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3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  2,380 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
A closed-door enquiry has found a jockey guilty of the lowest possible crime--throwing a race for money. His reputation scarred, he's begun his own investigation--but asking the wrong questions just might get him killed.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 6th 2004 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 1969)
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Mar 16, 2016 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Enquiry would not be my choice as a top Francis book, but it has a few things going for it. For one, this is focused on the horse racing industry. Many of Francis’ books have had horse racing as a side topic, mixing it with details on other topics like glass blowing or acting. This is all about the industry. This also had some action and some fast resolutions after what I thought was an overlong setup. The setup involved a quasi legal “courtroom proceeding” that was described by a confused victi ...more
Mar 09, 2013 Elisabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013
Enquiry wasn't Mr. Francis' best work. It was certainly readable (I finished it, and I have no qualms about dropping books that aren't worth my time) but it lacked the snap-and-crackle and depth of most of his other works. Upon finishing I thought it might have been his first novel, because it felt like he may have just not gotten the trick of a rich plot yet, but I later learned it was his 8th. I'm glad that I've already read must of his others and therefore know Enquiry is an exception, not th ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
An enquiry into an enquiry by the jockey falsely accused of throwing a race and the trainer for betting on the winner of the race. While I wasn't convinced by the way it turned out, I was, as always, charmed by the ever-modest main character who nevertheless outsmarts them all and solves the puzzling reasons why anyone would go to such lengths to frame them. A fine book to re-read in time for the Kentucky Derby 🐎
Louise Armstrong
Aug 20, 2011 Louise Armstrong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought he did a brilliant job of decsribing the Enquiry itself, where everyone had found the hero guilty before it began. It reminded me of school - that nightmare feeling that nothing you can say will get you out of trouble because they are all determined to hang you and don't care about the truth.

He's a great thriller writer.

'I rode him at Reading exactly as I did at Oxford without using the whip.'
'That is beside the point, Hughes, because Squelch may not of needed the whip at Reading, but
May 18, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an older Dick Franics novel for 1969 but the story is so well written that is lost nothing over the years. Kelly Hughes is a jockey and Dexter Carrington a trainer are warned off after a race where Kelly rode the favored horse but did not win. They both lose their racing licenses and can't race again. Both swear they are innocent and Kelly begins to investigate who set them up. I love Dick Francis novels and this one did not disappoint!

I listened to this story again on CD and still feel
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Feb 20, 2017 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book solely at the recommendation of a friend. Despite knowing nothing about horse racing, I really enjoyed this book. It's very clear that Francis has done the research on the racing world.
The writing is nicely done, and I enjoyed getting to know Kelly Hughes. I think people who enjoy the Hamish Macbeth series by MC Beaton will appreciate this. I've discovered I like British and Scottish fiction better than modern American fiction. I think the mystery was nicely plotted, and the pl
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
I would recommend Dick Francis’ novel Enquiry to everyone. In the novel Enquiry a jockey named Kelly Hughes has had his racing licensed suspended and suspects it is because of foul play. On the day that he was racing he didn’t win, and that was it but instead of the owner taking it as a simple occurrence it is instead brought to a review board and with them using a pile of evidence stacked against Hughes, his license is taken away.
Some main themes in this novel are proving honesty, friendship,
Alexis Neal
A decent enough mystery. On the plus side, the villains are more normal, and are driven by largely normal motives (albeit normal motives inflated and aggravated to abnormal levels). Francis can sometimes fall into the habit of resolving his stories with the rather lazy trope of "a crazy psychotic madman did it!" It's much more compelling when the perpetrator is a largely normal neighbor, driven by commonplace motives. As a reader, I prefer stories that remind me that I am not so different from t ...more
Hank Hoeft
Dick Francis wrote over 40 novels, and Enquiry is an early one--it was his eighth published work of fiction (his first book was an autobiography chronicling his career as a steeplechase jockey). And while his work has a consistent gentle rise in quality, I still love his earlier works for their economy of words and their no-nonsense, straightforward unfolding of the plot. Enquiry of course is about horse racing, about which I know almost nothing (about all I do know, I've learned from reading Di ...more
Jun 03, 2011 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Standard Dick Francis thriller - meaning good writing, likable characters, a little love interest, a little whiff of High Society, the usual adversary trying to use violence as a means to an end and the hero stoically enduring and digging his heels in obstinately and using brains rather than brawn to clear his name.
The plot is a little less spectacular than other Francis books, dealing with the aftermath of a jockey suspension enquiry and his efforts to revert the decision. The final reveal was
Lenny Husen
Quick, Beach read. Not his best or worst. Ending was pretty darn decent. Woke up in middle of night fighting hate in my heart for our neighbors in 1997-2000, the Malevolent Malones. Actually they weren't malevolent, just snobbish greedy selfish assholes who thought they were better than everyone else. Especially that Leslie. Ugh. So I'm trying to do the Loving Kindness Meditation on the Malones and failing miserably, then I turned on the light and read Enquiry for 2 hours. Problem solved. There ...more
Feb 15, 2009 Margo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jockey Kelly Hughes and trainer Dexter Cranfield had been barred from racing--a devastating event for them both. The charge t the secret enquiry? Throwing a race for personal profit. It was a vicious frame-up and, worse, they had nowhere to turn to clear their names. Still Hughes refused to take the phony verdict lying down--even though his personal enquiry might have him lying down permanently...

