Dick Francis (pictured with his son Felix Francis) was born in
South Wales in 1920. He was a young rider of distinction winning
awards and trophies at horse shows throughout the United Kingdom.
At the outbreak of World War II he joined the Royal Air Force as a
pilot, flying fighter and bomber aircraft including the Spitfire
and Lancaster.He became one of the most successful postwar
steeplechase jockeys, winning more than 350 races and riding for
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. After his retirement
from the saddle in 1957, he published an autobiography, "The Sport
of Queens," before going on to write more than forty acclaimed
books, including the "New York Times" bestsellers "Even Money" and
"Silks."A three-time Edgar Award winner, he also received the
prestigious Crime Writers' Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger,
was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, and was
awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2000. He died
in February 2010, at age eighty-nine, and remains among the
greatest thriller writers of all time.
Felix Francis (pictured with his father, Dick Francis), a graduate of London University, spent seventeen years teaching A-level physics before taking on an active role in his father's career. He has assisted with the research of many of the Dick Francis novels, including "Shattered, Under Orders," and "Twice Shy," which drew on Felix's experiences as a physics teacher and as an international marksman. He is coauthor with his father of the "New York Times" bestsellers "Dead Heat, Silks," and "Even Money." He lives in England.
The third collaboration between bestseller Francis and son Felix (after Silks), a taut crime thriller, features an especially sympathetic hero. Bookmaker Ed Talbot is struggling with his wife's mental illness, even as technology threatens to give the big bookmaking outfits an insurmountable advantage over his small family business. Soon after a man shows up at Ascot and identifies himself as Ed's father, Peter, whom Ed believed long dead, a thug demanding money stabs Peter to death. Ed is in for even more shocks when he learns his father was the prime suspect in his mother's murder-and that Peter's killing, rather than a random act of violence, may be linked to a mysterious electronic device used in some horse-racing fraud. Ed must juggle his amateur investigations into past and present crimes with his demanding family responsibilities. Though some readers may find the ending overly pat, the authors make bookmaking intelligible while easily integrating it into the plot. (Aug.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Racetrack bookmaker Ned Talbot learned his trade from his grandfather, who raised him after Ned's parents were killed in a car crash. At the Royal Ascot races, a man introduces himself to Ned, claiming to be his long-dead father. Before Ned can sort out his feelings, a hooded man knocks Ned down and stabs the man to death. The police inform Ned that his father was wanted for the murder of Ned's mother. His simple life has suddenly become very complicated: he must delve into his family's secrets while eluding the unknown assailant. Verdict This third father-and-son coauthored novel (after Silks and Dead Heat) will appeal to mystery lovers and Francis fans who like a suspenseful story with an upbeat ending; however, readers who enjoyed the horse-racing details in Dick Francis's Sid Halley novels may be disappointed to find little about horses here. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 4/1/09.]-Patsy Gray, Huntsville P.L., AL Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.