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Hot Money

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  3,111 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Malcolm Pembroke never expected to make a million pounds without making enemies. Nor did he expect his latest wife to be brutally murdered. All the clues suggest the killer comes from close to home - but after five marriages and nine children, that still leaves the field wide open. When he finds his own life in danger, Pembroke entrusts his safety to his estranged son, Ian ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published March 4th 1988 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 1987)
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"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
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
Robena Grant
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. : )
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?
Marya Kowal
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
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
Gilbert M.
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.
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
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.
Dillwynia Peter
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
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
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
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
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
Smith Joy
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?
This was the first Dick Francis book I read and I really liked it. Malcolm Pembroke is an extremly wealthy man, making money by investing in gold and foreign currencies and always getting high returns. His fifth wife was murdered in her greenhouse, and Malcolm has also had his life threatened and he's come to his estranged son Ian to ask During a visit to Newmarket horse sales they are very nearly run down in the car park and Ian is worried that the killer may get lucky if he tri ...more
Anna Ligtenberg
ISBN 0449212408 - What is "hot money"? According to page 374: "The bets made by people in the know. People with inside information." Inside information is the key to riddle of who is trying to kill Malcolm Pembroke - and why.

The trouble is, the list of suspects includes the three wives of Malcolm's that are still alive and their offspring. And the spouses of the offspring. Pretty much anyone who could hope to inherit if the old man would just die, already. There has been one attempt on his life
Even remembering the plot relatively well since previous readings, it was enjoyable to read this book. The main character Ian keeps his head on even though he doesn't have the easiest of families! There's a couple of close shaves and a surprise ending. What's not to love?!

(Would have given five stars if I did not remember this so well.)
Sara Diane
So far, I haven't come across a Dick Francis novel that I haven't adored. I really liked this one because in addition to the stock (and loveable) main character that is Francis' hallmark, there was a fun element of the rich father. The cast was a bit bigger than normal, with the main cast being all related. As usual, Francis kept me guessing, and I couldn't wait to find out what happened.

Quick plot rundown: someone is trying to kill a rich man, so he asks one of his sons (he has a bunch of kids
Kate  K. F.
This is a Dick Francis I would recommend to a new reader as it showcases his writing as its best. The story is told by Ian Pembroke, one of the many sons of Malcolm Pembroke, a man who's made a huge amount of money in the gold market who is now afraid for his life. Ian is the child he trusts to help him figure out what's going on. At the start of the story, its been three years since Ian and Malcolm spoke and part of what makes this book such a good read is meeting Ian's family through his eyes ...more
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.
Sandra Munger
I always enjoy Dick Francis and this is one of my favorites. A man with multiple marriages and children and all the interactions among the family members including a murder. In the process, the son (narrator) develops a better connection with his siblings, solves the murder and reconnects with his father. As usual, there is horse racing.
Jessie Wolf
A very interesting read with good plot twists and gripping characters but it felt a little rushed towards the end. Some aspects of the story felt a little under-developed and that shows most in the last few chapters of the book.
This is one of my favorite Dick Francis books and I have read them all. I like the family dynamics and the love the main character has for them. The mystery is highly satisfying as well.
Stephen Brown
I was impressed with how likeable the protagonist was. Dick Francis had a way of creating characters who were slightly off-beat but good company.
Sheila Beaumont
I loved this book! I've enjoyed all of Dick Francis' mysteries that I've read so far, and this is my favorite of them. As always, there's a likable protagonist, and I also liked his lively multimillionaire father, who, apparently endangered by someone in his large extended family, calls upon his most trusted son, an amateur jockey, to protect him. Perfect pacing, shocking twists, good writing, quite a few comical scenes, and detailed portrayals of the various greedy, spiteful, squabbling family ...more
Yaakov Cohn
One of Francis's best, and I've loved most of them. They're just fun to read, and most give you a bit of expertise on some obscure topic.
A brilliant story, the novel centres around the multi millionaire Malcolm Pembroke and his grasping family.
He and one of his sons, Ian has had a fight and haven't spoken in three years then one day Ian is called up out of the blue and peace is made with his father as he needs his son's help to be a sort of bodyguard for him as he is having murder attempts on his life coming hot on the heels on the murder of his wife Moira he is terrified he is next and the attempts are from someone very close to
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2015 Reading Chal...: Hot Money by Dick Francis 1 4 Mar 12, 2015 04:23PM  
  • Dick Francis's Bloodline
  • The Day the Rabbi Resigned
  • Burn Out
  • The Mother Hunt (Nero Wolfe #38)
  • The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax
  • Betrayal
  • Lieberman's Folly (Abe Lieberman, #1)
  • False Scent (Roderick Alleyn, #21)
  • Maigret on the Defensive
  • The Skull Beneath the Skin (Cordelia Gray, #2)
  • The Alpine Journey (Emma Lord Mystery, #10)
  • Mercy
  • Monk's Hood (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #3)
Dick Francis CBE (born Richard Stanley Francis) was a popular British horse racing crime writer and retired jockey.

* Sid Halley Mystery
* Kit Fielding Mystery
More about Dick Francis...
To the Hilt Dead Heat Whip Hand (Sid Halley, #2) Proof Bolt (Kit Fielding, #2)

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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.)” 2 likes
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