Dick Francis Books in Order | Full List of 50+ Novels
Looking for Dick Francis’s books in order? Look no further!
Celebrated as one of the greatest thriller writers of all time, champion jockey turned bestselling author Dick Francis wrote forty-four thrillers in his illustrious career, including four with his son, Felix Francis, who later went on to write continuation novels in his father’s style.
All novels are set within the world of horse-racing, depicted meticulously, and Francis delights in resourceful heroes, psychopathic and sociopathic villains, pacey prose and compelling action. Pick any of these standalone titles and you’ll be gripped from page one with his lean and witty prose, robust storytelling and a masterclass in crime writing.
Here are all Dick Francis books in order.
Dick Francis books in order:
Dead Cert by Dick Francis
1. Dead Cert (1962)
Alan York’s friend, jockey Bill Davidson, was killed in Admiral’s fall. After the race, York visits the fence and discovers a coil of wire lying beside the fence post and signs of where the wire had been attached. The fall was no accident – but murder.
Unable to convince the police of this, York is forced to turn amateur sleuth and is soon on the trail of a ruthless gang of race-fixers operating out of Brighton. Now Alan’s caught in a new race: find the gang’s leaders before the gang catches up with him…
Nerve by Dick Francis
2. Nerve (1964)
Rob Finn’s winning streak made him one of the most sought-after steeplechase jockeys. But his subsequent collapse in form surprised no one more than himself.
As word spreads that Finn has lost his nerve, he discovers a well-managed campaign to discredit certain jockeys; in his own case, a plan assisted by horse doping. But to find the culprits behind it, Finn will have to use all his cunning and racing know-how…
For Kicks by Dick Francis
3. For Kicks (1965)
Daniel Roke owns a stud farm in Australia. He’s young, smart, hard-working and desperate for some excitement – all of which makes him the ideal candidate for the Earl of October, who has come visiting.
The Earl is concerned about a horse-doping scandal that is destroying English racing. He wants to pay Daniel to come back with him, pose as a highly corruptible stable lad and discover who is behind it. Unfortunately, when Daniel agrees he doesn’t realise how close he’ll have to get to find the truth. Nor how determined the criminals will be to prevent him living long enough to tell anyone…
Odds Against by Dick Francis
4. Odds Against (1965)
Champion jockey Sid Halley retired from racing when his hand was smashed in a fall. Now he works as a private detective – which is proving to be no less dangerous to life and limb.
Recuperating from a bullet wound, Sid is asked by his father-in-law to look into some potentially shady activity involving Seabury racecourse and a ruthless property dealer. But the closer Sid gets to those determined to get their hands on Seabury, the more he finds himself in harm’s way. The odds are against him – but that’s exactly when Sid is at his best…
Flying Finish by Dick Francis
Amateur jockey Lord Henry Grey decides on a whim to join the bloodstock market, transporting racehorses around the world. And when he meets the glamorous Gabriella in Italy, he is sure he’s hit the good life. That is, until a horse unexpectedly dies in transit and a colleague vanishes.
Then Grey discovers that both his predecessors also went missing in curious circumstances – and begins to doubt the wisdom of his career change. Either he turns detective or his own disappearance could be next…
Blood Sport by Dick Francis
6. Blood Sport (1967)
Gene Hawkins is a fixer for his boss Mr Keeble: if Keeble has a problem, Gene goes and fixes it. It’s that simple. Sometimes it requires the Luger he carries – mostly it doesn’t.
Now Keeble has summoned Gene back from a long-overdue holiday. It seems that a very expensive stallion has been taken in Kentucky. It’s the third high-value kidnapping in a few years.
Keeble wants his horse back. Gene is asked to go out there and find it. But what Gene doesn’t know is that he’s about to get involved with blackmailers and murderers. Looks like that Lugar will see some use…
Forfeit by Dick Francis
7. Forfeit (1968)
Bert Checkov, a racing correspondent, drunkenly confesses to fellow Fleet Street hack James Tyrone that he’s been giving his readers bum tips for years. Five minutes later, Checkov’s fallen out a seventh floor window.
