the character as a sardonic, hard-drinking detective tackling the dark depths of Nazi and post-war era Germany.
Several of Kerr’s Gunther novels became instant bestsellers upon publication, including six New York Times bestsellers and five USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestsellers. In addition, Kerr has received several award nominations and honors. He was a three-time nominee for an Edgar Award for Best Novel, a Shamus Award nominee, and a winner of both a Barry Award and the British Crime Writers’ Association’s Ellis Peters Historic Crime Award. In early 2018, his novel Prussian Blue was also nominated for a Barry Award for Best Novel. His books have been published in thirty-seven territories.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1956, Kerr studied at the University of Birmingham. Following university, Kerr worked as a copywriter for several advertising agencies. In addition to his Bernie Gunther novels, Kerr wrote two nonfiction books, fifteen adult novels, and ten children’s fiction books. He is admired by many, and a growing list of high-profile personalities, impressive critics and fellow writers including Lee Child, Tom Hanks, and Nick Rennison, continue to share their love for Kerr and his Bernie Gunther novels.