Friday, November 14, 2014

Rediscovering A Favorite

Lately, I've been reading and rereading thrillers by Dick Francis, the British champion jockey turned master mystery writer, whose books first came into my hands when I was a teenager in the '70s. I've read a fair number of his 40 plus books, and plan to read them all eventually.

Whether it's one I've read before or a new adventure, every book is interesting, exciting and beautifully written. His descriptions of the English countryside are vivid; his insight into human nature sometimes startling in its acuteness.

Always set against a racing background, each book is nonetheless unique, exploring some different aspect of life. For example, Banker's protagonist works in an investment bank and the mystery involves his job. Similarly in Risk, understanding the protagonist's work as an accountant helps in understanding the mystery. In Proof, the wine merchant protagonist has to solve a murder in the world of wine and spirits.

Of course, jockeys and former jockeys appear as Francis heroes as well, my favorite being Kit Fielding, who stars in Break In and Bolt.

Felix Francis, Dick's son who helped with research especially in latter years, has taken up his father's mantle and is now a successful writer in his own right. I've already read a couple of Felix's books and look forward to reading more.

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