Books by H.R.F. Keating

H. R. F. Keating is an icon in the field of mystery novels. His latest honor is the Life Achievement Award from Malice Domestic. He has received much praise for his books, including the Harriet Martens and Inspector Ghote series. Keating has won the Gold


INSPECTOR GHOTE’S FIRST CASE by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 18, 2009

""Why, oh why, is it hard so often to decide what to do?" laments Ghote once he's in possession of the facts. Despite Protima's complaints, his indecision stems only from a delicacy that was evidently in full flower during his very first case."
Eight years after bringing down the curtain on the storied career of Bombay's Inspector Ghote (Breaking and Entering, 2001, etc.), Keating raises it once more for a prequel. Read full book review >
RULES, REGS, AND ROTTEN EGGS by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 10, 2008

"Harriet is muffled by frustration and grief for her son (One Man and His Bomb, 2006, etc.), and the detective work is a bit of a slog. The capture of the murderer, however, winds up Keating's usual suave handling of interrogations with a bang."
Detective Superintendent Harriet Martens's plan to resign from the Greater Birchester Police is put on hold when she witnesses a murder. Read full book review >
ONE MAN AND HIS BOMB by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 28, 2006

"The mystery is solved by a series of convenient, and conveniently delayed, recollections. It's a testament to this series that the death of the heroine's son produces a reaction that's stronger but no more heartfelt than usual."
The Hard Detective's cases (A Detective at Death's Door, 2005, etc.) always try her strength, but this one may be the hardest yet. Read full book review >
A DETECTIVE AT DEATH’S DOOR by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 16, 2005

"Middling for this quirky series, less penetrating than A Detective in Love (2002) but more resourceful and substantial than A Detective Under Fire (2004)."
A serial poisoner's first target is the Hard Detective of the Greater Birchester Police. Read full book review >
THE DREAMING DETECTIVE by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 3, 2005

"As thin a mystery as Keating has ever set, without the complexity of morals and motives that marks his best work."
The new chief constable of Greater Birchester Police gives Det. Supt. Harriet Martens (A Detective Under Fire, 2004, etc.) two weeks to solve a 30-year-old murder. Read full book review >
A DETECTIVE UNDER FIRE by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 11, 2004

"Readers will certainly feel for dogged Harriet, though the punchline, as so often in Keating's civilized entertainments, might better have suited a short story."
When a pesky London newspaper threatens to expose major corruption at the highest levels of the London force, the call goes out to the Hard Detective from the Midlands to investigate. Read full book review >
A DETECTIVE IN LOVE by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 2002

"Transcends Harriet's debut (The Hard Detective, 2000) to join Keating's trenchant studies of The Rich Detective (1993), The Good Detective (1995), The Soft Detective (1998), and The Bad Detective (1999)."
Because you never know when Eros may strike without warning or pity, John Piddock has an unusually broad-minded agreement with his wife, Det. Supt. Read full book review >
BREAKING AND ENTERING by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 19, 2001

"The usual indifferent mystery-mongering is spiced by a gallery of sharply observed social types, Keating's usual eye for the nuances of protocol, and a delicately comic sentence-by-sentence verbal texture that's almost vanished from the modern detective story."
While the favored officers in Bombay's Detection of Crime Branch investigate the high-profile murder of air-conditioning magnate Anil Ajmani, killed inside his closely guarded compound by someone who managed to circumvent all his elaborate security measures, Inspector Ganesh Ghote (Bribery, Corruption Also, 1999, etc.) has been shunted aside to the relatively minor case of the cat burglar who feisty old columnist Pinky Dinkarrao has dubbed Yeshwant. Read full book review >
THE HARD DETECTIVE by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 11, 2000

Detective Chief Inspector Harriet Martens, on a clean-up-Birchester campaign the press has dubbed `Stop the Rot," is pulled off the detail when her police comrades are killed according to the list in Exodus: Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Read full book review >
THE BAD DETECTIVE by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

"1088, etc.) captures the irony and desperation of Donald E. Westlake's comic capers, though without Westlake's ingenuity or antic humor."
Detective Sergeant Jack Stallworthy, of the Abbotsport CID, is so efficient that as soon as he looks over the burglary scene at Councillor Arthur Symes's house, he knows the burglar was Jinkie Morrison; he's so persuasive an interrogator that Jinkie's admitted the job five minutes after Stallworthy drops in on him; and he's so devoted a husband that he plans to put every pound of his share of the burglary proceeds toward the retirement his wife Lily dreams of. Read full book review >
BRIBERY, CORRUPTION ALSO by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Aug. 4, 1999

