Sheila Mitchell

“Every picture tells a story and the one below is to say that I have responded to the Covid crisis and am now fully equipped to record books from my state-of-the-art home studio.”

Sheila Mitchell - Audio Book Recording

Photo by Alexander Milnes

“Having started recording books in 1951 for Woman’s Hour I continued working on all the other BBC slots – Book at Bedtime; the afternoon and early morning serials; mid-morning story. I subsequently moved to doing commercial, unabridged audio books.

These include:

Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth; many of Penelope Lively’s titles which include Moon Tiger; Arthur Ransom’s Swallows and Amazons; Molly Keane’s Time After Time; P.D.James autobiography, Time To Be In Earnest and Death Comes to Pemberley; the Harriet Marten’s series by H.R.F.Keating and, using the home studio, I have just completed two of those, One Man and His Bomb and Rules, Regs and Rotten Eggs for Audible.”


Just announced by the Mystery Readers International, the winners of the Macavity awards for 2020/21 and in the Best Mystery Critical/Biography category this has gone to Sheila Mitchell for HRF Keating: A Life of Crime published by Level Best Books of America.


Strand Magazine, October 2020


HRF (Harry) Keating is possibly Britain’s most acclaimed crime novelist. During his prolific career, he wrote over thirty crime novels, including twenty-one in his Inspector Ghote series for which he is best known. He also wrote four mainstream novels, and several non-fiction books. He began his writing career as a journalist and remained a reviewer for most of his writing life.

This biography, by his wife Sheila Mitchell, is a timely publication, almost ten years after his death. It gives a wealth of detail about the life of a man most readers know only from his books. Mitchell writes from deep personal knowledge of the man she was married to for fifty-eight years, and explores both his life as a writer – providing fascinating detail about his sources, his interests and the ways in which he researched and developed his books, but also detail about Harry Keating the man, his early life, the influences on it and his progression into a career as a writer, one of the best British crime fiction has ever produced.

– Andrew Gulli (editor) 

This biography is dense with facts, informative, funny and poignant by turns. It is a must for fans of HRF Keating, but is also for anyone who wishes to explore a writer’s life, or who wants real insight into the life of an individual who left his mark. Highly recommended.

– Danuta Reah