By Philip Kerr

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Additional resources for March Violets (Book One of the Berlin Noir Trilogy)

Sample text

He turned his back to the bar and watched his daughter proudly. ’ ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do without her,’ I said. ‘Perhaps you can persuade her to change her mind and stay on with me. I’m sure they must need the money. ’ Herr Lehmann shook his head. ’ He lit his pipe and puffed philosophically. ‘Anyway,’ he said. ’ ‘Yes, I suppose you’re right,’ I said, and downed the chaser. I saw his face say that he never had me marked as a drunk and so I said, ‘Don’t let this stuff fool you, Herr Lehmann.

From her coat pocket she produced a small lace handkerchief which seemed as improbable in her large, peasant hands as an antimacassar in those of Max Schmelling, the boxer, and quite inadequate for the task which lay before it: she blew her pickled-walnut of a nose with the sort of ferocity and volume that made me want to hold my hat on my head. Then she wiped her big, broad face with the soggy remnant. Smelling some information about the Pfarr household, I offered the old pork chop a lift home in my car.

Unsteady on my feet, I turned away. ’ 2 It was late, gone one o’clock, when finally I drove back to my apartment in Trautenaustrasse, which is in Wilmersdorf, a modest neighbourhood, but still a lot better than Wedding, the district of Berlin in which I grew up. The street itself runs north-east from Guntzelstrasse past Nikolsburger Platz, where there is a scenic sort of fountain in the middle of the square. I lived, not uncomfortably, at the Prager Platz end. Ashamed of myself for having teased Buerckel in front of Dagmarr, and for the liberties I had taken with Carola the stocking-buyer in the Tiergarten near the goldfish pond, I sat in my car and smoked a cigarette thoughtfully.

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