Dick Francis Books

Dick Francis was more of an inventor than he was a writer. His writing style has inspired entire generations of writers and molded our thinking to many clichés we see in contemporary crime novels. He personal life is as interesting as his books, the two been deeply intermingled together. He was born on 3rd October 1920 in Wales, UK and joined the Royal Air Force during the World War 2. He retired to grow a deep passion for horses. It was also the main inspiration for all his novels, which focused on the shady world of horse racing crime. He was an expert steeplechase jockey, having won more than three hundred races and finally turning into a champion jockey at the British National Hunt. He even went on to train Queen Elizabeth in horse-riding. His career as a jockey ending, but his passion for horse-riding didn’t. He spent his time writing articles and editorials for leading newspaper. He started his career as an author by writing his own autobiography, The Sport of Queens in 1957. He was a much-followed personality, and his mane was counted among the top sports persons of his day. He died at the age of 89, on 14 February 2010.

Order of Sid Halley Series

# Read Title Published
1 Odds Against 1965
2 Whip Hand 1969
3 Come to Grief 1995
4 Under Orders 2005
5 Refusal 2013

Order of Kit Fielding Series

# Read Title Published
1 Break In 1985
2 Bolt 1986

Order of Dick Francis Short Story Collections

# Read Title Published
1 Field of Thirteen 1998

Order of Dick Francis Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published
1 Dead Cert 1962
2 Nerve 1964
3 For Kicks 1965
4 Flying Finish 1966
5 Blood Sport 1967
6 Forfeit 1968
7 Enquiry 1969
8 Rat Race 1970
9 Bonecrack 1971
10 Smokescreen 1972
11 Slay Ride 1973
12 Knockdown 1974
13 High Stakes 1975
14 In the Frame 1976
15 Risk 1977
16 Reflex 1980
17 Twice Shy 1981
18 Banker 1982
19 The Danger 1983
20 Proof 1984
21 Hot Money 1987
22 The Edge 1988
23 Straight 1989
24 Longshot 1990
25 Comeback 1991
26 Driving Force 1992
27 Decider 1993
28 Wild Horses 1994
29 To the Hilt 1996
30 10 lb. Penalty 1997
31 Second Wind 1999
32 Shattered 2000
33 Dead Heat 2007
34 Silks 2008
35 Even Money 2009
36 Crossfire 2010
37 Gamble 2011
38 Bloodline 2012
39 Dick Francis's Damage 2014
40 Enquiry 2014
41 Front Runner 2015
42 Triple Crown 2016

Order of Dick Francis Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published
1 The Sport of Queens 1957
2 The Racing Man's Bedside Book 1969
3 A Jockey's Life 1986
Print: Print PDF

Francis was widely known for his two book series, Sid Halley Mystery, and Kit Fielding Mystery. Both of them are classics in some sense and are worth reading many times over. But one should always start reading his work by his autobiography The Sport of Queens, which provide a nice compelling backdrop to all his novels. His most celebrated novel is Proof, a story revolving around deception and murder punched in with awesome articulation by Francis. Break In, a kinda sequel to Proof, explores the dark sides of an affluent family, and their bloody property wars. His went on to author a total of 42 books, which was published in 35 languages. Collectively, his books sold over 60 million copies, and that’s growing.

Dick Francis AWARDS:

Dick Francis had a charming writing style along with a celebrity-like lifestyle. He received many awards for his contributions to the world of crime writing. He won the Edgar Award for Best Novel three times, the only one to do so. He first won it for his novel Forfeit in 1970, the second time in 1981 for Whip Hand and lastly for Come To Grief in 1996. He was also awarded the Gold Dagger Award in 1979 under the fiction category. He also won two prestigious Lifetime awards; first the Cartier Diamond Dagger Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989 and the Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2000. In 1996, he was given the highest honor of the Mystery Writers of America, the Grand Master Award. But his most glorious and cherished award was his fellowship at the Royal Society of Literature, in 1999.


His first novel Dead Cert was transformed into a film by Tony Richardson in 1974. It was well received and it was remade in a Soviet film, named Favorit. The coherent theme of crime and horse-racing has made him extremely popular in the film circles. His next adaptations came with The Dick Francis Thriller: The Racing Game, which was a 6-part TV-movie based on his different novels. Three of his other novels, Bloodspot, In the Frame, and Twice Shy were also made into low-budget films during the 1980’s.

BEST Dick Francis BOOKS:

All his books are based on the same theme, but two of the masterpieces are Flying Finish and Field of Thirteen. Both of them are regarded as the best Francis has to offer. The balance of crime and detective is so well married that it’s impossible to put down the book, once you get into it. In Flying Finish, the protagonist Henry Grey becomes involved in the shady world of horse-transportation by air. What he doesn’t know is he is unknowingly smuggling somewhat totally different altogether, and when he does know it’s too late. Written with astute cohesion, this simple-to-read book can be considered a genuine classic. In Field of Thirteen, Francis delivers an awesome punch of mystery and thriller, to give your adrenalin rush a roller coaster ride. The wonder of this book is it connects thirteen different plots seamlessly to create a unique niche.