Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
H.R.F. Keating

PhotoBiography
Henry Reymond Fitzwalter Keating was born in England on October 31, 1926. He served in the British army from 1945 to 1948 and in 1952 received a B.A. from Trinity College in Dublin. In 1953 Keating married the actress Sheila Mary Mitchell. They have four children, three sons and a daughter. Keating worked as a journalist but at the urging of his wife he began writing crime novels.

What he writes: Keating is best known for his Inspector Ghote (pronounced Go-tay) mystery series, which are based in Bombay, India. Inspector Ghote is an imperfect and often bumbling sleuth combining the humanity of Dr. Watson with the deductive abilities of Sherlock Holmes. The Inspector Ghote series has been praised for its vivid portrayal of the Indian mind and customs so it is surprising to learn that it was not until after Keating had written several titles in the series that he made his first trip to India. Before that he read everything he could find about the country and a friend familiar with India was consulted to avoid obvious errors. Keating is credited with being one of the first writers to introduce social issues into the mystery novel. In interviews Keating has commented that his style of writing is a subtle way to instill an awareness of these issues in readers’ minds.

His other mystery series is set in England and features Detective Chief Inspector Helen Martens. Keating has also written a mystery set in India during the last days of the British Raj in rhyming verse (Jack, the Lady Killer). In addition to crime fiction, Keating has written novels, plays, and written and edited several books about mysteries and mystery writers. Mr. Keating and his wife appeared at Skokie Public Library in 1997 and presented a delightful reading of one of his stories.

 

List of works
 
Inspector Ghote Series
  The Perfect Murder (1965) Go West, Inspector Ghote (1981)
  Inspector Ghote's Good Crusade (1966) The Sheriff of Bombay (1984)
  Inspector Ghote Caught in Meshes (1968) Under a Monsoon Cloud (1986)
  Inspector Ghote Hunts the Peacock (1968) The Body in the Billiard Room (1987)
  Inspector Ghote Plays a Joker (1969) Dead on Time (1989)
  Inspector Ghote Breaks an Egg (1970) Inspector Ghote, His Life and Crimes (1989)
  Inspector Ghote Goes by Train (1971) The Iciest Sin (1990)
  Inspector Ghote Trusts the Heart (1972) Cheating Death (1992)
  Bats Fly Up for Inspector Ghote (1974) Doing Wrong (1994)
  Filmi, Filmi, Inspector Ghote (1974) Asking Questions (1996)
  Inspector Ghote Draws a Line (1979) Bribery, Corruption Also (1999)
  The Murder of the Maharajah (1980) -
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Breaking and Entering (2000)
     
Harriet Martens Series
  The Hard Detective (2000) A Detective at Death's Door (2004)
  A Detective in Love (2001) One Man and His Bomb (2006)
  A Detective Under Fire (2002) Rules, Regs, and Rotten Eggs (2008)
  The Dreaming Detective (2004)  
     
Other fiction
  Zen There was Murder (1960) The Rich Detective (1993)
  The Dog It Was That Died (1962) The Good Detective (1995)
  Death of a Fat God (1966) The Soft Detective (1998)
  Death and the Visiting Firemen (1973) The Bad Detective (1999)
  A Remarkable Case of Burglary (1976) Jack, the Lady Killer (1999)
  A Rush on the Ultimate (1982)  
     

Awards and Honors

The Perfect Murder won the Gold Dagger Award and the Edgar Allan Poe Award. The Murder of the Maharajah won the author another Gold Dagger Award. The Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine short story prize was given for Sherlock Holmes: the Man and His World. In 1991 Keating was named a fellow in the Royal Society of Literature, in 1995 he was the recipient of the George N. Dove Award, and in 1996 the Crime Writers Association awarded Keating a Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement.

 
What the critics say
"What a joy to encounter a suspense novelist who sounds like absolutely no one but himself!" - New York Times (February 21, 1965)
"Keating…again underscores a knockout plot with crisp writing and intriguing characters." - Booklist (May 1, 2000)
"H.R.F. Keating, known as Harry to friends, is a rare talent..." - Chicago Tribune (February 4, 2007)

 

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