Thursday, June 21, 2018

Cara Black

Cara Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 18 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which is set in Paris. Murder on the Left Bank is the latest installment. Black has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Washington Post Book World Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris—the Paris City Medal, which is awarded in recognition of contribution to international culture—and invitations to be the Guest of Honor at conferences such as the Paris Polar Crime Festival and Left Coast Crime. With more than 400,000 books in print, the Aimée Leduc series has been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew.

Recently I asked Black about what she was reading. Her reply:
This summer, I’m re-reading Philip Kerr’s books, the Bernie Gunther series.

In March, after ordering Kerr’s latest book, Greeks Bearing Gifts, and planning to spend a long weekend with Bernie in his latest investigation, shocking news came. I was at Left Coast Crime, and the rumor spreading around the conference was sadly true. Philip Kerr had passed two weeks before his book was coming out.

I’ve been a reader and fan since the 90’s. Bernie Gunther’s wise cracking, irreverent, police detective, then PI with a conscience in Berlin pre and post WW2 stuck with me. Kerr’s writing and the way he referenced history and that time so vivid in detail, had influenced me.

After the author’s untimely death, I missed Bernie, and definitely missed that this would be the author’s last book. I’ve re-read Berlin Noir, the trilogy of his first three books; March Violets, The Pale Criminal and A German Requiem. Not only do they stand up, but the universality of crime, prejudice and what is done in the name of the state apply today.

To me, it’s a grieving process, thinking about this character’s movement in that chaotic time and his moral compass affected me then, still does today. His voice which will only appear in these books and how it will be missed. And for the world today, how little have we learned.

PS: Happy note Philip Kerr’s editor revealed he’d finished his next Bernie Gunther book and submitted it to her. Bernie will live another year.
Visit Cara Black's website.

--Marshal Zeringue