Tyrone has a nose for a story and he’s convinced there’s more to his friend’s death than meets the eye. When he starts digging, he discovers that many of Checkov’s tips never even made it to the start. But the deeper Tyrone gets, the dirtier and more dangerous this business appears to be. If he’s not careful he’ll be following Checkov to his death…
Enquiry by Dick Francis
8. Enquiry (1969)
When Kelly Hughes rides the favourite into second place, he gets penalized for his trouble. Not only has he lost the race, but also his licence, as the Jockey Club suspends him – believing he threw the race.
Only he knows that the problem lay with the horse’s performance, not his own. Suspecting he was framed, Kelly sets about finding out how it was done, and then who might have done it. But the closer he gets to the perpetrators, the more danger he finds himself in. Now there’s more than his reputation and career at stake. There’s also his life.
Rat Race by Dick Francis
9. Rat Race (1970)
Matt Shore is a pilot down on his luck. Once he’d flown big jets and dropped supplies in war zones. Now he’s ferrying high-class passengers between English race courses.
But when one eventful trip ends with his plane exploding in a ball of fire, Matt knows he’s not that unlucky. When the police confirm it was a bomb, Matt realises he has a problem. One of his passengers must have been the target – the question is who? Matt to find out fast – because he’s scheduled to ferry the same people over the coming weeks. Can Matt stay alive long enough to stop the bomber?
Bonecrack by Dick Francis
10. Bonecrack (1971)
At midnight Neil Griffon’s home is broken into and he is abducted by masked men. When he wakes up, hours later, Neil discovers that ‘unless he cooperates’ his kidnappers will destroy his father’s racing stable, his precious horses and even Neil himself.
Returning to the stables, Neil can tell no one about his ordeal, or his kidnappers’ threats of violence if he does not comply with their demands. Trapped, Neil refuses to surrender – and devises an ingenious scheme to beat his kidnappers at their own game.
Smokescreen by Dick Francis
11. Smokescreen (1972)
Edward Lincoln has scaled the Himalayas, survived deadly car chases and defeated scores of assassins. As a movie action man he’s even suffered stoically at the hands of sadistic directors.
After finishing his latest film, he’s asked to visit South Africa to discover why a dying friend’s horses are suddenly failing on the race track. Unfortunately, Lincoln’s attempt to help a friend soon puts him in harm’s way. From a nearly fatal interview to a dangerous accident in a gold mine, it seems only luck is keeping him alive. And in life, unlike the big-screen, there’s no coming back from dead…
Slay Ride by Dick Francis
12. Slay Ride (1973)
David Cleveland – an investigator for the Jockey Club – is sitting in a dinghy in a pleasant little fjord in Norway. He’s here to help the Norwegians find out why Bob Sherman, a visiting English rider, has done a runner with the racehorse takings. He thinks it’ll be a straightforward job, and he’ll get to spend some time with old friends.
But when the dinghy is hit by a speedboat and Cleveland almost drowns, he realises that there is more to this case than some missing money – especially when a dead body turns up. Now Cleveland knows the stakes are dangerously high. A sensible man would leave it to the police and go back home to England. Except, it turns out, that England isn’t safe either…
Knock Down by Dick Francis
13. Knock Down (1974)
Jonah Dereham is a bloodstock agent who buys and sells horses for his clients. As an ex-jockey, it’s the ideal quiet life – until Jonah is attacked by thugs out to sabotage his business. Unfortunately for them, Jonah’s a man with a steely resolve. He’s determined to find out who is trying to ruin him, and why.
But staying honest is more dangerous than Jonah could have imagined. And with his horses, his business and his own life on the line, Jonah must hit back – before he’s taken down for good.
High Stakes by Dick Francis
14. High Stakes (1975)
When inventor Stephen Scott abruptly fires his winning trainer Jody Leeds, the racing world is shocked and disgusted – though not quite as angry as Leeds, who swears revenge on his former friend.
