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3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,202 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
A jockey becomes the sole inheritor of his late brother's business, horse, mistress, and enemies.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published January 1st 1989)
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Proof by Dick FrancisTo the Hilt by Dick FrancisBreak In by Dick FrancisThe Danger by Dick FrancisBolt by Dick Francis
Dick Francis Mysteries
6th out of 40 books — 57 voters
1984 by George OrwellHamlet by William ShakespeareMacbeth by William ShakespeareDracula by Bram StokerOthello by William Shakespeare
One Word Titles
76th out of 1,059 books — 134 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 04, 2012 Harry rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 08, 2016 David rated it it was amazing
One of the better Dick Francis novels I have read. A little less horseracing and a little more 'James Bondish' crime fiction in this one. The characters were interesting and I enjoyed the gadgets, the intrigue, the suspense and the conclusion.
Michael McLean
Feb 18, 2011 Michael McLean rated it really liked it
I'm really digging these Dick Francis mystery books. Granted, they are easy reading and not the deepest literature but they are well crafted and really give this anglophile a great sense of atmosphere and plot. Two down and 38 to go.
Mary Taitt
Feb 09, 2015 Mary Taitt rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mary by: ML TAITT
This book sucked me in immediately and moved along a good pace and was interesting. An injured jockey gets a call that his brother in the hospital--he's dead, his wallet is missing, he was killed in an accident and you know it wasn't an accident, even though it looks like one. And the plot thickens. The brother was secretly dealing with diamonds and having an affair with a Duchess. The brother owned two race horses and something fishy is going on with the horses. The jockey is no dummy and track ...more
Jan 10, 2016 Alarra rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, francis
When his brother - friendly but not close - dies, Derek inherits his jewellery trading company, along with the employees, a secret mistress, and a possible crime (involving horses, but of course!). Also, they seem to have misplaced 1.5 million dollars worth of diamonds that don't supposedly trade in. And yet, though Derek has no clue about the jewellery business nor of the technical gadgets his brother was so fond of, manages to be excellent at negotiating both to solve all the crimes with just ...more
Rose Griffith
Mar 13, 2015 Rose Griffith rated it it was amazing
Timelessly well done story of brothers and much more

Although published in 1989, this book is a timeless story of brotherhood, love and good vs. bad. Francis' characters are always compelling--I want to have coffee with them. Derek Franklin is no exception. His perseverance through the loss of his much older brother, a riding accident that temporarily halts his jockey career and being launched into running his brother's business could be enough to devastate someone. But he soldiers on and takes r
Linda Barnett
Jan 04, 2016 Linda Barnett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Dick Francis and Straight is an excellent read. It was a book that he wrote after neither his publisher, nor his fans, would stand for anything out of the realm of horse racing so he began writing thrillers where a member of the racing world was drawn into another unrelated "world", in this case that of his deceased brother, the gem industry, which provides the backbone of the story with a side helping of horse racing.

As a long time fan I would be more than content with just racing based
Derrick Franklin is a jump jockey. After a fall during a race, another horse lands on his left ankle, breaking the joint. Derrick refuses a cast as it would wither his muscles, and has his leg tightly wrapped in a bandage. Two days later he is summoned to hospital where his brother Greville is dying after a piece of scaffolding impaled him in the belly. Greville is twenty years Derrick senior, and they didn't know each other well. After Greville dies, Derrick learns Greville has willed him his h ...more
Nov 10, 2012 Martina rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, crime
This novel was... *dramatic sigh* A bit underwhelming, I suppose. The premise is interesting - a steeplechase jockey, Derek Franklin, ends up inheriting everything from his much older and rather estranged late brother. That everything being his late brother's firm, house, car, horses... So it's like Derek has fallen from some remote celestial body. He knows absolutely nothing about gemology, running a firm, having employees, could have serious difficulties as jockey are not allowed to own racing ...more
Feb 09, 2013 Clarkhou rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery, thriller
This book is about a man named Derek Franklin. The book starts off with an event that eventually traumatized Derek for the rest of his jockeying career, and just after, his brother; Greville mysteriously dies in an accident. Now Derek must inherit all his brother's fortunes and pay a mysterious bill of one and a half million dollars that his brother borrowed to buy diamonds... However, with no luck finding the diamonds, Derek is loosing hope, but the plot gets thicker, a horse named 'Dozen Roses ...more
Sep 03, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Not a murder mystery this time. Quoting from one of the paperback editions: "Derek Franklin, injured steeplechase jockey, ... is thrust into chaos following the accidental death of his brother Greville who was an importer of semi-precious stones." Chaos is right. Derek, stumbling around on crutches, has to untangle several intrigues and riddles from his brother's life while person(s) unknown ransack everything and rough him up a lot. Poor guy!

