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In the Frame

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,521 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
Charles Todd is an English artist, well-known for his renderings of sleek and athletic horses. But what he sees at his brother's he cannot capture on canvas. His sister-in-law has been murdered, and his brother is the prime suspect. Todd sudenly finds himself in a dangerous manhunt as he searches for an elusive killer who paints his own picture of mayhem....
Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 22nd 1993 by Fawcett (first published 1976)
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Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

I stood on the outside of disaster, looking in.

Sometimes you know right from the opening phrase that you're in for a treat and that you will probably abandon all other pursuits around the house until you turn the last page of the latest Dick Francis thriller. As I've already read about two dozen of his books, this isn't really a surprise, and what others may call predictable and repetitive in his characterization and plotting I call reliable, dependable and comfortably familiar.

But Francis doe
The mystery itself is typical Francis fare; so much so, in fact, that I spotted the villain on his first appearance. There's a generous dollop of violence, the villain is a bit deranged, but at least that side isn't drawn out (which I objected to in several other Francis novels). A good bit of research, as always - this time into painting - and I absolutely admire the way the researched facts are handled, not ladled out if large helpings, stopping the plot for a time, but sprinkling them here an ...more
David Highton
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So reliable, an intrepid hero, horse racing, crime and all so easy to read
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 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


When Charles Todd visits his cousin, Donald, he lands unexpectedly right in the middle of a major crisis: a burgled house, Donald's young wife, Regina, brutally murdered, Donald himself prostrated by grief, almost at his wit's end. What's even worse the police inspector instead of looking for a murderer starts accusing Donald of orchestrating the whole burglary to profit financially from it and help his ailing firm. Charles is outraged by their approach but what can be done? Especially
Kit Ehrman
Mar 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my life. I discovered it in 1977, quit the government job I was working at the time, and went to work in the horse industry so I could experience the horse world firsthand. I worked with and owned horses for 25 years, all because of this book.
Paula Schumm
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audiobook from the library. This murder mystery novel has art, murder, theft, and travel. Charles Todd is an artist of horses, but he travels the world to prove his cousin innocent of murder. Recommended.
Sep 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Todd is a painter, mostly of horses. He goes to visit his cousin only to find that their house has just been burgled and his cousin's wife murdered. Charles stays with his cousin, trying to help him deal with insurance, police, the clean up. But as time passes, it becomes clear that the investigation is stalled and his cousin is falling into a deep depression. Charles decided to take matters into his own hands and follows the clues to Australia.

Like all Dick Francis books, the pace moves
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This Francis book opens with a tragedy, and throughout the book it contains more explorations of emotion than I think most Francis books do. The main character is once again in the "unassuming but successful mostly-loner everyman" mode, but there appears to be more focus on his social interactions (with his cousin, best friend, best friends wife, new friend) than in many other books in the series. This book reads very cinematically, and in fact it was remade into a TV movie in 1989.

