Top Mystery review: A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler

Alternative title: The Mask of Dimitrios
Genre: Thriller
Year of publication: 1939
Type of mystery: Murder, fraud, espionage
Type of investigator: Amateur
Setting & time: Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, France, the years between the World Wars

Story: By chance, mystery writer Charles Latimer comes across information about a master criminal, Dimitrios, and decides, out of curiosity, to trace the man’s career.

Review: This is well-written and Dimitrios’s ‘career profile’ is realistic but it’s oh, so bloody boring and predictable that it took me 4 months to finish because I kept falling asleep reading it. I can only conclude that it made it onto these lists because it was undeniably ground-breaking in its time.

Rating: 2 stars
Books left in challenge: 78
Place on the list(s): CWA # 24; MWA # 17
Awards: Booker Prize, 1988


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