I love Dick Francis' works. Set among the racing world in England, his action moves fast, and I like
Dec 20, 2014 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, england
Jockey Kelly Hughes had his license suspended for repeatedly losing races on purpose. An official enquiry was conducted and he was notified of the decision. Trouble was that all of the so-called evidence presented at the enquiry was false. Kelly sets out to get his license restored and uncover who framed him.
A good, typical Dick Francis mystery. Sometimes I can get a sense of where it is going and who will be behind the evil. This one I couldn't at all and was surprised at the outcome.
John Marsh
Dec 26, 2014 John Marsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Not one of his best books, but still a satisfactory read. I have read a number of Dick Francis books and never tire of them. The main character always sounds the same, but that's okay. I would have rated it higher, except that the guilty person admitted all, in the end told why he had done it. When this happens I always find that corny. Surely the guilty person would deny his guilt always. I did guess the reason why the main character was set up early in the book.
Jan 10, 2016 Alarra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, francis
I didn't really enjoy this one. Kelly is not as charmingly easy to like as his other heroes, and while a lot of the same themes crop up, it just doesn't seem as exciting here. Maybe because the stakes feel very personal - the outcomes of his detective work is important to him, but it doesn't feel universal enough for me to care as much. Also, the mystery involves a distaste for consensual kink and serious mental problems, and the seeming judgement of both left a bad taste in my mouth.
Feb 08, 2011 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-noir
I needed some Dick Francis. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is too heavy (literally and mentally?) for the train.


There seemed to be even less action/intruige than a usual DF mystery. A full half of the book passed before the hero was actually threatened by anyone.

Also, the social commentary on S&M (and confusion with physical abuse) was a little strange/unexpected. Oh, the 60s. And a lot of parts of the country now, I guess.
Jun 13, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finalist 1969 Gold Dagger Award.

Racing related thrillers - After being charged at a secret enquiry with throwing a race for profit, jockey Kelly Hughes and trainer Dexter Cranfield have been barred from racing - a devastating event for both of them. It was a vicious frame-up, and worse, they have nowhere to turn to clear their names. Still, Hughes refuses to take the phony verdict lying down...even though his personal enquiry might have him lying down permanently.

Sonia Gensler
I've been a Dick Francis fan since early teenhood, but this is the first time in well over a decade that I've gone back to re-read. Enquiry has a very appealing hero, but there's too much telling relative to showing in this book. Most of the solution relies on confession, which just isn't as dramatic. Still good, though, and the audio performance from Ralph Cosham is very well done.
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
I've read many of Dick Francis's books over the years, and have enjoyed most, if not all, of them. Interesting narratives, characters from the British horse-racing world, lots of action, and quick to read. This one may not be a favorite (gave it an 8 out of 10), but it was still pretty darn good! (It was from 1969.)
Jan 15, 2013 Smooth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the radio play produced by the BBC a few years ago and was intrigued and wanted to read this. The language is a touch old, however that does not detract from the good story within. I'm not into horses one bit, but this book is not about horses as such.

Decent book, a touch predictable but worth the time.
Pete Abela
Jun 08, 2012 Pete Abela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this novel and raced through it very quickly. I'm obviously getting familiar with Dick Francis' work because I guessed who the villain was (and the motive) within a sentence of him being mentioned, although I did start to second-guess myself toward the end of the book. A fast-paced thriller which may not be Francis' best but very enjoyable nevertheless.
Dennis Fischman
I have absolutely no interest in horse racing, but Francis makes the sport and the personalities involved in it clear and vivid. This book is about a gentleman jockey clearing his name and getting the girl. I could see Cary Grant in the role of Kelly Hughes and Grace Kelly as his employer's daughter, Roberta Cranfield.
Lorrie Savoy
Jul 16, 2013 Lorrie Savoy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All Dick Francis's novels fall into a basic pattern - stoical, likable 1st person narrator, bit of romance, some connection to horse racing, torture scene, resolution. The delight comes from how he makes each one a bit different (is the narrator a jockey? and earl, a wine merchant?). The set up for this book is the unique feature. As always, satisfying.
Jan 12, 2015 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jockey Kelly Hughes and the trainer he rides for get banned from racing for throwing a race. Hughes is adamant that he didn't cheat, and never has, but the inquiry board seems to have a vendetta against them. Hughes investigates who wanted them out of racing, and finds plenty of trouble along the way (and a girl, too). No language.
Aug 02, 2009 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book, but not terribly exciting, as I am not a huge fan of horseracing. Francis was a professional jockey before he was a writer, so that explains his topic. Overall, a run of the mill mystery. Not full of the flowing prose I had hoped. And, it was predictable. I knew who dunnit half way through.
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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
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