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Hot Money

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,631 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews

A classic mystery from Dick Francis, the champion of English storytellers.
Malcolm Pembroke didn't get rich without making a few enemies - not least among the five wives and nine children left like wreckage in his wake.
But when Moira, his fifth wife, is murdered and Malcolm believes that someone is out to get him, he knows of only one person he can turn to: his estranged

Kindle Edition, 468 pages
Published July 6th 2010 (first published 1987)
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Kerrie obviously depends on the child. This was my first Dick Francis book and I read it when I was 11 or 12. I loved it. Not sure I understood some of the…moreobviously depends on the child. This was my first Dick Francis book and I read it when I was 11 or 12. I loved it. Not sure I understood some of the more adult themes, but there wasn't anything that I found disturbing. (less)
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Smooth as a good malt whisky.

"I intensely disliked my father's fifth wife, but not to the point of murder." I read those fourteen words, and I was hooked! That is the compelling first sentence in this standalone novel by the master storyteller, Dick Francis. This book has convinced me that I want read all of his work, which is a massive collection of horsey based writing! Francis uses a brilliant concept for the structure or plot, if you want to call it that, of this mystery. Narrated by Ian Pembroke, an amateur jockey, Fra ...more
Feb 02, 2016 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A clever enough plot that entwines itself around a highly disfunctional and greedy family, all of which are blindly intent on maximising their inheritance. At 432 pages, the story was padded in parts, and maybe the editor's red ink could have deleted a couple of the race meetings (even a trip to Australia for the Melbourne Cup), that I felt were superfluous in the grand scheme of things.
4 stars ****
Jul 08, 2015 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see why Dick Francis had a terrific career as a mystery writer and why fans still seek out his books.

"Hot Money" is a very enjoyable romp through a disfunctional family populated with several ex-wives and children of various legitmacies. Several attempts have been made on the life of Malcolm Pembroke, the family's patriarch. Malcolm reaches out for help to his estranged son, Ian, an amateur jockey who had turned his back on the Pembroke clan's money and problems. The fun begins.

Francis' w
Robena Grant
Jun 17, 2013 Robena Grant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Started this one on May 28th and read it straight through. I loved the cast of thousands and had no difficulty keeping them all straight in my mind. Each character was distinctly drawn, and the whodunit clearly disguised, the main protagonists were fully rounded and likeable. Sign of a genius. : )
What is there to say about Dick Francis? As I think about all of his books (yes, this review covers all of his books, and yes I've read them all) I think about a moral ethical hero, steeped in intelligence and goodness embroiled in evil machinations within British horse racing society - either directly or indirectly. The heroes aren't always horse jockies, they can be film producers, or involve heroes engaged in peripheral professions that somehow always touch the horse racing world.

But more tha
Marya Kowal
Mar 22, 2012 Marya Kowal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite Francis books.

Malcom has 5 ex wives and 9 children, all but one of whom want his money, attention, and affection. Only one son is estranged, and that is the son he turns to when he's bashed on the head and his soon-to-be-next-ex is murdered.

The ex wives are hysterically funny, and you'd think Francis would come off as misogynistic when you read about how horrible they are, but he gives each one a backstory so they're also a little pitiful, and more understandable.

The c
Apr 18, 2016 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When your 83 year old friend asks you to read this book by her favorite author, you do. You then take her out to lunch and discuss. Think "Murder She Wrote" circa 1985 in book form.
Jan 11, 2016 Jay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I finish this, Dick Francis has pulled away from Philip Roth to third place in my Goodreads Most Read Author list – this is Francis’ 17th book that I have read. And I think I’ve found my favorite, so far at least. “Hot Money” doesn’t follow the standard recipe that I’ve noticed in most Francis’ stories – mashing up some aspect of horse racing with two other areas that he surely had to research, like movie production and computer viruses, and building a believable and driving mystery containin ...more
Nov 13, 2010 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never read murder mysteries. I think this was my first one. I had to read it because it was about 9 kids who all wanted their inheritance now. Which one of his kids was trying to kill him?
Mar 19, 2010 Christie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best Dick Francis books that I've read. I liked the suspense (as usual) but also the psychological look into a wealthy and largely dysfunctional family like the Pembrokes.
Apr 08, 2014 Dick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I had read all the Dick Francis books. I'm so glad I was wrong. Lately, as I reread them, I naturally find them less than original, less fun to read. It's so nice to find one I didn't know existed and recapture that fun and esteem that comes from reading a book like Hot Money.