But Steven is convinced that Leeds has been stealing from him – and worse – and felt he had no choice. And when Leeds decides to enact his vengance, Steven finds out just what a nasty piece of work he really is. Because now Steven is not only in fear of losing everything – but also his life. Somehow, he must prove to the world that Leeds is a vicious crook – or die trying…
In the Frame by Dick Francis
15. In the Frame (1976)
Charles Todd, a successful artist who paints horses, arrives at his cousin Donald’s house and stumbles on a grisly scene: police cars everywhere, his cousin arrested for murder and Donald’s wife brutally slain.
Believing – unlike the police – Donald’s story of a burglary gone wrong, Charles follows clues which lead him from England to Australia and a diabolical scheme involving fraud and murder. But soon Charles realises that someone is on his trail. Someone who wants to make sure that Charles won’t live long enough to save Donald.
Risk by Dick Francis
16. Risk (1977)
As an amateur jockey, Roland Britten was lucky, and as an accountant he was rigorous. He knew he was on the hate list of several fraudsters, but never thought pen-pushers got kidnapped. And not from a racecourse right after beating the odds to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Held prisoner, Britten has no idea who his kidnappers are nor why they have abducted him. Only when resourceful school headmistress Hilary Pinlock gives him the opportunity to escape is he able to seriously think about what has happened and turn his logical mind to track down his abductors. But his kidnappers haven’t finished with him yet – and they’ll risk anything to get hold of him once again…
Trial Run by Dick Francis
17. Trial Run (1978)
Ex-steeplechaser Randall Drew is reluctantly off to pre-Olympic games Moscow, as a favour to royalty. One of the blue bloods is destined to compete in the games and there are concerns – both of safety and of scandal – that only Drew, with his racing connections, can clear up.
On arriving – speaking no Russian and wishing he were back home – Drew is supposed to identify and contact one Alyosha to clear up the scandal. Instead, he finds himself tailed by the KGB and embroiled in foiling a terrorist plot – or die trying. Home seems an awful long way away – and if he’s not careful, he’ll be going back in a box.
Whip Hand by Dick Francis
18. Whip Hand (1979)
One-handed ex-jockey Sid Halley works as a private detective, using his racing knowledge to solve crimes that baffle the police. He’s asked to investigate the possible doping of the horses of thoroughbred trainer George Casper – whose once-successful mounts have been failing spectacularly on the race track. At the same time he learns that a conman has left his ex-wife Jenny facing a jail sentence over a fake charity, while the Jockey Club want him to look into certain powerful syndicates who may be acting in a ruthless and illegal manner.
Quickly, Sid discovers that each of his investigations is entirely unwelcome. But he isn’t put off easily – not even when a threat is made to take off his remaining good hand.
Three dangerous cases, three ways to die – Sid is back on home turf…
Reflex by Dick Francis
19. Reflex (1980)
Jockey and amateur photographer Philip Nore knows all too well how it feels to take a tumble from a horse. He also knows what it’s like to feel the wrath of furious owners and trainers. You can’t always be a winner.
George Millace hated winners. As a photographer he specialized in taking pictures that exposed the failings of riders. But now he’s dead – and no one seems very sorry.
But when Millace’s home is broken into during his funeral and Nore finds himself helping clear up, he finds something unexpected. Millace had other pictures – ones people will go to desperate lengths to possess. Now he must find out who wants them – and fast. Because if George Millace’s death was no accident then his killers are getting closer…
Twice Shy by Dick Francis
20. Twice Shy (1981)
Physics teacher (and crack shot) Jonathan Derry is given some tapes to look after by a friend. They’re not your usual tapes: they hold a computer programme which functions as a bookie-breaking betting system. When Jonathan’s friend is then killed in a suspicious explosion and two thugs turn up at his house waving guns and demanding the tapes, Jonathan realises that he’s been handed a whole lot more trouble.
Jonathan knows he won’t be left alone unless he gives them what they want. However, he decides to play his own game. After all, he’s a crack shot. He can look after himself – can’t he?
Banker by Dick Francis
21. Banker (1982)
Tim Ekaterin has a lot of money. Unfortunately, it is other people’s, and it is his job to invest it wisely, or get fired. And right now he’s taken a big risk: using £5 million to stud a champion racing stallion. When the resulting foals have birth defects, Tim is worried and decides that there may be something else going on at the stables. His suspicions are confirmed when one of those helping with the horses is murdered.
