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Equine Related Fiction

The only quibbles I have with them are a there are often unpleasant parts in the books where horses are hurt and b there is almost always a tedious romance involved in the stories which in most cases brings nothing to the plot. There are many reviews of all the books on Amazon. I have however not provided links to them all due to lack of time and space! The role of Dick's wife Mary in the writing of his books has now been recognised, although it is not quite sure how much input she actually had. She researched and edited the books at least, and some say she actually wrote them, citing Dick's sketchy school career and lack of talent in English lessons.

The controversy was sparked by the Dick Francis biography written by Graham Lord, who claimed that Mary had all but admitted she wrote the books, but they were published under her husband's name so as to be in-keeping with the masculine image and racing theme of the stories. More on the controversy in the Telegraph obituary and in Graham Lord's biography As well as the much lauded novels, Dick also wrote a biography of Lester Piggott and edited a number of short story collections with fellow author John Welcome.

Dick Francis died recently and is sadly missed by his many fans. Felix Francis is Dick's younger son.


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During Dick's last years father and son collaborated on the books. Before this, Felix was a teacher and also led expeditions to various far-flung places of the globe - his life provided grist for the mill of some of Dick Francis' novels and characters! Felix also helped with the research side of his father's work and in became his manager. From , he became accredited co-writer. His first solo thriller was published recently. Dick and Felix have a joint website, where there is a lot more biographical information about them.

Dick Francis

Interestingly, there were many years between each book in the series. The single volumes were all reprinted a number of times in the UK - too numerous to mention all the printings! They were also published in the USA. All still in print except for the omnibus. Still in print. He joins a detective agency, but is too depressed to show much interest. Then his father-in-law decides to take matters in hand and give him a case to investigate.

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A new case finds himself getting entangled with his unpleasant ex-wife and facing a terrible ordeal. When he finds the culprit he is shocked to find it is a close friend. All these new writers owe a gigantic debt to the Godfather of them all. He was the first real pulp writer who the critics noticed and approved of. Too bad they waited so long; he labored in the paperback ghetto for too long before The Dreadful Lemon Sky made him into a bestseller.

When his publisher suggested JDM create such a character he was dubious. So he did an extraordinary thing.

He wrote the first four Only when he was that sure he liked the dude did he send them to the publisher, and thus eventually find a much larger audience and income. Even back then he was head and shoulders above the pack. I have read all of them except Weep For Me , which has never been reprinted because JDM apparently thought it was bad.

I looked for it for 20 years without success. So he changed it to Evan Hunter. Nice Anglo-Saxon name. Then he changed it again. And again, and again. In order handle his incredible output he has written under the nice Anglo-Saxon names of Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, Ezra Hannon, Richard Marsten, mostly back in the 50s and 60s when he was working in pulps and paperbacks. He has 55 novels just in the 87th Precinct series!

Former jockey and best-selling author Dick Francis dies at 89

I enjoyed every single one of them. And then every fourth or fifth book they run into a true crazy criminal genius, The Deaf Man, and he runs rings around them. It is a wonderful family to settle in with, the dialogue is terrific, and the plots are always ingenious. When McBain wants to get more literary he lets Evan Hunter handle it. They concern Mma. Precious Ramotswe , the finest and only woman detective in Botswana. The author is South African, and knows his subject.

You want to say they are simpler, but of course that sounds condescending. They seem more direct, and more honest. I love them, one and all. Thank you, Marilyn! THE NO. McCall Smith has either gone into a writing frenzy seldom seen in the Western world, or is cleaning out his trunk of things he never sold before, cashing in on his new fame. It is said that the smaller and more rarefied the field, the more vicious the arguments, and von Igelfeld and his handful of colleagues prove this over and over.

They are delightful, but probably not for everybody.

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I loved them all. He is extremely quirky and funny, probably not for everyone, but give him a try. This got him the job of spokescanine for R-r-ruff Brand dog food, which led to roles in crap kids movies, fame and fortune. So here was a guy who only wanted to loll around in his Eames chair and listen to jazz, and because of his famous dog, is able to do it.

The funny and ridiculous premise worked, and he wrote two more until , and seems to have quit. Possibly he thought he had stretched it too thin. Maybe it was too hard to keep making up plots where Jellyroll got in trouble in the last one it was a crazed celebrity stalker. Too bad, as these books are witty without being jokey, and are full of great and hilarious detail. I totally loved them, and read all Aubrey is a jolly man of action who also loves to play the violin.

Aubrey has almost as much trouble ashore as he does fighting at sea, running from his creditors and gambling debts. But they work wonderfully well together. He styles himself a Republican, but I sense that he likes them only marginally more than he likes Democrats.

Or maybe he hates them less. His writing reveals him to be more of a Libertarian. It seems to me that he has little love for many of the things Republicans do these days—saying they hate Big Government while endlessly expanding it, preaching fiscal conservatism while running up mind-boggling deficits.

But he has understood that in the world of conservative humor Bluntly, the Left has a surfeit of sharp humorists, and the Right has only PJ. Mostly, he hoists the windbags on their own petards.

And there is a lot of wind on the Left. The first book on this list covers his work from when he was a drug-crazed hippie through his reformation, with many non-political side trips, and would be a good place to start. He was really, really good for about 9 or 10 novels, and then he threw it all away. Why should he? They continue to sell well. They continue to be read, even by me, and I often wonder why. Very short. Full of short sentences.

Short paragraphs. Short chapters. Last one had pages and 60 chapters. They are printed on thick paper,. You can easily finish one in a day, while doing a lot of other things. And I guess there are still rewards here, though almost every page I grit my teeth. How many times will Hawk and Spenser wryly congratulate themselves and each other on how wry they are, and how they know big words?

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He has discovered a secret: write novellas and publish them as full-length novels and nobody will call you on it. He publishes 3 or 4 books per year this year he will have 4 titles. Oh, well. He has a second series, starring Sunny Randall. Guess what? He sounds exactly like Spenser. He wrote a story with Jackie Robinson and a PI in it, and You know what?

The Fiction of Horseracing (Chapter 3) - The Cambridge Companion to Horseracing

Writing it all down here and seeing how boring he really is may have finally given me the courage to kick. Maybe they have a step support group somewhere, PA, Parker Anonymous. I read and enjoyed them as soon as they came out. Then something changed, either her or me. I started losing patience with her. It gets so frustrating I could scream.