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Dead Heat

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,703 Ratings  ·  332 Reviews
On the heels of Under Orders, ?Francis once again proves himself a master. Wow.? (BOOKLIST)

Max Moreton is a rising culinary star?until his guests fall victim to severe food poisoning?and then a bomb blast rips through the luncheon he?s catering. Two close calls are too close for comfort, and Max vows to protect his name, and himself, before it?s too late.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published September 2nd 2008 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Julien Kreuze
Jan 09, 2008 Julien Kreuze rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting read, for one particular reason: this can't be Dick Francis. All the surface pieces are here that indicate a Francis novel: the the understated tone, the careful plot, the (yawn) quietly brilliant protagonist. And yet all of the essential elements that make Francis so GOOD, that extra layer of... substance, are absolutely missing. The wry, unassuming humor, the deft characterizations, the simple insights into people and situations. Nada. If you really like Dick Francis, you mi ...more
Sep 07, 2008 Maria rated it it was amazing
Shelves: action-adventure
Year before last I re-read all my Dick Francis books in order of publication because I was afraid he would stop writing after his wife's death. Last year he produced Under Orders, much to my gratification and pleasure, since Sid Haley is one of my favorite characters. But Dead Heat, written with his son Felix, is Dick Francis and better. I could hardly put the book down and was thrilled at the end to find an advertisement for the next book, Silks. Now I can stop worrying. Dick Francis will conti ...more
Oct 08, 2007 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys good writing
I'm not a horse racing fan, but I am a fan of good writing, and Dick Francis is one of my top all-time favorite fiction writers. He's a master of the cliffhanger chapter endings that keep me turning the pages until I've finished, to the detriment of sleep and chores getting done. This book is no exception. I'd heard he's retired from writing, but apparently his son persuaded him to keep it up; Dead Heat is a collaboration of the two of them. Excuse me, but I've got to get back to the book ...
May 17, 2009 Rich rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This was co-written with his son Felix--meaning Dad did the outline while Felix did the writing with Dad looking over his shoulder. It's an okay mystery, but the pacing and feel is just slightly off. Sometimes there are too many information dumps that slow the pace and others, everything is there, but just doesn't quiet gel. When Dick Francis' name is over everything, you expect certain things from the book, and this one just doesn't quite deliver the goods.

While I don't expect Felix to be exac
Mar 19, 2015 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in the 80s and 90s I read every one of Dick Francis' novels. I loved them then and I still love them. This is how to write mysteries folks. You have believable and likeable characters set in an arena that the author is obviously familiar with and comes to a nice conclusion without a lot of bombast. In this instance Francis is writing with his son and it is still recognizable Francis fiction. (sometimes collaborations of authors don't go so well)

Max Moreton is a Michelin star chef in Newmark
Jan 12, 2013 Lucinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Heart-pounding, nail-bitingly exciting story will have you reading in a feverish frenzy to get to the end!