Now it’s not just about money, but about life and death. Determined to get to the bottom of why anyone would do this, Tim puts himself in danger’s path to discover the truth…
The Danger by Dick Francis
22. The Danger (1983)
A beautiful Italian girl driving home in an open top sports car, a little boy playing on a south Coast beach and the Senior Steward of the Jockey Club on his way to a press reception in Baltimore. One after the other they suffer the same nightmare ordeal – kidnapping. But there is one thing connecting these particular cases. For the Italian girl is a jockey and the little boy an only son of a race horse owner.
A picture of the person behind this international chain of crime starts to emerge – a lover of Verdi, a man with a cool and calculating brain and an aficionado of the racing world. Andrew Doublas, brought in to advise and help the victims and their families, proceeds with all his customary diplomacy and courage. Only to find himself playing a dangerous part: the role usually reserved for his clients…
Proof by Dick Francis
23. Proof (1984)
Wine merchant Tony Beach will do anything for a quiet life. But when a party to celebrate the end of the racing season ends in eight violent deaths, he is drawn reluctantly into the subsequent investigation.
Meanwhile, the police, having evidence of the sale of illicit alcohol at a local club, ask for Tony’s help in closing it down. But with his intervention, Tony comes to the attention of the criminal underworld.
And that’s when he reluctantly realizes that the deaths and the illicit alcohol are connected. Tony doesn’t want to be a hero. But if the choice is that or dying…
Break In by Dick Francis
24. Break In (1985)
Steeplechase jockey Kit Fielding has just ridden another winner for his patron – the Princess – when his distraught twin sister Holly comes to him with terrible news. A newspaper is printing stories which will put her husband, Bobby Allardeck, and his stables out of business.
Putting aside the age-old Fielding-Allardeck feud, Kit decides to try to find out who is behind these cruel stories. This, he quickly discovers, puts a lot of noses out of joint. Not one to be put off easily, he keeps digging, upsetting powerful and ruthless people who’ll do anything to protect themselves. But this is family and Kit will risk everything – including his neck – to find the truth…
Bolt by Dick Francis
25. Bolt (1986)
Jockey Kit Fielding’s patron, Princess Casilia, is in trouble. Her invalid husband is being threatened by a ruthless business partner who wants to use the firm to manufacture arms. At the same time, some of the Princess’s best horses are being killed – shot by a bolt.
The only person the Princess can turn to is Kit – but he has problems of his own. His fiance Danielle has taken a shine to another man. And his old feud with Maynard Allardeck, racing steward and hereditary enemy of the Fieldings, might lose him his license to race.
Between riding winners (and trying to save his impending marriage) Kit has somehow to find out and stop who is slaughtering the horses. But, as he’s about to discover, the killer has more than horses in his sights.
Hot Money by Dick Francis
26. Hot Money (1987)
Malcolm Pembroke didn’t get rich without making a few enemies – not least among the five wives and nine children left like wreckage in his wake. But when Moira, his fifth wife, is murdered and Malcolm believes that someone is out to get him, he knows of only one person he can turn to: his estranged son, Ian.
Ian – an amateur jockey – wants nothing to do with his father until it becomes clear the old man’s life is in danger. And worst of all the evidence suggests it’s from someone in the family. Can Ian work out who it is before they strike again?
The Edge by Dick Francis
27. The Edge (1988)
Tor Kelsey, an undercover agent for the Jockey Club’s security service is involved in the attempt to rid racing of one of its most notorious villains, Julius Apollo Filmer. The court however, does not go along with their beliefs, but Tor knows that to let Julius even suspect the service are still on his tail would mean certain death for a number of witnesses.
Meanwhile, several racehorse owners have planned a luxurious train trip across Canada, with race meetings fixed for every major city. Julius Apollo Filmer and Tor are on the passenger list. The beautiful journey through the Rockies gets uglier by the minute and Tor finds himself pushed to dangerous limits to defeat Filmer’s wily scheming.
Longshot by Dick Francis
29. Longshot (1990)
Life as a writer is colder, hungrier work than John Kendall had bargained for. Not even the survival guides he’s written can help him. So when notorious racehorse trainer Tremayne Vickers approaches Kendall to write his biography, it’s an offer the impoverished writer can’t turn down.
