H. R. F. Keating was born at St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, in 1926. He went to Merchant Taylors, leaving early to work in the engineering department of the BBC. After a period of service in the army, which he describes as 'totally undistinguished', he went to Trinity College, Dublin, where he became a scholar in modern languages. He was also the crime books reviewer for The Times for fifteen years. His first novel about Inspector Ghote, The Perfect Murder, won the Gold Dagger of the Crime Writers Association and an Edgar Allen Poe Special Award. He died in London in March 2011 at the age of 84. He is survived by his wife, the actress Sheila Mitchell, and his three sons and a daughter. Alexander McCall Smith is an internationally bestselling Scottish writer, most widely known as the creator of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series of novels.