I enjoy that we come to know Greville as a character,
Plain Jane
Apr 28, 2015 Plain Jane rated it it was amazing
Having picked up some second hand Dick Francis novels I had yet to read at a literary fair, I was feeling very smug with myself and couldn't wait to tuck in to them. Ahhh! They were great. This was my second book, following on from the brilliant, Nerve, but once again I was captivated and although the characters aren't deep, or locations ornate, I can picture each scene vividly. I applaud his simplicity and pace. Another winner for me.
Oct 27, 2008 Beth rated it liked it
Derek Franklin inherits his brother's business, his brother's mistress, and his brother's problems when Greville is killed in a freak accident. From the start, Derek is targeted by why and by whom is not so clear. Despite (or perhaps because he's on crutches from a racing fall)he's attacked as he leaves the hospital with his brother's possessions. When he arrives at Greville's office, Derek finds it has been ransacked. Someone is looking for something and Derek soon finds out that it must be a m ...more
Laurie Siegel
Mar 05, 2016 Laurie Siegel rated it really liked it
I had never read Dick Francis but knew he was a pre-eminent writer of horse racing-related mysteries. This was my first Dick Francis--very well written in a uniquely British style of mystery. Having grown up in a town with horse racing as part of its history, I found this to be entertaining and a great introduction to reading more of his books.
Excellent thriller from Dick Francis - as usual connected to horse racing, but in the main involving diamonds and gems. Many well-drawn characters outside and inside the race track. Originally published in 1989 the book is at one point curiously dated, mobile phones were then evidently still only used in cars - at least in Britain.
Apr 12, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
Another great Dick Francis mystery. This one was less horse-centric than many of his books, but the the main theme of gemology was interesting so I can forgive less time around the stables. The story felt on the whole more slowly-paced than many of his other books, but the characters were likeable and entertaining so I never felt like the pace was dragging. While there are other Francis books I think are better, this one was solid 4-star that I very much enjoyed.
Jun 08, 2011 Mrsgaskell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, 8-star
Derek Franklin is recuperating from a riding accident when his brother Greville dies unexpectedly. He is the sole heir and soon must turn his mind to learning about the semi-precious stone trade, not to mention seeking some diamonds which his brother appears to have hidden. His brother was nineteen years his senior and they knew each other only slightly so he has much to learn about his life. Greville Franklin was one for gadgets and puzzles and Derek is not the only one trying to figure things ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Tiina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, the opening is one of the most engaging ones I've seen: "I inherited my brother's life. Inherited his desk, his business, his gadgets, his enemies, his horses and his mistress. I inherited my brother's life and it nearly killed me."

This is absolutely one of the best books Francis wrote.
Apr 03, 2016 Patricia rated it really liked it
I am re-reading some of Dick Francis books. They're great when you are stressed and don't want too many unpleasant surprises. Right always triumphs. The protagonists are good, decent people. Somewhat self contained and tough. Kind of like crime cozies. Great to while away a lazy Sunday.
Dewayne Stark
Aug 30, 2014 Dewayne Stark rated it really liked it
Another Francis book that educates the reader about the precious jewel business and what carats are. A trip to the hospital, a shooting, a terrible car wreck and London parking. This one is filled with gadgets, a wizard and hidden files.
Luke West
Jul 28, 2012 Luke West rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With orders from my Mother to read a Dick Francis book I went looking for one on my kindle, the only non audio book I could find was Straight, I am very glad I did find it. The story is about a man named Derek who has an accident whilst steeple chasing on his horse. When he gets out of hospitable he is informed that his brother, who is a lot older than him so he only got to know him for a short while, is in a critical condition. His brother dies leaving only one will " all my belongings are to g ...more
Feb 12, 2013 Abra rated it really liked it
This was a quick reread. I've read tons and tons and tons of Dick Francis books, even though he only writes one stiff-upper-lip jockey or somehow-horse-related character, whose name and physical description change, and whose connection to horses changes from story to story. But there are certain of his horse-related mysteries that I read and reread. This is one. I like the details of the jewelry business, and the idea of inheritance, and the family alienation. It's got Francis's typical conserva ...more
Lynn Smith-Eldon
Another Winner!

Captured my attention from the first page! The mysteries unfold like layers of an onion, and the answers are revealed in the same manner. I loved every page, every word!
Sep 05, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, bookclub
The story of Derek Franklin, a steeplechase Jockey in England, whose brother died in an unexpected accident, leaving him all he owned. As Derek tries to sort through his brother's afairs, he stumbles upon some mysteries with diamonds and with his brother's racehorses - all the while with someone out to get him.

Although I really did like the main character in the book, and the story was interesting, it was so slow that I never felt hooked. It was only toward the end where I felt that I wanted to
May 23, 2014 Cindy rated it really liked it
Read this book on the plane this week and it reminded me why I love Dick Francis so much. (And why I don't like his son as much yet.) Smooth understated writing with interesting story line!
Bonnie Streetman
Apr 14, 2014 Bonnie Streetman rated it really liked it
I love his books. I always learn about something new; always about horse racing or steeplechasing, and something about the secondary subject, in this case the semi-precious jewel business. Fun books, by a very good wriiter.
Julie Davis
Oct 11, 2014 Julie Davis rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite Dick Francis novels. Between the gemstones, the gadgets, the mystery, and the brotherly relationship this always engages both my attention and my heart.
Jun 04, 2014 Marge rated it really liked it
I plan to read every book Dick Francis ever wrote as I enjoy his stories so much. This story is about a man who inherits his gemstone business and a search for missing diamonds.
Aug 17, 2011 caty rated it really liked it
Derek is recovering from a horse racing injury when his brother unexpectedly dies. Suddenly he is thrust into the world of jewels, mistresses, and mystery.

I really liked the unexpected turns this one took. I feel that there’s little point talking too much about Dick Francis books because they are all quite similar, but some are still more complex than others. This was one of the better ones. There were many surprises and even as someone who cheats and peaks at the last few pages to find out the

Amy Turner
Aug 24, 2014 Amy Turner rated it really liked it
This had all the usual elements that I like in Dick Francis books. The protagonist was even more likable than usual--extremely "straight" in a believable way.
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Straight 5 19 Mar 10, 2013 10:34AM  
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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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“Life has a way of kicking one along like a football, or so I've found. Fate had never dealt me personally a particularly easy time, but that was OK, that was normal. Most people, it seemed to me, took their turn to be football. Most survived. Some didn't.” 10 likes
“May I deal with honour
May I act with courage
May I achieve humility”
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