Moving into Vickers’ country home, Kendall quickly becomes immersed in his host’s lifestyle: riding racehorses, making friends, and getting to know the family. But then a local stable girl is found dead – and the party’s over.
A killer is lurking in the shadows. And Kendall’s own survival tips are about to become more useful – and more deadly – than he could ever have imagined…
Comeback by Dick Francis
30. Comeback (1991)
Foreign Office diplomat Peter Darwin is returning to England, back to his childhood home of Gloucestershire. But instead of a pleasant trip down memory lane, Peter finds himself coming to the aid of a veterinary surgeon whose operating theatre is rapidly turning into an abattoir.
In fact a string of valuable racehorses have suffered unexplained deaths, and the police are baffled. When Darwin looks into the mystery he finds that his connections – and his memories – help him uncover criminal activities that stretch back all the way to his childhood. But the more Darwin uncovers, the closer he gets to a killer who just can’t stop…
Driving Force by Dick Francis
31. Driving Force (1992)
Ex-jockey Freddie Croft now runs a fleet of vehicles which transport racehorses across the British Isles and Europe. But when two of his drivers pick up a hitchhiker who ends up dead, Freddie’s got a big problem. First, it quickly becomes apparent that the hitcher wasn’t quite what he seemed. And second, Freddie finds that his horse boxes might just be being used for moving something a lot less legal than horses.
Now he must figure out what is going on before the police, and before whoever is doing it cottons on and tries to stop him – permanently.
Decider by Dick Francis
32. Decider (1993)
Free choice? There’s no such thing, according to Lee Morris. Choice is pre-ordained by your personality. Stratton Park racecourse faces ruin in the hands of a squabbling family. Lee is slowly sucked into the turmoil, unwillingly on the surface but half-understanding the deep compulsions that influence his decisions. One road leads to safety, another to death. How do you know which is which?
Lee’s choices and their consequences bring deadly results, but the road out of the quicksand is there, if he can find it. Horses and racing are familiar ingredients, but this time there are also children, houses, roots and decisions. Danger? Naturally. Stratton Park racecourse is worth multi-millions, and all of the Stratton family are playing to win.
Wild Horses by Dick Francis
33. Wild Horses (1994)
Valentine, a blind, confused and dying old man, seeking his peace with God, makes his last confession to a visiting friend, Thoms Lyon, mistaking him for a priest.
Thomas, in Newmarket to research for a new film, is placed in a moral dilemma. Wild horses wouldn’t drag from a priest the secrets of the confessional – but then Thomas is not a priest. Should he tell what he knows from the confession, or not? He discovers that the solution to his quandary could mean the difference between life and death.
Come to Grief by Dick Francis
34. Come to Grief (1995)
Sid Halley, ex-champion jockey turned investigator, is facing his toughest test. A number of horses have been brutally mutilated, horrifying their owners and the general public. Even Sid’s friend, broadcaster Ellis Quint, has been moved to make a shocking programme about it.
But when Sid is asked to look into the case, the evidence he uncovers points in a startling direction and he finds that his head must overrule his heart. As friends and associates are angered by his discoveries, so Sid is drawn into a terrible web of conspiracy and intrigue. Escape will require all his legendary wits and cunning…
To the Hilt by Dick Francis
35. To the Hilt (1996)
Just after learning that his stepfather is gravely ill, artist Al Kinloch, returning to his remote home in the Scottish Highlands, is attacked by four men. They ask one question – ‘where is it?’ – then leave him for dead.
Baffled and hurt, Al visits his stepfather and learns millions of pounds are missing and a valuable racehorse is under threat. Roughed up already, Al decides he has nothing to lose getting to the bottom of this. Unfortunately, the thugs who beat him up and the person behind them will make sure that Al doesn’t survive their next encounter…
10-lb Penalty by Dick Francis
36. 10-lb Penalty (1997)
Seventeen-year-old Benedict Juliard’s ambitions of becoming a steeplechase jockey are dashed when he’s falsely accused of taking drugs. For his estranged father, however, this is an opportunity. A wealthy businessman running for a parliamentary by-election in Dorset, Juliard Senior needs all the help he can get – especially when the campaign moves from mudslinging to something more deadly.
