My Top 10 Dick Francis Books.

1) Dick Francis, To the Hilt (1996)

Alexander Kinloch found solitude and a steady income painting in a bothy on a remote Scottish mountain. Until the morning the strangers arrived to rough him up, and Alexander was dragged reluctantly back into the real and violent world he thought he had left behind.

Millions of pounds are missing from his stepfather`s business. A valuable racehorse is under threat. Then comes the first ugly death and the end of all Alexander’s doubts. For the honour of the Kinlochs he will face the strangers… up to the hilt…”

2) Dick Francis, Straight (1989)

In this mystery from New York Times bestselling author Dick Francis, a jockey becomes the sole inheritor of his late brother’s business, horse, mistress, and enemies.

Steeplechase jockey Derek Franklin has had more broken bones than he cares to count, but it seems his latest injury could very well bring his days on the race course to a screeching halt. But that’s the least of his concerns when his brother turns up dead, leaving Derek as the sole inheritor of his estate.

It doesn’t take long for Derek to learn that his brother—a magistrate who imported and sold semiprecious stones—was keeping more than his share of secrets. Now Derek must recover $1.5 million worth of missing diamonds—and find out who wanted his brother dead—or else his career won’t be the only thing in danger of being cut short…”

3) Dick Francis, Odds Against (1965)

Sid Halley #1.

A hard fall took hotshot jockey Sid Halley out of the horse racing game, leaving him with a crippled hand, a broken heart, and the desperate need for a new job. Now he’s landed a position with a detective agency, only to catch a bullet from some  common thug. And things are about to get even more hectic. The agency is giving him a case to handle on his own.

The case brings him to the door of Zanna Martin, a woman who might be just what Sid needs to get him back up and running. But he’s up against a field of thoroughbred criminals, and the odds against him are making it a long shot that he’ll even survive…”

4) Dick Francis, Nerve (1964)

Rob Finn’s winning streak made him one of the most sought-after steeplechase jockeys. So 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.

To find the culprits behind it, Finn will have to put everything on the line . . .”


5) Dick Francis, 10 L.B. 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…”


6) Dick Francis, For Kicks (1965)

Daniel Roke, Australian who established a stud farm to raise orphaned siblings, accepts undercover stable lad job from the Earl of October, investigating steeplechase doping in England. At least ten horses win adrenalin-high stimulated, but regular lab tests show nothing. Gorgeous October daughters distract, detract, and fatally endanger. Tension builds into an explosive fight to the death.”

7) Dick Francis, High Stakes (1975)

Steven Scott may have been a successful, wealthy inventor with no experience in horse racing, yet with the inspired guidance of his trainer, Jody Leeds, and the prowess of a beautiful black hurdler named Energise, he has brought home several wins.

But his winning streak is about to come to a fast end when he discovers trouble in his own stables: trouble that could bring about his own termination if he doesn’t watch his step.”

8) Dick Francis, Dead Cert (1962)

Steeplechaser Alan York knows well the dangers of the sport. But when his best friend and rival Bill Davidson takes a fall in the middle of a race and doesn’t get up again, Alan discovers it was no accident. Someone rigged a tripwire to take down the running horse.

The more Alan investigates, the more he suspects that there is more to the plot than just murderous horseplay. But even as he approaches the finish line to this mysterious race, those responsible for his friend’s death are already planning for Alan to have a mysterious accident of his own…”

9) Dick Francis, Risk (1977)

When he wakes in a pitch-black room with his hands bound, Roland Britten—accountant and champion steeplechase jockey—knows he’s entered a nightmare of someone else’s making. Wracking his brain to figure out who’s out to get him and why, he comes up empty, but somehow manages a death-defying escape. It isn’t long, though, before he’s recaptured. Now, with his life at stake, he must take every risk to outsmart his well-disguised enemy and save himself… “

10) Dick Francis, Proof (1984)

Wine merchant Tony Beach has expertly catered his latest society soiree, but the fun’s over when a team of hit men crash the party…literally. The event leaves Tony with a bitter aftertaste of suspicion—and sets off a mystery that’s an intoxicating blend of deception, intrigue, and murder.”

11) Dick Francis, The Edge (1988)

A high-class, transcontinental horse-racing junket should be an idyllic getaway for the super-rich.

But one passenger on this train is a sociopath, a genius at blackmail and criminal corruption—and he plans to take everyone for everything they’ve got.”

12) Dick Francis, Longshot (1990)

A starving writer turns to work that will at least pay the bills, but he soon discovers the perils of rural England. His agent had warned that his impulses would kill him, but he didn’t listen–not by a longshot.”

13) Dick Francis, Driving Force (1992)

Transporting racehorses is big business for ex-jockey Freddie Croft. But when one of his drivers breaks a cardinal rule–never pick up a hitchhiker–the results are fatal. Now strange nighttime stalkers and unseen conspirators are weaving a web of deceit and danger that Freddie might never escape.”

14) Dick Francis, Decider (1993)

Architect Lee Morris inherits a partial ownership in the Stratton Park racecourse–and with it, a dangerous position among the warring upper-class family trying to settle its fate. Morris would like to see the course restored to its former grandeur, but the various Stratton heirs have plans of their own. When an explosion rocks the grandstands, the disagreement turns violent–and Morris finds himself in a race to save himself and his family from an unknown culprit…”

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