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
|3||Come to Grief||1995|
Order of Kit Fielding Series
Order of Dick Francis Short Story Collections
|1||Field of Thirteen||1998|
Order of Dick Francis Standalone Novels
|14||In the Frame||1976|
|29||To the Hilt||1996|
|30||10 lb. Penalty||1997|
|39||Dick Francis's Damage||2014|
Order of Dick Francis Non-Fiction Books
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.
Dick Francis BOOKS INTO MOVIES:
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.