Now young Benedict has to grow up fast, not only to find out who is trying to harm his father’s chances of election but also to keep him alive long enough to stay in the race…
Field of Thirteen by Dick Francis
37. Field of Thirteen (1998)
A collection of thirteen short stories by the Master of Crime. Ranging from the National Hunt Festival at Cheltenham to Churchill Downs in America, each of the stories contains an array of five-star Dick Francis characters, a brilliant plot to marvel over and an ingenious sting in the tail to gasp over.
Second Wind by Dick Francis
38. Second Wind (1999)
Perry Stuart, TV meteorologist, chiefly predicts periods of English drizzle, with bursts of heavier rain and sunshine to follow. His life calm and ordered, his face familiar to every British household, Stuart’s profound weather knowledge and accuracy have given him high status among forecasters, but no physical baptism by storm.
Not, that is, until a fellow forecaster offers him a Caribbean hurricane-chasing ride in a small aeroplane as a holiday diversion. By frightening accident, Stuart learns more secrets from the flight than wind speeds and back home in England he faces threats and danger as deadly as anything that nature can evolve.
Shattered by Dick Francis
39. Shattered (2000)
Cheltenham Races, New Year’s Eve. Gerard Logan witnesses the death of his close friend, jockey Martin Stukely, after a fall from his horse. In the aftermath, Gerard is left to pick up the pieces – including a mysterious unmarked videotape that Martin secretly left him. But before Gerard gets to watch it, the videotape is stolen.
And soon further crimes against Gerard and those close to him start to occur. What was on the missing videotape? And why are the attacks continuing? In order to stay alive, Gerard needs to keep one step ahead of his enemies and uncover the truth – before his livelihood and everything he loves is shattered for good.
Under Orders by Dick Francis
40. Under Orders (2006)
Sadly, death at the races is not uncommon. However, three in a single afternoon was sufficiently unusual to raise more than an eyebrow.
It’s the third death on Cheltenham Gold Cup Day that really troubles super-sleuth Sid Halley. Former champion jockey Halley knows the perils of racing all too well; but in his day, jockeys didn’t usually reach the finishing line with three .38 rounds in the chest. But this is precisely how he finds jockey Huw Walker, who, only a few hours earlier, had won the coveted Triumph Hurdle.
Just moments before the gruesome discovery, Halley had been called upon by Lord Enstone to make discrete enquiries into why his horses appeared to be on a permanent losing streak. Are races being fixed? Are bookies taking a cut? And if so, are trainers and jockeys playing a dangerous game with stakes far higher than they realise?
Halley’s quest for answers draws him ever deeper into the darker side of the race game, in a life-or-death power play that will push him to his very limits, both professionally and personally.
Books with Felix Francis:
Dead Heat by Dick Francis
41. Dead Heat (2007) with Felix Francis
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…
Silks by Dick Francis and Felix Francis
42. Silks with Felix Francis (2008)
When defence barrister Geoffrey Mason hears the judge’s verdict, he quietly hopes that a long and arduous custodial sentence will be handed down to his arrogant young client. That Julian Trent only receives eight years seems all too lenient. Little does Mason expect that he’ll be looking Trent in the eyes again much sooner than he’d ever imagined.
Setting aside his barrister’s wig, Mason heads to Sandown to don his racing silks. An amateur jockey, his true passion is to be found in the saddle on a Thoroughbred, pounding the turf in the heat of a steeplechase. But when a fellow rider is brutally murdered – a pitchfork driven through his chest – Mason’s racing life soon becomes all too close to his working life. The prime suspect is one of their brethren, champion jockey Steve Mitchell; the evidence is overwhelming.
Mason is reluctant to heed Mitchell’s pleas for legal advice – but soon he finds himself at the centre of a sinister web of threat and intimidation. Mason is left fighting a battle of right and wrong, and more immediately, a battle of life and death… his own.
