Asking Questions

Asking Questions

H. R. F. Keating


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Inspector Ghote, 'one of the great creations of detective fiction' (Alexander McCall Smith), faces snakes of both the reptile and human kind when he's called in to investigate a drug smuggling case turned deadly in this classic mystery - with a brand-new introduction by bestselling author Vaseem Khan. Inspector Ganesh Ghote is taken aback when Bombay's Commissioner of Police visits him at home early one morning, with a confidential request. The commissioner's film-star friend, Asha Rani, has asked for help with an unpleasant matter at the charity she supports, the Mira Behn Institute of Medical Research. Someone is smuggling samples of an experimental medicine out of the institute, made from the venom of poisonous snakes, and the last batch nearly killed film director - and Asha's 'close friend' - Mihir Ganguly. Ghote's task, he discovers, is to find and arrest the smuggler - on some other charge. Dismayed to be asked to frame a criminal for a crime they didn't commit, Ghote nevertheless launches into the investigation with his usual thoroughness. But at the Mira Behn Institute, he comes across an unexpected - and deadly - sight: snake-handler Chandra Chagoo lying dead on the floor of the Reptile Room, a viper slithering across his back . . .


H. R. F. Keating:
H. R. F. Keating, known as Harry to his family and friends, was born in St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, in 1926. He was educated at Merchant Taylors School in London and Trinity College, Dublin, before training as a journalist. As well as publishing over sixty books in his lifetime, Keating was the crime fiction reviewer for The Times for fifteen years and held many prestigious roles, including Chairman of the Society of Authors and President of the Detection Club. Keating's first novel about Inspector Ghote, The Perfect Murder, won the Gold Dagger of the Crime Writers Association and an Edgar Allen Poe Special Award, and was later made into a film by Merchant Ivory. He subsequently won many more awards, including the CWA's Cartier Diamond Dagger for outstanding services to crime literature. He lived in London with his wife, the actor Sheila Mitchell, until his death in 2011, aged eighty-four.