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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  2,805 ratings  ·  107 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 Berkley (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 — 54 voters
1984 by George OrwellHamlet by William ShakespeareMacbeth by William ShakespeareDracula by Bram StokerNight by Elie Wiesel
One Word Titles
88th out of 853 books — 108 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
Michael McLean
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 5 of 5 stars
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
I’ve recently discovered the mysteries of Dick Francis who died in 2010. His books are very popular in my neck of the woods (Saratoga) as their background is horse racing. His principal is or was a steeplechase jockey, Francis’ vocation when a young man.

His local is usually England but some are different such as “The Edge” which involves a transcontinental rail excursion from Montreal to Vancouver. Very interesting. So far my favorite is “Straight” which is a mystery, yes, but also a story about
Thanks to Emma Darwin's decision to deconstruct the wonderful opening sentence of this on her 'This Itch of Writing' blog, and it being the most-memorable and most frequently re-read of all his books, for me, I started it again last night and isnstead of getting on with all the things I ought to have been doing, read it from cover to cover, appreciating anew Dick Francis's skills as a hugely entertaining and informative novelist - none of this has dated and in the 20+ years since I last read it ...more
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
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
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
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,
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
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
Dewayne Stark
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Jan 14
I had a real hankering to read this again and I did enjoy it as much as the first 5 times I read it!

I have been reading Dick Francis books since I was about 14 and my mum owns them all and I've read all of them several times. They seem a bit dated and not quite as good anymore, but they've been part of my life for a long time. As always with Dick Francis the research is really impressive - in this case all about the gem trade (excellent) and gadgets (from the 80's of course). It was alway
Straight is an especially intense, complex, and atmospheric entry in the Francis series. The book drops you "straight" into tragedy, and it never really lets up from there. Multiple villains are out to get our hero -- and he gets bashed, crushed, squashed, mauled, and generally folded-spindled-and-mutilated in the course of figuring out who did what to whom. In the meantime Francis teaches us about the gemstone trade, the electronic gadgets current at that time, and several twisty puzzles left b ...more
Francis, Dick - 28th book

When Derek Franklin, a steeplechase jockey nursing a shattered ankle from a bad spill, learns of the death of his older, long-estranged brother Greville, he's stunned to find himself named as both executor of the will and sole heir. But in rapid succession, Derek is mugged, his brother's gemology firm is robbed, and Derek himself is assaulted in another robbery attempt; understandably, he comes to suspect that Greville's death may not have been an accident.

Kate Millin
A jockey managing to sort out the issues from his brothers jewellery business when he takes it over after sudden death
This was my real first stab at a Dick Francis novel. I recall picking one up like 25 years ago or so and not really getting into it. But I have to say, I'm glad I gave him a second chance. This is a fast-paced, somewhat quirky novel that's set in the world of horse racing. Didn't know what role horses would play and I was worried I would need more knowledge about that world. But it's just set there without too many expectations on the reader. The plot twists are fun, and there's nothing too heav ...more
first dick francis i read, one of my favorites :D

triggered my dick francis addiction.
Jake West
This is a really good book. This book was a bit out of my normal readings,my brother recommended it to me and WOW. I definitely was a mystery book, it's about a man how inherits his brothers company. The company is a jewel company and it is missing thousands of dollars invested in some diamonds which also seem to be missing. While this is all happening his horses are being tampered with and someone is trying to kill him... It make an excellent movie, hint, hint, nudge, nudge Warner Bros studio. ...more
Denise M. Hartman
Aug 21, 2011 Denise M. Hartman rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Denise by: Carolyn Wheat
Enjoyed this book. The protagonist a jockey finds himself trying to unravel an older brother's affairs after an unexpected accident. Of course things aren't what they seem and it takes all of Derek's skills to sort things out. The setting is Great Britain and the horsey details of the jockey's life are just right and add deeply to a subplot without overwhelming the reader with information on horse jumping. It's suspenseful and an easy book to read. The last few chapters get going really fast so ...more
Tom Glassco
Quick and easy read. Great pace, but not the deepest of stories.
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Straight 5 17 Mar 10, 2013 10:34AM  
  • Dick Francis's Bloodline
  • Champagne for One (Nero Wolfe, #31)
  • A Palm for Mrs Pollifax (Mrs Pollifax, #4)
  • The Wrong Rite
  • See You Later Alligator
  • Betrayal
  • Someday the Rabbi Will Leave
  • Talking God (Navajo Mysteries, #9)
  • Cutting Edge (Charles Resnick, #3)
  • Brother Cadfael's Penance (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #20)
  • Traitors Gate (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #15)
  • Caught In The Light
  • This United State (Tweed & Co. #16)
  • The Blind Barber (Dr. Gideon Fell, #4)
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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“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”
More quotes…