Highly acclaimed, bestselling author Dick Francis returned after a six-year absence with ‘Under Orders’ much to the delight of both avid readers and horse racing fans alike. His exceptional writing-style, detailed and intricately woven, cleverly crafted plots fueled by such dramatic, intense narrative is outstanding. As a horse racing enthusiast, Dick Francis is an author who stands-ou
Mar 31, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This had a double appeal, with a restaurant owner as the main character with a musician angle thrown in. (I used to own a restaurant and I play French Horn.) I have been reading Dick Francis for many years and have an extensive collection of firsts of his. Although he is now old and fragile, this piece co-written with his son encourages all us fans that he has passed on his talents. There's some interesting info about this collaboration on his website - worth a visit.
Jun 07, 2015 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, england
Max Moreton is an up-and-coming chef with his own restaurant, The Hay Net. Chef Max is hired to cater a dinner for 250 guests. It is at that dinner that most of the guests along with a number of staff (including Max) are exposed to a bad case of food poisoning. Max gets himself together best as he can the next morning because he is the head chef for a luncheon at a prestigious horse race event. At the conclusion of luncheon, as most of the guests are on the balcony to watch the race, a bomb goe ...more
Jan 21, 2016 Stacy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2015 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another entertaining entry by Dick Francis and his son. A little less emphasis on racing since the protagonist is a chef rather than a jockey, but his father was a jockey, his brother is a trainer, and there is a serious bombing that takes place at Newmarket. Poor Max Morton, a celebrity chef, starts out the novel with serious food poisoning, survives a bombing, a car accident, a house fire, and a beating with a polo mallet. He meets the love of his life, another victim of food poisoning, and al ...more
Apr 13, 2009 Jennie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dick Francis books never fail. Same formula perhaps, same type of protagonist, but the settings and individual characters are so well researched that each one is a fresh adventure from which I always learn something new. They're not all about horses!
Doward Wilson
Jul 25, 2015 Doward Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dick's son now joins him as co-writer and together they do a great job. This book involves food, bombs, polo ponies, drugs, murder and music. Meet Max Moreton, chef, restaurant owner and caterer to the horse racing community. He is blamed for a massive outbreak of food poisoning and then almost dies in a bombing at the races. While trying to clear his name he ends up with the bomber trying to kill him. Along the way he meets a new love interest, reconnects with his family and works hard to stay ...more
Dewayne Stark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 04, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dick Francis wrote 40 mysteries with some connection to horse racing, horses or the horse related community. This #41 is the first co-authored by his son Felix, who had helped him research previous books.

Racing thriller - Max Moreton is a chef with a restaurant in the racing town of Newmarket. On Friday night many people, including Max, got food poisoning at an affair he catered. On Saturday, at an important race, the VIP boxes he was catering were blown up with many people killed. With his lif
Jun 06, 2015 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Max Moreton is puzzled when most of the attendees at a dinner he, as a "celebrity" chef, was hired to cook at the Newmarket Racetrack. His career is on the line when he is blamed for poisoning the people at the dinner but he is slammed even harder when, as he served a luncheon in the glassed in viewing box at the 2000 Guinea Race, the box explodes and 19 people are killed. He spends the next days trying to find out who is trying to ruin him and why. This is an excellent book that moves quickly a ...more
May 06, 2015 Chantel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Max Moreton is a rising culinary star, until nearly all the guests who enjoyed one of his meals at a private catered affair fall victim to severe food poisoning. At his next obligation, an exclusive luncheon for forty in the glass-fronted private boxes at the 2,000 Guineas, a bomb blast rips through the private boxes, killing some of Max's trusted staff and many of the guests. Two close calls are too close for comfort, and Max vows to protect his name, and himself, before it's too late. Read by ...more
Kara Jorges
Dick Francis is winding down his career and, following in Clive Cussler’s footsteps, handing the keyboard over to his son. Since, however, Francis’ books are not all part of a series, it seems a bit like an unfair plug for an up and coming writer. For a longtime Francis fan, it was obvious the writing was different. Felix has a decent sense of humor, but his writing lacks some of his father’s charm, along with his intimacy with the horse racing industry.

Max Moreton is a chef and restaurateur in
Keri ♠
Jul 08, 2011 Keri ♠ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Dick Francis read and certainly not my last. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I have to say I was quite pleasant surprised by the way this book "read." At least in my opinion, I didn't find this like many of the typical mystery books I have read with the typical way the storyline goes. I found it to be more serious and realistic than some. I gave it 4 stars, but think I'd give it 4.5 stars, not quite 5 because I usually only give 5 stars to books where the characters are really w ...more
Nov 09, 2012 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Together, son and father, Dick and Felix Francis, managed to concoct more than one mystery prior to the death of the late, great jockey and mystery novelist. Dead Heat manages to aggregate the successful ingredients of previous Francis mysteries (lay person in fascinating profession forced to solve a mystery, events and deaths moving ever closer to the protagonist lay person, interests in the fairer sex (I don’t recall a female protagonist in Francis’ work) that may or may not work out but featu ...more
This is the third Dick and Felix Francis collaboration I've read. Felix is finally developing the 'touch' needed to continue his father's legacy.

