H. R. F. Keating

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(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Henry Reymond Fitzwalter Keating was born on October 31, 1926, in St. Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, England, the son of schoolmaster John Hervey Keating and Muriel Marguerita Clews Keating. He attended Merchant Taylor’s School in London from 1940 to 1944, after which he served in the British army from 1945 until 1948, rising to the rank of acting lance corporal. Subsequently, he attended Trinity College, Dublin, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in 1952. He married actress Sheila Mary Mitchell in 1952, and the couple has three sons, Simon, Piers, and Hugo, and one daughter, Bryony. Following graduation from college, Keating worked as a subeditor on a Wiltshire newspaper, the Evening Advertiser, for three years (1952-1955). Afterward, he moved to London, where he worked for the Daily Telegraph (1955-1957) and The Times (1958-1960).

Keating’s first mystery novel, Death and the Visiting Firemen, appeared in 1959 and his second, Zen There Was Murder, in 1960. The first Inspector Ghote novel, The Perfect Murder (1964), brought him great acclaim, including the Gold Dagger Award and the Edgar Allan Poe Award. Since he began writing fiction, Keating has been extremely prolific, publishing an Inspector Ghote novel almost every year. With the beginning of the twenty-first century, Keating turned away from his most popular creation to begin a new series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Harriet Martens. Since her debut in The Hard Detective (2000), the Martens character has appeared on an almost annual basis.

Keating has also written a number of other novels—including a historical mystery series under the pseudonym Evelyn Hervey—as well as short stories, radio plays, a screenplay, and several full-length nonfictional works, most of which deal with crime and mystery fiction, including Murder Must Appetize (1975), Great Crimes (1982), Writing...

(The entire section is 421 words.)