By the end of 2014 AudioGO is intending to have all the Inspector Ghote books available. The licences on 15 titles, previously recorded by other audio companies, have reverted and AudioGo is keen to publish the complete Ghote series, hopefully all recorded by Sam Dastor, who is the reader of those already available.
The 7 Harriet Martens already on their list, from ‘The Hard Detective’ through to ‘Rules, Regs and Rotten Eggs’, all read by Sheila Mitchell, have been joined by Harry’s 3 books, originally written under the pseudonym Evelyn Hervey, about a Victorian Governess, ‘The Governess’, ‘The Man of Gold’, and ‘Into the valley of Death’ also read by Sheila.
One of Harry’s most interesting excursions into the world of straight, as opposed to crime, fiction, ‘A Long Walk to Wimbledon’, read by Stephen Thorne, will be published this year about which PD James said, ‘HRF Keating brilliantly extends the scope of his considerable talent to describe a perilous walk through a dark, violent and lawless London, a desperate journey which becomes more than a personal odyssey of mercy’.
Sheila is also due this year to record his Victorian crime novel, ‘A Remarkable Case of Burglary’ as well as one of his earliest books, ‘Death of a Fat God’ in which his charlady sleuth Mrs Craggs first appeared hilariously investigating a back-stage murder at a provincial opera house.
While many of us who knew Harry well are still trying to come to terms with the yawning absence his death has left in our lives it is wonderful to report that HRF Keating lives on. Thanks to modern technology and in particular to the eBook some of his earlier titles are once again in ‘print’
At the end of September ‘Bloomsbury Reader’ launched and among their first batch of eBooks are eight Keating titles. From 1971 comes The Strong Man, an adventure story, which also examines the effect power has on humankind.
From 1975 a Victorian crime novel A Remarkable Case of Burglary. This is an upstairs/downstairs account coming from the time when Harry made an extensive study of the Victorian age for a dark, literary, but also gritty, non-crime novel, The Underside (this is not yet out as an eBook).
With still more to say about the Victorian era there are the three Miss Unwin books which were originally published in 1984/85/86 under the pseudonym Evelyn Hervey. Each book has a crime at the centre of its narrative but they also paint a vivid picture of the rigours of the life of a Victorian governess.
From 1978 comes Harry’s second foray into the straight novel, this time set in an unspecified future when disaster has struck and London is lawless and in ruins. In A Long Walk to Wimbledon we join the protagonist as he attempts to leave his home in North London and battle his way against the clock, as well as against physical and mental hazards, to reach his estranged and dying wife. To do this he has somehow to tackle the journey across the city to Wimbledon where she lives.
The last two in this batch of eBooks The Bad Detective (1996) and The Soft Detective (1997) come from the period when Harry felt he should bring his Indian Inspector Ghote series to a close. He decided to explore the characteristics to be found in British detectives and how these had an effect on the way they worked. These are numbers two and three in that short series – number four The Hard Detective (not part of this launch) featured Harriet Martens around whom he wrote a series of six further titles.
More details at www.bloomsburyreader.com/hrfkeating
The four Inspector Ghote titles recently published in paperback by Penguin Modern Classics with an endearing introduction by Alexander McCall Smith – Inspector Ghote Breaks an Egg; Inspector Ghote Trusts the Heart; Under a Monsoon Cloud and The Perfect Murder – are also available as Penguin eBooks.
As a result of Penguin Modern Classics (see below for details) deciding to reprint four of Harry’s back titles (available now), Audiogo, who used to be BBCAudio, are going to be doing new recordings of all four books.
The first of these, Inspector Ghote Breaks an Egg, will be available in July with the other three — The Perfect Murder, Under a Monsoon Cloud, and Inspector Ghote Trusts the Heart — to follow in later months. Watch this space for dates.
In the mean time, the recording of Harry’s latest book, A Small case for Inspector Ghote, by BBCAudio will be available in February this year. All titles come in digital, cassette and on CD.
Over the years all the Ghote titles have been made into Audio books by different Audio publishers, most of them read to perfection by Sam Dastor who is again the reader for the titles mentioned above.
As everyone knows Harry is an amazingly versatile writer, and one of his other series features Harriet Martens, a British detective. These seven books were recorded, with Sheila Mitchell as the reader, by BBCAudio and are still available.
On 7 April 2011, Penguin Modern Classics reprinted four Inspector Ghote titles, all of which are available both in stores and on Amazon.co.uk:
The Perfect Murder
Inspector Ghote Breaks an Egg
Inspector Ghote Trusts the Heart
and Under a Monsoon Cloud.
These titles carry a new introduction by Alexander McCall Smith. To read what McCall Smith had to say about the Ghote books in a 2008 article in The Times, please visit the Mentions page.