Michael Dibdin was born in 1947. He went to school in Northern Ireland, and later to Sussex University and the University of Alberta in Canada. He lived in Seattle.
After completing his first novel, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, in 1978, he spent four years in Italy teaching English at the University of Perugia. His second novel, A Rich Full Death, was published in 1986. It was followed by Ratking in 1988, which won the Gold Dagger Award for the Best Crime Novel of the year and introduced us to his Italian detective – Inspector Aurelio Zen. In 1989 The Tryst was published to great acclaim and was followed by Vendetta in 1990, the second story in the Zen series. Dirty Tricks was published in 1991. Inspector Zen made his third appearance in Cabal, which was published in 1992. The Dying of the Light, an Agatha Christie pastiche, was published in 1993. His fourth Zen novel, Dead Lagoon, was published the following year. His next novel, Dark Spectre, was published in 1995. Two more Zen novels followed: Cosi Fan Tutti, set in Naples, was published in 1996 and A Long Finish was published in 1998. Blood Rain, the seventh Zen novel, was published in 1999. Thanksgiving was published in 2000, with the eighth Zen, And Then You Die, appearing in 2002. Aurelio Zen returned in Medusa, in August 2003, and then again in Back to Bologna in 2005. His last novel, End Games, was published posthumously in July 2007.