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Author Focus:

Dick Francis

Fiction: Suspense and Intrigue; Horse Racing; Stable Fiction

  Literary gifts for book lovers, gorgeous gift ideas for readers, writers and literature fans
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Dick Francis
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Useful Links:
Felix Francis (Dick Francis's son)
Books on Ebay-see our specially prebuilt search below
Books on Amazon-see our special banner of titles below

Titles to Look Out For:
[in by date of publication with each entry dated to earliest edition. Each listing includes later editions and printings]
1974. Knock Down
1989. The Edge
26. 1987. Hot Money
1997. To The Hilt
2007. Dead Heat

About the Author:
Richard Stanley "DickFrancis CBE FRSL (31 October 1920 – 14 February 2010)
Dick Francis can't remember learning to ride - it came to him naturally, as naturally as learning to walk. Born in South Wales in 1920, he was a child star at horse shows and after six years' service in the RAF during World War 2, he made his entry into racing as an amateur rider, becoming a professional National Hunt jockey in 1948. He rode for the Queen Mother and in 1953-1954, he was made Champion Jockey.

Retiring in 1957, Dick became racing correspondent for the Sunday Express and began writing. His first book, published that same year, was his autobiography 'The Sport of Queens', which was more recently revised and updated. Dick Francis is the undisputed champion among thriller writers. A former National Hunt jockey, his first novel, Dead Cert, was published in 1962. Whip Hand won the 1980 Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award; and 'Forfeit' was awared the Edgar Allen Poe Mystery Prize for the best crime story of 1969. In the 1980s, Dick and his wife Mary (who helps with the research) lived on the edge of the Berkshire Downs, but in more recent years up to his death in 2010, he and his wife spent half their time in the UK and half in Florida

His son, Felix Francis, co-wrote the final few books with his father Dick, and has carried on the raceworld crime and thriller franchise

On Amazon:
Francis, Dick. 'Knock Down' published in 1980 in Great Britain by Pan Books (8th reprint), 189pp, ISBN 0330246208. Price: 50 pence, not including post and packing, which is Amazon's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1980, Pan Books, pbk
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  • Knock Down [top]
    First published (1st Edition) in 1974 in Great Britain by Michael Joseph in hardback, 206pp, 9780718112974
    Pan paperbacks edition published in 1975
    8th Pan paperback reprint published in 1980, 189pp, ISBN 0330246208

Storyline: Steeplechase jockeys, like all other professional sportsmen, have to find a second career for themselves as the years go by. Jonah Dereham, retiring from the saddle at thirty-two, chose to become a bloodstock agent and spent his life travelling round racehorse sales, finding and bidding for the sort of horse each of his clients wanted.
Jonah wanted only to mind his own business, but several disturbing incidents forced him to realise that someone was out to ruin him, and to survive he had to find the answers. A couple of bully boys began to put the boot in, and Jonah found himself progressively forced to fight for the survival of his horses, his business and himself. Hindered by a brother who hit the bottle, helped by a blonde in an orange MGB, he pressed onward to a rough conclusion.
Set in the world of bloodstock auction sales, Knock Down takes a sharp but tolerant look at what the racehorse dealing industry gets up to behind the scenes


1989, Pan Books, pbk
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  • The Edge [top]
    First published (1st Edition) in 1988 in Great Britain by Michael Joseph in hardback with dustjacket, 288pp, ISBN 0718137221
    First published in 1989 in Great Britain by Pan Books in paperback, 328pp, ISBN 0330310712

Storyline: To the jockey club, the racing world would be a better place without Julius Apollo Filmer. An expert in corruption with a devastating line in witness intimidation - and proving to be a slippery character to put behind bars. Baffled, they call in undercover security agent Tor Kelsey to keep an unflinching eye on Filmer and his associates. A mission that takes him from the finest of English racecourses to the wild Canadian interior - on a luxury transcontinental train journey to end them all. On board, a troupe of actors are playing out a murder mystery for the amusement of their diamond-studded passengers. Ideal cover for a secret investigator with secrets of his own. And better still for an ice-cool blackmailer for whom murder is just one of many options...

