Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther series has it all. Excitement, pathos, history, wisecracking humour, suspense, tension, world weariness, and brilliant, beautiful writing. There is absolutely nothing to be found wrong with these books. Such a frightful shame Philip passed away in 2018 at the very young age of just 62.
This is the reading order, as it is the published order. The series was, I think, progressing according to Bernie’s life, but most of the contents of the books, are in fact not flashbacks, but incidents in the here and now, that originated in Bernie’s previous, wartime, life. Something like that.
For March Violets, The Pale Criminal and A German Requiem, I recommend you pick up the combined book (pictured). Convenient, probably cheaper than buying (new) copies of the individual books, and because the original covers are appallingly dreadful. Though you can now pick up some updated versions which are marginally less shocking. The rest of the series shows the covers of the versions I have.
You will need to buy read these, if you haven’t already, so click on the cover and you’ll go to The Book Depository.