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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Ambler, Eric

As a relatively recent author who enjoyed a reasonable amount of fame, Academy Award-winning Eric Ambler has many collectible books available in the market. However, like many other media-hopping authors, he appeals to those in both the book and film worlds, which means that for some pieces there is a lot more competition from fellow collectors.

The most highly prized Eric Ambler collectible is, without a doubt, a first edition signed copy of The Mask of Dimitrios, which can easily sell for $15,000 to more than $20,000. Other highly collectible books include first editions of Uncommon Danger, which is all but guaranteed to sell for more than $5,000 if it still has the dust jacket, Epitaph for a Spy, and Journey into Fear.

Collectors looking to start with a smaller budget are in luck; there are plenty of desirable Ambler books available to all budgets. The most common, and therefore most affordable, signed Ambler book is Ability to Kill. It is often possible to find copies of this book for under $30, even as a first edition; not terribly surprising, since it was published fairly recently in 1987. The Care of Time, first published in 1981, is another book that can be found at surprisingly affordable prices.

It is important to note that, as a British author, several of Ambler's books were first published in the United States under different titles. For example, Uncommon Danger was published in America as Background to Danger, and The Mask of Dimitrios was published in the states as A Coffin for Dimitrios. While these are not as valuable as the first printings of their British counterparts, an American first edition is often worth a fair sum as well, and a fine addition to any Ambler lover's collection.