Even Money by Dick Francis and Felix Francis
43. Even Moneywith Felix Francis (2009)
Royal Ascot’s first day, and bookmaker Ned Talbot watches helplessly as a string of favourites come in. With the punters totting up their winnings, he counts his losses. Then an old man steps forward with a very different claim. The father Ned never knew – long ago believed killed in a car crash – is standing before him.
Barely an hour later, Ned’s newly-found father is dying in Ascot’s car park. Stabbed by an unknown assailant, he warns Ned ‘be very careful’. But of whom? Of what? Ned races to discover the truth behind his father’s disappearance and sudden reappearance. It’s not just money on the line now. It’s lives.
Crossfire by Dick Francis and Felix Francis
44. Crossfire with Felix Francis (2010)
Captain Thomas Forsyth’s tour of Afghanistan is cut brutally short when he is badly wounded by a roadside bomb. Returning home, to his mother – a racehorse trainer and the ‘First Lady’ of racing – Tom discovers the training business is on the edge, and facing a threat far more dangerous than a run of bad form.
Tom finds himself on a very different, but just as deadly, battlefield where his military skills are tested… kill or be killed?
Books by Felix Francis:
Gamble by Felix Francis
45. Gamble: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (2011)
Nick Foxton once won the Grand National, but a terrible accident cut his racing career short. Years later, he is returning to Aintree – as a spectator – when he once more finds himself the centre of attention. Minutes before the big race, Nick’s colleague, financial adviser Herb Kovak, is shot dead and the gunman vanishes into the crowd. The police want answers but Nick can’t explain why anyone would want Herb dead.
Yet when he finds a threatening message crumpled in Herb’s coat, Nick begins questioning all he knows about his friend. And on learning that he is the benefactor of Herb’s will, Nick is certain that something is not right. A fact confirmed when Nick discovers he’s next in the killer’s firing line.
Bloodline by Felix Francis
46. Bloodline: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (2012)
When Mark Shillingford commentates on a race in which his twin sister Clare, an accomplished and successful jockey, comes in third, he can’t help but be suspicious. As a professional race-caller, he knows she should have won. Did she lose on purpose? Was the race fixed? Why on earth would she do something so out of character?
That night, Mark confronts Clare with his suspicions, but she storms off after an explosive argument. It’s the last time Mark sees her alive. Hours later, Clare jumps to her death from the balcony of a London hotel… or so it seems.
Devastated by her death, and almost overcome with guilt, Mark goes in search of answers. What led Clare to take her own life? Or was it not suicide at all…?
Refusal by Felix Francis
47. Refusal: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (2013)
When Sir Richard Stewart, chair of the horse racing authority, demands ex-investigator Sid Halley examines some suspicious races, he is given a firm no. Sid retired six years ago – and nothing will make him go back. But he’s wrong.
Next day, Sir Richard is found dead. Then Sid’s six-year-old daughter goes missing and he receives an anonymous call: declare the alleged race-fixing clean, or else. With his family in danger, how can Sid refuse?
But this anonymous foe has underestimated the guile and determination of Sid Halley. Extreme situations demand extreme solutions and Sid will do anything to get his life back, or die trying.
Damage by Felix Francis
48. Damage: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (2014)
Jeff Hinkley, undercover investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, is looking into the shady activities of a racehorse trainer. But as he’s tailing his quarry through the Cheltenham Racing Festival, the last thing he expects to witness is a gruesome murder. Could it have something to do with the reason the trainer was banned in the first place – the administration of illegal drugs to his horses?
Days later, it’s discovered that many more horses test positive for prohibited stimulants, a scandal that could throw horse-racing into disrepute. It’s no surprise when the BHA receives a demand – pay up or face the consequences. In order to limit the damage to the sport, it’s critical that Jeff find the perpetrator . . . but he’ll soon learn he’s up against someone who will stop at nothing to prevail . . .
Front Runner by Felix Francis
49. Front Runner: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (2015)
Jefferson Hinkley is back. In his role as an undercover investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, Jeff is approached by the multi-time champion jockey, Dave Swinton, to discuss the delicate matter of losing races on purpose. Little does Jeff realise that the call would result in an attempt on his life, locked in a sauna with the temperature well above boiling point.
