Michael Gilbert had a very long and very productive writing career, beginning with his first novel Close Quarters in 1946 and continuing to 1998 with Over and Out. He was recognized with the Crime Writers' Association's highest award, the Cartier Diamond Dagger, for an outstanding contribution to the genre of crime fiction. Both the Mystery Writers of America and the Swedish Academy of Detection honoured him as a Grand Master.
Gilbert was equally at home writing thrillers, espionage, police procedural and classic detection. He wrote 183 short stories and 30 novels, including Smallbone Deceased (1950), The Etruscan Net (1969) and The Empty House (1978).