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Powell's Q&A

Philip Kerr

Describe your latest project.
A Quiet Flame takes the story of Bernie Gunther on a stage from The One from the Other, which left my character leaving 1949 Genoa on a Nazi ratline, and in the company of none other than Adolf Eichmann. Gunther arrives in Buenos Aires and finds himself working to solve a murder for the Peronist secret police. At the same time, he unwittingly discovers a dark and dirty secret that the Argentine military junta would prefer to keep hidden from the world.

  1. A Quiet Flame
    $11.95 Used Hardcover add to wishlist

    A Quiet Flame

    Philip Kerr
    "Kerr...cleverly and plausibly grafts history onto a fast-paced thriller plot." Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    "Authentic period detail, biting wit, sparkling metaphors, and an engaging character whose moral ambiguity places him in perilous situations make this a read to savor....Highly recommended." Library Journal


  2. The One from the Other: A Bernie Gunther Novel
    $9.50 Used Trade Paper add to wishlist
    "Grim and gripping, with all the author's customary sure-handedness in evidence." Kirkus Reviews
  3. Berlin Noir (Penguin Crime/Mystery)
    $10.50 Used Trade Paper add to wishlist

If someone were to write your biography, what would be the title and subtitle?
I come from Edinburgh, so I rather like the idea of my biography being called "The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner," with apologies to James Hogg, another Scottish author (1770-1835). Subtitle: "How I Escaped Scotland and Lived to Tell Some Tales."

What fictional character would you like to date, and why?
Miss Moneypenny. Why not?

What's the strangest or most interesting job you've ever had?
Being a writer, on both counts.

Writers are better liars than other people: true or false?
I am the author/editor of The Penguin Book of Lies (1990). Authors are paid to alternate on reality; to make things up for a living. It's no wonder that they're better liars than other people.

How do you relax?
Yoga. I like to stretch, like a cat. A rather fat cat, I'm afraid.

Have you ever made a literary pilgrimage?
Many times. The last was to the house of Ernest Hemingway (Finca Vigía) in Cuba. I loved it.

Name the best television series of all time.
My favourite series of all time is The Wire. It's incredibly well written and even more incredibly well acted.

Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.

Five Great Books about Philosophy

The Complete Essays of Montaigne

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein

Language, Truth, and Logic by A. J. Ayer

Men of Ideas: Some Creators of Contemporary Philosophy by Brian Magee

The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes and Its Implications by David Deutsch

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Philip Kerr is the author of many novels, but perhaps most important are the four featuring Bernie Gunther — The One from the Other and the Berlin Noir trilogy.

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