Monday, January 15, 2007

And So Say All of Us

I'm delighted to report that England's venerable drinking and writing group called the Detection Club has decided to celebrate one of its founders' 80th birthday with a collection of stories in his honor. H.R.F. Keating, known as Harry to friends, fans and colleagues, is a rare talent, author of the Inspector Ghote series of mysteries set in India as well as less-exotic but equally sleek and sly crime novels.

Prominent club members who celebrate him here include P.D. James, Peter Lovesey (who also does an ace job of editing the book), Reginald Hill, Colin Dexter and Len Deighton – in his first published story in recent memory, Sherlock Holmes and the Titanic Swindle. It's a jaunty, strange, occasionally baffling tale of swindlers and publishers (though its sometimes hard to tell the difference), which at 30 pages begins and anchors the collection in a way which Keating must have chortled at.