Philip Ballantyne Kerr (22 February 1956 – 23 March 2018) was a British author, best known for his Bernie Gunther series of historical detective thrillers.
Kerr was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, where his father was an engineer and his mother worked as a secretary. He was educated at a grammar school in Northampton. He studied at the University of Birmingham from 1974 to 1980, gaining a master's degree in law and philosophy. Kerr worked as an advertising copywriter for Saatchi & Saatchi before becoming a full-time writer in 1989. In a 2012 interview, Kerr noted that he began his literary career at the age of twelve by writing pornographic stories and lending them to classmates for a fee.
A writer of both adult fiction and non-fiction, he is known for the Bernie Gunther series of historical thrillers set in Germany and elsewhere during the 1930s, the Second World War and the Cold War. He also wrote children's books under the name P. B. Kerr, including the Children of the Lamp series. Kerr wrote for The Sunday Times, the Evening Standard, and the New Statesman. He was married to fellow novelist Jane Thynne; they lived in Wimbledon, London, and had three children. He died from cancer on 23 March 2018, aged 62. Just before he died, he finished a 14th Bernie Gunther novel, Metropolis, which was published posthumously, in 2019.
^The text on the dust jacket of UK hardback editions of Field Grey, as well as many listings at online retailers, contain an incorrect early plot summary referencing many elements - including the Isle of Pines as a location and Fidel Castro and a French intelligence officer named Thibaud as characters - that do not appear in the final book.
^Prague Fatale was originally announced under the title The Man With the Iron Heart. The name had to be changed shortly before publication, when the publishers discovered there was already a novel with the same title, also about Reinhard Heydrich, by author Harry Turtledove.