H. R. F. Keating

Henry Reymond Fitzwalter Keating (b. 31 October 1926) is an English crime fiction writer most notable for his series of novels featuring Inspector Ghote of the Bombay CID.


Henry Raymond Fitzwalter Keating, known as Harry to his family and friends, was born in St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex and typed out his first story at the age of eight. He was educated at Merchant Taylor's School in London and later Trinity College, Dublin. In 1956 he moved to London to work as a journalist on the Daily Telegraph newspaper. He was the crime books reviewer for The Times newspaper for fifteen years. He was Chairman of the Crime Writers' Association (CWA) (1970-71), Chairman of the Society of Authors (1983-84) and President of the Detection Club (1985-2000). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He received the George N. Dove Award in 1995. In 1996 the CWA awarded him the Cartier Diamond Dagger for outstanding services to crime literature. Keating is not only a durably successful crime novelist, but he has also written screen-plays, is an accomplished reviewer and wrote an excellent biography of Dame Agatha Christie entitled 'Agatha Christie: First Lady of Crime'.

He lives in London with his wife, the actress Sheila Mitchell.


Early novels

Keating's first four novels were published by Gollancz. With his fifth novel, Death of a Fat God (1963), he moved to Collins Crime Club, with whom he stayed for the next twenty years.

Inspector Ghote

Inspector Ganesh Ghote is an inspector in the Mumbai Police who appeared in twenty-four novels. The first was The Perfect Murder (1964), which won a Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award and was nominated for an Edgar Award. It was later made into a film by Merchant Ivory. Ghote's final appearance was in the novel Breaking and Entering (2000).

Keating did not visit India until ten years after he started writing about it.

Evelyn Hervey

In the mid-eighties Keating published three novels with Weidenefeld under the pseudonym Evelyn Hervey.

DCI Harriet Martens

Harriet Martens is a Detective Chief Inspector who earns the nickname "The Hard Detective" because of the tough image that she adopts to survive in the masculine world of UK policing. This toughness inspired her to start a "Stop the Rot" campaign that successfully reduced local crime but angered some violent criminals to the extent that they start murdering her officers. In the second book she falls in love with a fellow officer while investigating the murder of the UK's top tennis player. With her job under threat she fights to prove her worth in the third book.

Other novels

In 1978 Keating published A Long Walk to Wimbledon, a science-fiction novel about a man trekking across a ruined London to save his estranged wife.

In the 1990s Keating wrote several novels about UK police detectives whose human weaknesses adversely affect their work. The first of these was The Rich Detective (1993) in which Detective Inspector Bill Sylvester of South Mercia Police investigates an anonymous allegation that a local antiques dealer is murder old ladies after persuading them to change their wills in his favour. In A Bad Detective (1996) Detective Sergeant Jack Stallworthy is a corrupt police officer who is planning his retirement to Devon when a businessman offers him an entire tropical island in return for stealing an incriminating file from the Fraud Investigations Office at police headquarters.

In September 1999 Flambard Press published his verse novel Jack, the Lady Killer.


His guide to Writing Crime Fiction (1986) was based on his analysis of the development of the genre from the 1920s to the 1990s. It includes guidance on fictional structure, the plot and its characters, and on submitting a script to publishers.


Inspector Ghote

  • The Perfect Murder (1964)
  • Inspector Ghote's Good Crusade (1966)
  • Inspector Ghote Caught in Meshes (1967)
  • Inspector Ghote Hunts the Peacock (1968)
  • Inspector Ghote Plays a Joker (1969)
  • Inspector Ghote Breaks an Egg (1970)
  • Inspector Ghote Goes by Train (1971)
  • Inspector Ghote Trusts the Heart (1972)
  • Bats Fly Up for Inspector Ghote (1974)
  • Filmi, Filmi, Inspector Ghote (1976)
  • Inspector Ghote Draws a Line (1979)
  • Go West Inspector Ghote (1981)
  • The Sheriff of Bombay (1984)
  • Under a Monsoon Cloud (1986)
  • Dead on Time (1988)
  • The Iciest Sin (1990)
  • Inspector Ghote, His Life and Crimes (1989); short story collection
  • Cheating Death (1992)
  • Doing Wrong (1993)
  • Asking Questions (1996)
  • Bribery, Corruption Also (1999)
  • Breaking and Entering (2000)
  • Inspector Ghote's First Case (2008)

Harriet Martens

  • The Hard Detective (2000)
  • A Detective in Love (2001)
  • A Detective Under Fire (2002)
  • The Dreaming Detective (2003)
  • A Detective at Death's Door (2004)
  • One Man and His Bomb (2006)
  • Rules, Regs and Rotten Eggs (2007)

Other novels

  • Death and the Visiting Firemen (1959)
  • Zen There Was Murder (1960)
  • A Rush On the Ultimate (1961)
  • The Dog It Was That Died (1962)
  • Death of a Fat God (1963)
  • Is Skin-Deep, Is Fatal (1965)
  • The Strong Man (1971)
  • The Underside (1974)
  • A Remarkable Case of Burglary (1975)
  • Murder by Death (1976); novelization of Murder by Death (screenplay by Neil Simon)
  • A Long Walk to Wimbledon (1978); science-fiction novel
  • The Murder of the Maharajah (1980)
  • The Governess (1983); writing as Evelyn Hervey
  • Mrs. Craggs: Crimes Cleaned Up (1985); short story collection
  • The Man of Gold (1985); writing as Evelyn Hervey
  • Into the Valley of Death (1986); writing as Evelyn Hervey
  • The Body in the Billiard Room (1987)
  • The Rich Detective (1993)
  • The Good Detective (1995)
  • The Soft Detective (1997)
  • In Kensington Gardens Once... (1997); short story collection
  • The Bad Detective (1999)
  • Jack the Lady Killer (1999); novel in verse

Non-fiction books

  • Murder Must Appetize (1975)
  • Sherlock Holmes, the Man and His World (1979)
  • Great Crimes (1982)
  • Writing Crime Fiction (1986; 2nd ed. 1994)
  • Crime and Mystery: the 100 Best Books (1987)
  • The Bedside Companion to Crime (1989)


External links

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