Waiting for Orders collects nine short stories that span the sixty-year career of master spy novelist Eric Ambler. The stories include thrilling portrayals of wartime Europe in “The Army of the Shadows” (1939); six cases featuring a refugee Czech detective, Dr. Czissar (1940); “The Blood Bargain” (1972), a Central American political thriller; and “The One Who Did for Blagden Cole” (1992), a detective story of sorts about the death of a painter. In four accompanying essays, Ambler shares intriguing anecdotes from different phases of his career, offering unique insight into his writing process. This intriguing and varied collection is a perfect introduction to the life and writing of one of the twentieth century’s greatest thriller writers.
Eric Ambler was born in London in 1909. Before turning to writing full-time, he worked at an engineering firm, and wrote copy for an advertising agency. His first novel was published in 1936. During the course of his career, Ambler was awarded two Gold Daggers, a Silver Dagger, and a Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain, named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers Association of America, and made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. In addition to his novels, Ambler wrote a number of screenplays, including A Night to Remember and The Cruel Sea, which won him an Oscar nomination. Eric Ambler died in 1998.