It's a typical Dick Francis novel. A mild-mannered protagonist who is forced into helping someone out of a jam inspired by a murder, usually involving a strange or estranged family and always involving horse raci
Francis, Dick - 26th book

With his five ex-wives and the nine children between them, it's no great surprise that spectacularly wealthy gold trader Malcolm Pembroke should preside over a motley clan in constant conflict with one another.

But when violent death strikes the least likable of his former spouses, Malcolm himself feels threatened, and he calls on his most capable son, Ian, the family jockey. Ian's task: to protect his father from their nearest, if not always dearest, relati
P.D.R. Lindsay
This is one of my favourite Dick Francis novels. It has all his trademark touches, the tight writing, excellent characters and dialogue, and a great plot.

Someone is trying to kill Malcolm Pembroke, has already murdered his wife. But Malcolm, the man with the golden touch and millions, five ex-wives, nine children has a stubborn wish to live. The problem is that the police are getting nowhere and Malcolm is scared, so he approaches his estranged son, Ian, the jockey and racehorse trainer for help
Jeff Tonkinson
Nov 17, 2015 Jeff Tonkinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You get a glimpse of 2 worlds through this book: the very rich and horse racing. Compared to his other books that I've read, this provides just a trickle of the horse world, but it does give a glimpse into the horse ownership side.

I grew affection for the kindly and extremely rich man at the center of the story. While he has a knack for earning money, he doesn't do it at the expense of anyone. Kind of hard to understand how he got to have 5 ex wives. All but one (the protagonist of this story)
Malcomb Pembroke is a very wealthy, extremely successful trader - in gold mostly. Married five times, he has three vituperative ex-wives who are poisoning the minds of their children against him, one wife dead in a car crash, and the latest one, much disliked and in the process of an acrimonious and potentially financially devastating divorce, recently murdered.

The police consider Malcomb a suspect to begin with because of the bitter fight over his money. When someone tries to kill him, the poli
Gilbert M.
May 24, 2014 Gilbert M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Dick Francis novel I ever read and luckily for me it is one of his best. It's the sort of book you will come back to many times over the years and it inspired me to go out and read just about every other novel he's written. (I haven't gotten to his non-fiction yet, but I will.)

This novel is enjoyable on multiple levels. There is a great mystery here. Malcolm Pembroke is the mega wealthy patriarch of a disfunctional family that includes the children from five marriages, three e
I've read all the Dick Francis books over the years, starting back in the 80's when I found my first tattered copy in a used bookstore. When Dick passed away last year, I decided it was time to rediscover the pleasure of his stories. I particularly enjoyed this story of family dysfunction and greed. I loved the voice of the protagonist and found the mystery to be satisfying.
Racing related thrillers - Amateur British jockey Ian Pembroke tells what happens after the murder of his father Malcolm's fifth wife, Moira. A rapacious, sharp-tongued woman, she has caused a break between Malcolm and Ian, who despised her for marrying his father solely to get her hands on his considerable fortune. But two attempts on the old man's life compel him to ask Ian for help. Although the trusted son isn't fond of his eight half-siblings or their mother - or even of his own - he's loat ...more
May 20, 2016 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never fail to enjoy a Dick Francis book. I thought I had read them all. Story: Ian is an amateur Jockey, he also has a father who is a multi millionaire by the name of Malcolm who has not spoken to him in three years. Ian had told his father of his displeasure of his new bride who was a gold-digger. However, the wife has been murdered, and Malcolm believes someone is also trying to kill him, he comes to Ian. There are three previous wives, and off springs legitimate and not who could all be the ...more
Nov 07, 2014 Kati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of a character study than a mystery, a study of a large, dysfunctional family on the brink of a collapse. And my favorite Dick Francis novel, hands down. Ian Pembroke is my favorite Francis hero, nothing seems to faze the guy, and I loved his relationship with his father, Malcolm.
Nick Davies
Possibly a three and a half, if that was possible - I've never read any Dick Francis before, and was quite impressed with this introduction(for me) to his oeuvre. The plot was interesting and complex.. dealing with the son of a multiply married millionaire trying to unravel which of his many step-relations might be trying to kill his father.. the characterisation was generally very good (if a little stereotypical in places) and the writing had a likeable straightforwardness, pace and English hum ...more
David Baxter
Jan 23, 2016 David Baxter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
A high rating for this, mainly because it's one that I think is an exemplar of Dick Francis's writing, but also one of his best too - nice, tight twisting plot; plenty of that window-on-the-racing-world detail and characterisations that work well. His central character 'type' can become a bit wooden, but it works well, in this context.
The plot is simple: a very wealthy man contacts his estranged son to ask for his protection, as attempts have been made on his life. There are 3 ex-wives and six o
Dillwynia Peter
Sep 04, 2014 Dillwynia Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the 30-60s thrillers- the Entertainments of Graham Greene & Francis was probably the last exponent of this type of story writing. As I completed the book, I began to ponder on the decade it was set & realised that any period over 30 years - late 60s to late 90s - would suffice.

