March Violets

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For the goth rock band of the 1980s, see The March Violets.
March Violets
March Violets Book Cover.jpg
First edition
Author Philip Kerr
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Berlin Noir
Genre Crime, Detective, Historical mystery
Publisher Viking Press, London
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 466 pp (Hardback edition)
ISBN 978-0-670-82431-1
OCLC 20427383
823/.914 20
LC Class PR6061.E784 M37 1989
Followed by The Pale Criminal

March Violets is a historical detective novel and the first written by Philip Kerr featuring detective Bernhard "Bernie" Gunther. Gunther investigates the murder of the daughter of a wealthy industrialist in Berlin as the 1936 Summer Olympics play out in the city. The major themes of the novel include the every-day violence and anti-Semitism of the regime and the inability or unwillingness of ordinary Germans to act in the face of the coming war. (“March violets” were late-comers to the Nazi Party after the passage of Hitler's Enabling Act (rendering him dictator) on March 23, 1933. In May, the Nazi Party froze membership.)

March Violets is the first of the trilogy by Kerr called Berlin Noir. The second, The Pale Criminal, appeared in 1990 and the third, A German Requiem in 1991.

A minor anachronism is present in Chapter 7, where Kerr refers to a street on the edge the Dahlem section of Berlin as "Clayallee". This street, originally Kronprinzenallee, was renamed in 1949 in honor of the American General Lucius D. Clay, Military Governor of the U.S. Occupation Zone and organizer of the Berlin Airlift in relief of the Soviet blockade of West Berlin.[1]