Francis, Dick. 'Hot Money', published in 1988 in Great Britain by Pan Books, in paperback, 278pp, ISBN 0330305050. Condition: good, but vintage and worn - has rubbing to the cover edges and corners and reading creases to the spine. There's some foxing (tanning) to internal pages. Price: £2.00, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (currently £2.85 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1988, Pan Books, pbk
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  • Hot Money [top]
    First published in 1987 in Great Britain by Michael Joseph in hardback
    First published in 1988 in Great Britain by Pan Books in paperback, 278pp, ISBN 0330305050. Cover photograph by Colin Thomas. Original price: £3.99 when first sold in 1988

Storyline: Malcolm Pembroke never expected to make a million pounds without making enemies. Nor did he expect his latest wife to be brutally murdered. All the clues suggest the killer comes from close to home - but after five marriages and nine children, that still leaves the field wide open.

When he finds his own life in danger, Pembroke entrusts his safety to his enstranged son, Ian, an amateur jockey; and through him discovers a compulsive new outlet for his financial expertise. Soon he's playing the international blood stock market for incredible stakes. Not the safest best for a man on the run from avaricious relatives. Particularly when one of them's got a bomb...

Characters:
The Pembrokes:

Malcolm Pembroke
His Wives: 1. Vivien, 2. Joyce; 3. Alicia; 4. Coochie; 5. Moira

Vivien's Children:
1. Donald, married to Helen
2. Lucy, married to Edwin
3. Thomas, married to Berenice

Joyce's Child:
1. Ian, unmarried

Alicia's Children:
1. Gervase, married to Ursula
2. Ferdinand, married to Debs
3. Serena, unmarried

Coochie's Children
1. Robin
2. Peter, dead

Francis, Dick. 'To The Hilt', published in 1997 in Great Britain by Pan Books, in paperback, ISBN 0330352253. Condition: Very good - barely used (if at all). Price: £3.00, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1996, Pan Books, pbk
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  • To The Hilt [top]
    First published in 1996 in Great Britain by Michael Joseph in hardback, 288pp, ISBN 9780718137540

    Published in 1997 in Great Britain by Pan Books in paperback, 393pp, ISBN 0330352253. Cover photograph by The Bridgeman Art Library; author photograph on the back by Adrian Houston

Storyline: Alexander Kinloch found solitude and a steady income painting in a bothy on a remote Scottish mountain. Until the morning the strangers arrived to rough him up, and Alexander was dragged reluctantly back into the real and violent world he thought he had left behind.

Millions of pounds are missing from his stepfather's business. A valuable racehorse is under threat. Then comes the first ugly death and the end of all Alexander's doubts. For the honour of the Kinlochs he will face the strangers ... up to the hilt...

Francis, Dick; Francis, Felix. "Dead Heat", published in 2008 in Great Britain by Pan Books, in paperback, 409pp, ISBN 9780330454827. Condition: Very good condition, well looked-after with a touch of rubbing to the cover corners and edges (light handling wear). Price: £2.99, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
2008, Pan Books, pbk
In stock, click image above to buy for £2.99 (very good condition), not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (£2.80 for UK buyers)

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  • Dead Heat [top]
    Written by Dick Francis and Felix Francis (his son)
    First published in 2007 in Great Britain by Michael Joseph in hardback, 384pp, ISBN 9780718153656
    First published in 2008 in Great Britain by Pan Books in paperback, 409pp, 9780330454827

Storyline: ‘I wondered if I was dying. I wasn’t afraid to die but, such was the pain in my gut, I wished it would happen soon.’

The night before the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket sees the great and the good of the horse-racing community gathered for a prestigious black-tie Gala dinner. It is a fitting testament to the glamour of the occasion that top chef Max Moreton is cooking the evening’s meal.

Max is something of a celebrity in Newmarket circles. He is founder of the racing town’s favourite Michelin-starred restaurant, the Hay Net. However, spending the night retching in the throes of agony is the last thing Max expects. But much worse is to come...his food is suspected of putting twenty-four of the dinner guests in hospital. Max’s pride and professionalism tells him all is not as it seems.

Within hours, Max’s restaurant is forcibly closed, his reputation teeters on the brink of ruin, and a court case looms. But the day is far from over, and soon Max Moreton finds himself desperately fighting for more than just his livelihood...

 



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