Dick Francis Books

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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 with Felix Francis

# Read Title Published Details
1 Odds Against 1965 Description / Buy
2 Whip Hand 1979 Description / Buy
3 Come to Grief 1995 Description / Buy
4 Under Orders 2006 Description / Buy
5 Refusal 2013 Description / Buy
6 Hands Down ( By: Felix Francis) 2022 Description / Buy

Order of Kit Fielding Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Break In 1985 Description / Buy
2 Bolt 1986 Description / Buy

Order of Dick Francis Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Dead Cert 1962 Description / Buy
2 Nerve 1964 Description / Buy
3 For Kicks 1965 Description / Buy
4 Flying Finish 1966 Description / Buy
5 Blood Sport 1967 Description / Buy
6 Forfeit 1968 Description / Buy
7 Enquiry 1969 Description / Buy
8 Rat Race 1970 Description / Buy
9 Bonecrack 1971 Description / Buy
10 Smokescreen 1972 Description / Buy
11 Slay Ride 1973 Description / Buy
12 Knockdown 1974 Description / Buy
13 High Stakes 1975 Description / Buy
14 In the Frame 1976 Description / Buy
15 Risk 1977 Description / Buy
16 Trial Run 1978 Description / Buy
17 Reflex 1980 Description / Buy
18 Twice Shy 1981 Description / Buy
19 Banker 1982 Description / Buy
20 The Danger 1983 Description / Buy
21 Proof 1984 Description / Buy
22 Hot Money 1987 Description / Buy
23 The Edge 1988 Description / Buy
24 Straight 1989 Description / Buy
25 Longshot 1990 Description / Buy
26 Comeback 1991 Description / Buy
27 Driving Force 1992 Description / Buy
28 Decider 1993 Description / Buy
29 Wild Horses 1994 Description / Buy
30 To the Hilt 1996 Description / Buy
31 10 lb. Penalty 1997 Description / Buy
32 Second Wind 1999 Description / Buy
33 Shattered 2000 Description / Buy
34 Dead Heat ( With: Felix Francis) 2007 Description / Buy
35 Silks ( With: Felix Francis) 2008 Description / Buy
36 Even Money ( With: Felix Francis) 2009 Description / Buy
37 Crossfire ( With: Felix Francis) 2010 Description / Buy
38 Gamble ( By: Felix Francis) 2011 Description / Buy

Order of Dick Francis Short Story Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 Field of Thirteen 1998 Description / Buy

Order of Dick Francis Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Sport of Queens: The Autobiography of Dick Francis 1957 Description / Buy
2 The Racing Man's Bedside Book 1969 Description / Buy
3 A Jockey's Life: The Biography of Lester Piggot / Lester 1986 Description / Buy

Order of Jefferson Hinkley Series with Felix Francis

# Read Title Published Details
1 Damage ( With: Felix Francis) 2014 Description / Buy
2 Front Runner ( With: Felix Francis) 2015 Description / Buy
3 Triple Crown ( With: Felix Francis) 2016 Description / Buy

Dick Francis Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Galaxy Science Fiction, September 1958 1958 Description / Buy
2 John Creasey's Crime Collection, 1977 1977 Description / Buy
3 Verdict of Thirteen 1979 Description / Buy
4 Great Stories of Mystery and Suspense 1981 Description / Buy
5 1st Culprit 1992 Description / Buy
6 The Amis Story Anthology 1992 Description / Buy
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.

When Does The Next Dick Francis book come out?

Dick Francis doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Front Runner and was released on September, 10th 2015. It is the newest book in the Jefferson Hinkley Series.


2 thoughts on “Dick Francis”

    1. Hi Dave – I do see exactly one reference to it online which is on Google Books but with no reviews, cover etc. So it’s possible it was planned at one point but never written.

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