Francis, Dick

Francis, Dick (Richard Stanley Francis), 1920–2010, English novelist. He was a champion steeplechase jockey (1946–57) and a racing writer for a London newspaper (1957–73). Francis parlayed his knowledge of horse racing into successful mystery novels (he wrote more than 40), most of which share racetrack settings or elements. They include Dead Cert (1962, film 1974), his first mystery; Twice Shy (1982); Break In (1986); 10 Lb. Penalty (1997); Field of Thirteen (1998); and Under Orders (2006). Several of his stories have been adapted for television. He also teamed up with his son Felix Francis to write three novels, Dead Heat (2007), Silks (2008), and Even Money (2009). His autobiography, The Sport of Queens (1957, repr. 1986, 1993), chronicles his life through his years as a jockey.

See J. Swanson and D. James, The Dick Francis Companion (2003); S. Sugden, A Dick Francis Companion: Characters, Horses, Plots, Settings and Themes (2008); studies by M. Barnes (1986) and J. M. Davis (1989).

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