Bernie Gunther novels
His death on Friday was confirmed by his publisher. Tributes poured in on social media for the award-winning author who penned a series of historical thrillers set in Germany during the second world war and cold war.
Ian Rankin tweeted: "Numbed by the news that Philip Kerr has died. His Bernie Gunther novels are extraordinary, a mix of great storytelling and brilliant research, with a believable (a)moral hero."
Kerr, who wrote more than 30 books, including 12 Bernie Gunther novels as well as standalone thrillers and non-fiction, was married to fellow novelist Jane Thynne, with whom he had three children.
His wife wrote on Twitter: "RIP beloved Philip Kerr. Creator of the wonderful #BernieGunther. Genius writer and adored father and husband. 1956-2018."
Kerr's publisher Quercus Books said: "We are very sad to have lost Philip Kerr today, a wonderful man and a great author. We are thinking of @janethynne and all his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time."
Edinburgh-born Kerr studied law at the University of Birmingham before working as a copywriter at a number of advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi. He is said to have spent much of his time in the job researching an idea for a book about a Berlin-based policeman.
Following several trips to Germany his first novel,
, was published in 1989 and Bernie Gunther was born.
Kerr went on to trace the career of the tough-talking detective from 1930s Berlin through the horrors of the Third Reich, into the post-war era and to the cold war.
He also wrote the Scott Mason novels and a number children's books under the name P.B. Kerr including the Children of the Lamp series.