March Violets is noir fiction at its best. The setting is 1930’s Berlin and Bernie Gunther, ex-cop turned p.i., is as cynical and smart-mouthed as Sam Spade or Mike Hammer. But there’s much more going on than nasty people doing evil, late nights of hard drinking, and mysterious women acting as mysterious women traditionally act. The National Socialist Party has taken over and turned Germany on its head. Behind the story is a picture rarely seen of what life under the new regime was like for the average Germans and how the Nazis permeated every corner of their existence. This is a 3-part winner: a taut, well-told story/ an appealing new character/ a clear snapshot of history.