As an amateur jockey, Roland Britten was lucky, and as an
accountant he was rigorous. He knew he was on the hate list of
several fraudsters, but never thought pen-pushers got kidnapped.
And not from a racecourse right after beating the odds to win the
Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Dick Francis was one of the most successful post-war National Hunt jockeys. The winner of over 350 races, he was champion jockey in 1953/1954 and rode for HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, most famously on Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National. On his retirement from the saddle, he published his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write forty-three bestselling novels, a volume of short stories (Field of 13), and the biography of Lester Piggott.During his lifetime Dick Francis received many awards, amongst them the prestigious Crime Writers' Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger for his outstanding contribution to the genre, and three 'best novel' Edgar Allan Poe awards from The Mystery Writers of America. In 1996 he was named by them as Grand Master for a lifetime's achievement. In 1998 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2000.Dick Francis died in February 2010, at the age of eighty-nine, but he remains one of the greatest thriller writers of all time.
From winning post to top of the bestseller list, time after time *
Sunday Times *
As a jockey, Dick Francis was unbeatable when he got into his stride. The same is true of his crime writing * Daily Mirror *