This book was much better than Silks. And like that book, it took place on the periphery of horse racing with the main character a chef, not a jockey or someone directly involved in horse racing.

One big change I've noticed in these later books is the addition of a love interest who becomes a permanent fixture, something missing from most of the earlier
Jun 22, 2010 Genie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate  K. F.
Dead Heat is about Max Moreton, an up and coming chef in Newmarket who has a bad week that starts with everyone at an event he's catering getting food poisoning and keeps getting worse as another event is bombed. I found this book a good read but disappointing, because the story felt light and too fast moving. This is an issue I had with the other Dick and Felix Francis book, the plot and characters are similar to many of Dick Francis' best books but don't have the same quality.

The two main way
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
Shonna Froebel
Nov 21, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first Dick Francis after the death of his wife, who assisted him with research, is no disappointment. In his classic style, the action takes place near the world of horses. This time the protagonist is a young chef, whose brother is, and late father was, horse trainers near Newmarket. Max Moreton became a chef at a young age, and has been running his own restaurant for more than ten years. He also works some outside venues and has just done a celebrity chef dinner at the Jockey Club. Unfortu ...more
DEAD HEAT (Suspense-Max Moreton-England/Chicago-Cont) – VG
Francis, Dick and Felix Francis – 41st book
Michael Joseph, 2007, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780718153656
First Sentence: I wondered if I was dying
*** Son of a jockey and trainer, Max Moreton has found his vocation not on the track, but in the kitchen. He is the co-owner and Michelin-star chef of The Hey Market in Newcastle. The night before the annual Guinness 200, Max prepares a special dinner at the race course. The result is seven dead and s
Got this one at the library for beach reading as I've long had a soft spot for Francis' horsey tales. Darned if I didn't jump the gun and read the thing long before toe touched sand. Happily, there are plenty more quick-paced thrillers at the library that I can lug to the beach.

I have to say that this wasn't one of Francis' best. Perhaps his son as co-author has something to do with that, or perhaps it was simply that Francis hasn't fully returned to form after a long hiatus after his wife's de
Nov 04, 2007 Grey853 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, british
Dick Francis is one of my favorite writers. Almost all of his books are set in the world of horse racing. This one has a slight twist in that the main character Max is a chef who caters at horse races instead of a jockey or ex-jockey. At one meal, there's a mass poisoning of his 250 clients and then the next day there's a bombing at the track where he's catering. People are killed, he's wounded, and it's like his life is suddenly on the downturn. But, Francis isn't finished with Max. That same w ...more
Apr 05, 2014 Carolyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of Dick and Felix Francis. However, their effort on this book is weak. As other reviews have noted, there are whiffs of elements we so appreciate. On balance, the plot is preposterous and the pacing is quite slow. It's a book that drags along predictably and suddenly all loose ends are tied up in predictable fashion. This particular title does not enhance the Francis brand.
Mar 19, 2008 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recentlyread
Roadtrip audiobook #1. Well, this was our first selection on a Spring Break 22-hour (roundtrip) drive. I've enjoyed Dick Francis novels in the past, which always involve the world of British racing/horses and are narrated by likable insiders--jockeys, trainers, etc., never pro detectives. But this new one, co-written with his son, never gets convincingly into the horse biz at all, its plot contrived (but, hey, that's de rigueur in crime fiction) but, more to its detriment, very porous. Worse, it ...more
Debra Daniels-zeller
Apr 19, 2015 Debra Daniels-zeller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Dick Francis with his son Felix Francis are still writing great mysteries after all these years. I suppose some Dick Francis purists would beg to disagree, but this was an intriguing plot--I never would have guessed the reasons for the food poisoning and the bomb. Francis writes great racetrack stories, I learn a lot about horse racing and all the things that could go wrong at racetracks. I really liked the high end chef and the restaurants in this book. I'll definitely go back and read more of ...more
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100 pages still no plot!! 5 21 Oct 04, 2013 05:11PM  
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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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