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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,849 ratings  ·  44 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 Berkley (first published 1969)
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Francis, Dick - 8th book

Kelly Hughes is a jockey, labelled a cheat by a Steward's enquiry. To clear his name he investigates all those who gave evidence, including the Chief Steward who was being blackmailed. Kelly, helped by Roberta, his employer's daughter, finds out who the real villain is and saves the stables.

Loved this one. Francis has a way of making you feel the emotions of the characters. I also learned about carbon monoxide poisoning from this book.
Louise Armstrong
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
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
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
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
Elaine Jack
Love everything about the book: the characters, plot, pace etc it's a masterclass in telling an imaginative, believable first person story with a few surprises along the way. And I always feel as if I know more about the horse riding world when I've read one of Francis' books. Love it.
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
This story starts in a dramatic way - the jockey Kelly Hughes has lost his licence. When he wakes up from this shock, he starts to work towards getting his licence back, and he also wants to know why someone wanted to frame him.

This was an excellent story!
Another good read by Dick Francis about a jockey who is trying to prove his innocence when he loses his license for supposedly throwing a race.
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
A previously unread Dick Francis! Such joy!
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.
This is an older Dick Franics novel for 1969 but they 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 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.
Pete Abela
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.
Lorrie Savoy
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.
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.
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.
Deirdre S.
A great story about a miscarriage of justice, as a steeplechase jockey is framed for offenses that result in his racing license being withdrawn and his reputation mangled. This is sure to mark the end of his career unless he can figure out who has it in for him and the trainer he rides for.
Fredrick Danysh
A closed hearing finds a jockey and a trainer guilty of throwing a race. The jockey refuses to accept the verdict and launches his own investigation to prove his innocence and salvage his reputation. His questions could get him killed.
Lisa Hayes
The "Recorded Books" guy reading it was pretty bad, which is unusual for that company. The story was very compelling. I only "listen" to Dick Francis--I can't stand reading him for some reason. I really enjoy them on cd in the car though.
Candace Camp
This is one of my favorite Dick Francis books. I particularly liked the pairing in this one of the jockey and the snobby trainer's daughter. His couples are frequently kind of different, and I like that about his books.
A cracking good read from Dick Francis about a warned-off jockey who turns detective to figure out who framed him, and learns the hard way that people will do anything to protect a variety of sordid secrets.
This Francis novel somehow seems less eventful or perhaps tense to me than most of his others. The narrator, Tony Britton, does a fine job, including good work with an American accent.
Ian Rodwell
I have reviewed this novel and the other Dick Francis novels and put them in a FREE EBook.

You can get your copy at:
Feb 15, 2010 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jockey Kelly Hughes and trainer Dexter Cranfield have been unfairly barred from racing for throwing a race. Hughes investigates who wanted them out of racing.
Good plot - jockey loses his licence for supposedly fixing a race - which is not true. He has to find who set him up, and work to get the licence back.
As with all Dick Francis books I have read thus far, well written, good pace at unfolding events, suspense and putting the pieces together.
What little I know about horse racing I owe to Dick Francis--I really like the way he interweaves his stories. I try to out guess him.
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Dick Francis CBE (born Richard Stanley Francis) was a popular British horse racing crime writer and retired jockey.

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