It is not fast by any stretch of the imagination, but the writing is clean, has elements of humour & occasional thrills to keep you entertained & the solution is not far fetched and would rival any G
May 31, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites - combines horse trading, gold collection, and the dangers of multiple wives. If anyone gets stars in their eyes about the Jacob Syndrome (4 wives), this book will disabuse them of the notion that people can just move from one honeybee to the other without consequences. Ian is steady and level-headed (really wish the bit about the married girlfriend had been edited out), his father is a vital force but calculating in business, and the combination is good. Pretty sure the auth ...more
As I read, I was comparing this to the works of two other mystery writers. Comparisons are odious, but also fun. One is Robert Barnard, due to the unsavoriness of so many of the characters. (Unlike with Barnard, when you know the complete asshole of chapter 1 will be murdered by chapter 3, there was no chance they'd all be murdered.) It works better in Barnard, perhaps because he concentrates his writer's bile on one or two characters. Francis is trying to create 10 nasty people, and also explai ...more
Oct 03, 2010 Kellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you think you have a dysfunctional family, read this book. It may make you feel better. This is about Ian and his father. His father has been married 5 times. His last wife was murdered and now someone is after him. After Ian and his Dad have been estranged for years his Dad asks him to be his “body guard”. Someone is trying to kill him and he is scared. Malcolm Pembroke is very rich. The dysfunction in the family is essentially his money and their lack of it. Based on the circumstances of th ...more
Aug 12, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Reading this makes me glad that my family is not, and God willing never will be, this complex. Or this acrimonious. I'm also glad Ian Pembroke is the sort of character who can shrug off the invective leveled at him because wow. I sure couldn't.

Ian has to navigate all the vitriol and figure out everyone's motivations. Why are they all so unhappy? Could one of them be a murderer? Most of the book is a treatise on How Not To Treat People. They're pretty vicious to each other, and more than willing
Oct 09, 2013 Vinny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Review on Hot money Vinny Casentini
In 19th century England money solves all problems. Or at least that is what the family of Ian Pembroke believes. When the latest wife of the Pembroke patriarch, Malcolm, is murdered and attempts made on his father’s own life, Ian must step in and protect his father from all of the people who want his millions, including his own family. He must quickly discover who is trying to kill Malcolm before the killer succeeds.
The style of Dick Frances is an older
Joy Smith
Oct 10, 2014 Joy Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hot Money is one of my favorite Dick Francis mysteries, though I've enjoyed many of them. The hero's family is complicated because of his father's marriages... And then his father asks for his help and protection. His father is rich, and his children's families' lives--along with his ex-wives--are not happy, but who would want to kill him? There have been family tragedies in the past... Can our hero sort things out and save his father's life? Will there be a cost?
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2015 Reading Chal...: Hot Money by Dick Francis 1 5 Mar 12, 2015 04:23PM  
  • Dick Francis's Bloodline
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  • Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist (Mrs. Pollifax, #13)
  • The Mother Hunt (Nero Wolfe #38)
  • East of Desolation
  • A Grave Mistake (Roderick Alleyn, #30)
  • Betrayal
  • People Who Walk in Darkness (Porfiry Rostnikov, #15)
Dick Francis CBE (born Richard Stanley Francis) was a popular British horse racing crime writer and retired jockey.

Dick Francis worked on his books with his wife, Mary, before her death. Dick considered his wife to be his co-writer - as he is quoted in the book, "The Dick Francis Companion", released in 2003:
"Mary and I worked as a team. ... I have often said that I would have been happy to have b
More about Dick Francis...

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“She said several times that Malcollm was a fiend who was determined to destroy his children, and that I was the devil incarnate helping him. She hoped we would both rot in hell. (I thought devils and fiends might flourish there, actually.)” 3 likes
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