Dave Swinton is then found dead, burnt beyond recognition in his car at a deserted beauty spot. The police think it’s a suicide but Jeff is not so sure. He starts to investigate the possible races that Swinton could have intentionally lost but discovers instead that others are out to prevent him from doing so, at any cost.
Triple Crown by Felix Francis
50. Triple Crown: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (2016)
Jeff Hinkley, a British Horseracing Authority investigator, has been seconded to the US Federal Anti-Corruption in Sports Agency (FACSA) where he has been asked to find a mole in their organisation, an informant who is passing on confidential information to fix races.
Jeff goes in search of answers, taking on an undercover role as a groom on the backstretch at Belmont Park racetrack in New York. But he discovers far more than he was bargaining for, finding himself as the meat in the sandwich between FACSA and corrupt individuals who will stop at nothing, including murder, to capture the most elusive and lucrative prize in the world – the Triple Crown.
Pulse by Felix Francis
51. Pulse: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (2017)
Chris Rankin is a doctor, a specialist in Emergency Medicine at Cheltenham Hospital, but a doctor who also has health problems.
A smartly dressed man has been found unconscious at the local racecourse and is rushed to the hospital, where he subsequently dies. But who is he? Where does he come from? He had no form of identification on him, and no one claims the body.
Doctor Rankin is intrigued by the nameless dead man, obsessed even, and starts asking questions. However, someone doesn’t want the questions answered and will go to any lengths to prevent it, including attempting murder. But no one else believes that someone tried to kill Chris, leaving the doctor no option but to discover who the nameless man is and why he died, preferably before following him into an early grave.
Crisis by Felix Francis
52. Crisis: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (2018)
Harrison Foster is a lawyer by training but works as a crisis manager for a London firm that specializes in such matters. Summoned to Newmarket after a fire in the Chadwick Stables slaughters six very valuable horses, including the short-priced favourite for the Derby, Harry (as he is known) finds there is far more to the ‘simple’ fire than initially meets the eye. For a start, human remains are found amongst the equestrian ones in the burnt-out shell. All the stable staff are accounted for, so who is the mystery victim?
Harry knows very little about horses, indeed he positively dislikes them, but he is thrust unwillingly into the world of Thoroughbred racing where the standard of care of the equine stars is far higher than that of the humans who attend to them.
The Chadwick family are a dysfunctional racing dynasty, with the emphasis being on the nasty. Resentment between the generations is rife and sibling rivalry bubbles away like volcanic magma beneath a thin crust of respectability.
Harry represents the Middle-Eastern owner of the Derby favourite and, as he delves deeper into the unanswered questions surrounding the horse’s demise, he ignites a fuse that blows the volcano sky-high, putting him in grave jeopardy. Can Harry solve the riddle before he is overcome by the toxic emissions from the eruption and is bumped off by the fallout?
Guilty Not Guilty by Felix Francis
53. Guilty Not Guilty: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (2019)
Bill Russell is acting as a volunteer steward at Warwick races when he confronts his worst nightmare – the violent death of his much-loved wife. But worse is to come when he is accused of killing her and hounded mercilessly by the media. His life begins to unravel completely as he loses his job and his home. Even his best friends turn against him, believing him guilty of the heinous crime in spite of the lack of compelling evidence.
Bill sets out to clear his name but finds that proving one’s innocence is not easy – one has to find the true culprit, and Bill believes he knows who it is. But can he prove it before he becomes another victim of the murderer.
Guilty Not Guilty by Felix Francis
54. Hands Down: A Dick Francis Novel by Felix Francis (2022)
Sid Halley’s wife Marina has decided she needs some time out of their marriage to think about the future and Sid is devastated. But then Gary Bremner, an ex-jockey trainer, calls him to ask for his help – he is being threatened by someone in the racing world and he needs a friend he can trust. However, the very next morning, Gary’s stable yard is torched, horses killed, and Gary has disappeared.
Determined to uncover the truth and to help his friend, Sid starts to investigate.Can Sid get to the bottom of what’s going on before he too becomes a victim, while, at the same time, saving his marriage?
There you have it – all Dick Francis books in order! How many have you read? Let us know in the comments below…