"Despite Protima's demurrals, though, it's reassuring to find Calcutta just as corrupt as Ghote's beat back in Bombay."
Before she met and married Inspector Ganesh Ghote of the Bombay Crime Branch, Protima was a Calcutta Bengali, and now that she's inherited an estate from her "cousin-uncle" Amit Chattopadhyay, she has every intention of rounding off her life in the land of her childhood. Read full book review >
THE SOFT DETECTIVE by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

"Veteran Keating (Asking Questions, 1997, etc.) cunningly draws out the particulars of the simple-seeming case that so vexes Benholme till the startlingly sudden resolution."
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Benholme, of the Barshire CID, is so agonizingly reflective that his ability to see every possible side of even the simplest questions has cost him his marriage as well as a certain amount of respect on the job. Read full book review >
ASKING QUESTIONS by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 10, 1997

"Beloved veteran Ghote (Doing Wrong, 1994, etc.) succeeds at last by tactfully asking every indiscreet question possible, except for the shudderingly obvious one that would've cut this archly amusing fable to short-story length."
 The exalted circle surrounding film star Asha Rani has long been enjoying the clandestine benefits of ACE-i, an experimental medication for hypertension that some obliging soul's been smuggling out of the Mira Behn Institute for Medical Research. Read full book review >
THE GOOD DETECTIVE by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"A dark fable that brings a welcome new tautness to Keating's work—though American audiences, 25 years after Dirty Harry, may wonder what all the fuss is about."
 Keating takes a break from his beloved Inspector Ghote series to resume his anatomy of constabulary ethics (The Rich Detective, 1993), this time with a study of a successful copper pushed to the wall when a slip from his past catches up with him. Read full book review >
DOING WRONG by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 31, 1994

"Please To Vote for Communist Party (Marxist'')—and Inspector Ghote's ineffable charm. (Author tour)"
 Inspector Ganesh Ghote has barely had time to clear off his desk since Cheating Death (p. 888) when he's called out on the strangling of Mrs. Shoba Popatkar, late Minister of Railways and sempiternal do-gooder. Read full book review >
CHEATING DEATH by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Something of a holiday from the intensity of Ghote's last appearance (The Iciest Sin, 1990) and Keating's most recent novel (The Rich Detective, 1993)—a return to the foolishly endearing manner that masked the sly social commentary of Ghote's earliest adventures."
 In the wake of the Central Bureau of Investigation's concise, polished, and utterly unhelpful report on a cheating scandal at Bombay's Oceanic College, Inspector Ghote is sent to ascertain how Bala Chambhar, the student now near death after an overdose of sleeping pills, could have purloined an exam paper from Principal Bembalkar's locked office. Read full book review >
THE RICH DETECTIVE by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 1, 1993

"All the dry-eyed penetration of an English Simenon, coupled with Keating's usual sly humor: a treat not to be missed."
 Keating's last Inspector Ghote novel (The Iciest Sin) focused on the ethics of detection; this ironic tale goes still further in exploring the obsession of Detective Inspector Bill Sylvester, who investigates an anonymous tip that polished antiques-dealer Charles Roanoke has killed three nursing-home residents for the money he's inveigled them into leaving him. Read full book review >
CRIME WAVES I by H.R.F. Keating
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 1, 1992

"Low-key and diverting, though lacking a standout."
 Retiring after a 25-year stewardship as editor of the annual Crime Writers Association anthology, Herbert Harris is replaced, this year, by critic/mystery writer Keating, who includes three original stories (Catherine Aird's slight car-mishap; Mike Ripley's droll plot against Shakespeare; and Michael A. Lewin's hilarious spin on Dan Quayle as an accidental detective), six EQMM reprints (his own paean to ``The Speckled Band''; David Williams's clever customs comeuppance; Robert Barnard's truly malicious tale of seasonal giving; Julian Symons's elegantly written suburban nightmare; Reginald Hill's melodramatic horror story; and Susan Moody's twist on the writer's experience with crime), plus eight stories unfamiliar to American readers from such as Antonia Fraser (Jemima Shore in jeopardy), Michael Gilbert (a keen look at business improprieties), Liza Cody (hooliganism at a theme park), and Simon Brett (a long, drawn-out bit of fatherly advice). Read full book review >