As usual, the
Another really great mystery from Dick Francis!
MaryLou Pearce
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any Dick Francis book gets five stars from me.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable but not, I think, Francis's best work. I don't mind the fact that his books adhere to a formula, but this one never seemed to develop fully enough to really bring the formula to life. However, I did enjoy the Australian setting and the interactions between Jik and Todd, and I thought that Sarah's character was skillfully drawn. She wasn't a caricature. She progressed through very natural suspicion, reluctance, fear, courage, and affection.
Denise Kettering
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Like other Francis novels, this book revolves around the horse racing world. Charles Todd is a horse painter, who finds himself trying to solve some problems on his cousin's behalf. There is a good degree of suspense in trying to figure out the case and the way that the various characters overlap and interact. The moral and upright main character is compelling and the events are interesting. Overall this is an enjoyable and fast read.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Excellent. If you're a fan of Francis this is great stuff. And for once, he takes the time to continue the narrative after the baddie is unveiled in order to deal with Charles's brother's ongoing grief.
Intersting plot; good entertainment.
Glad I was not the one trying to find the culprit.
Gary Smith
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great, easy read.
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Todd shows up at his cousin's house in England for a visit only to find his cousin, Donald, in a state of shock and Donald's wife dead of blunt force trauma to the head. Donald's wife had come home to find a burglary in progress and was brutally killed for that discovery. Charles stayed with Donald for several days but ultimately returned home to London at Donald's urging. Soon after, while at the races, Charles meets a woman who wants to commission him to do a painting of the remains o ...more
Jul 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, owned, paperback
I always turn to a Dick Francis novel, when I need a break from the latest writing styles of today. Francis always turns out to be a refreshingly sweet breeze from the past, full of old-fashioned manners, lifestyles, and attitudes, and isn't it nice to go there once in a while, for a short stay? Even if it's in a short novel such as this.
In the Frame is a novel about a painter, instead of the usual jockey, which was a nice change of pace. Francis makes sure to write, in the beginning of the book
Holly Kenyon
I first read this book many years ago when I worked through every Dick Francis book written.
It was even better this time around.
Considering it was written in 1976 it holds up very well. Ok, the lack of mobile phones to assist the plight of our heroes and the use of telex instead does put a date on it, but it really doesn't detract from the story.
It was great to have a rounded and complete story with plenty of edge of the seat moments packed into such a little book. Admittedly I am rather more
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never read or listened to a Dick Francis book I didn't enjoy and this one was certainly no exception. All of Mr. Francis' books have something to do with horse racing. As with another book I recently read that delved into wine and whiskey, this book's narrator isn't directly involved with horse racing. Instead he is a painter of horses and horse racing. Charles Todd's cousin's wife is murdered in the course of a burglary when she surprises the burglars in the act. Todd meets a woman whose h ...more
Lenny Husen
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, one of Francis' best. 4.5 stars.
Docking 1/2 point from 5 because I wanted Maisie to get her Treasures back.
Sidebar: Why do Francis' protagonists always have to get the shit kicked out of them?
I sincerely admire Dick Francis for his ability to write for both men and women. These are highly enjoyable books, although I am partial to the older ones from the late 50's and 60's up to the early 70's.
The protagonist is always male, always good-looking in a quiet way, slender yet muscular, in
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Todd arrives at his cousin's house to discover that it has been burgled of antiques, 2000 bottles of fine wine, and his cousin's wife has been murdered. The police are convinced his cousin arranged the theft and murder because of the wine. The thieves must have known to bring wine boxes and to have had the time to pack it all up.

Todd paints racehorses for a living. At the track to meet a client, he is introduced to a woman who has also had a recent burglary. He discovers that the woman a
I always enjoy Dick Francis' books, especially the earlier ones.

In this one, artist Dick (oh, sorry, Charles Todd) turns up for a visit with his cousin Donald, only to find the place crawling with press and police. The house has been thoroughly burgled, and Donald's wife Regina has been murdered with Donald being the prime suspect.

A chance meeting with Maisie, whose house recently burned down, leads Charles on a trip to Australia and New Zealand to see if he can uncover an organised crime ring.
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very fine novel by Dick Francis whose books are usually about people who like horses. The main character in this book is a painter of horses who finds himself wrapped up in a mystery that involves horse paintings, antiques, large thefts, murder, and trips to Australia and New Zealand. My fifth grade grandson is reading at a 10th or higher grade level and it's difficult to find material at that level appropriate for a ten year old. This might be one author who would be acceptable. Of co ...more
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Charles Todd, planning to spend the weekend with his cousin Donald Stuart, walks in on a burglary gone wrong and the murder of Stuart’s wife. Charles, a painter of horses, is interested in a painting that Donald has just brought home from Australia. The coincidence of another horse lover who has been in Australia and bought a painting which is stolen when she arrives home leads Charles to visit a friend in Australia, where they uncover an art fraud scheme. This book has all the earmarks of a Fr ...more
More everyman adventures, this time in Australia. We barely touch on horse racing for this one. As is typical with Francis, sometimes you get a little racing, and sometimes you get a lot. Always with the everyman hero and some very light romance.

Artist Charles Todd visits his cousin Donald, only to discover Donald's wife has been killed in a burglary. Driven to help his cousin and with no real help from the police, the clues lead him to Australia. Charles, with the help of his old college frien
Sarah Adamson
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, mystery
This thriller explores the little known world of horse painters! Whilst some will recognize the talents of the master Stubbs in his recognizable portraits of some of racing's finest horses, most will find it confusing that many people hire a painter who's life work is to paint racehorses!
However this painter who gets along just fine and can buy the needed paints and canvases, visits his cousin to find a murder scene. He gets caught up in a messy international situation involving paintings, wine
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This time author Francis' connection to horses is in paintings of them.

Racing related thrillers - Charles Todd--a renowned painter of horses--is shocked when he turns up at his cousin Donald's house for a weekend visit to find his cousin's young wife dead on the floor--and Donald the police's prime suspect. Determined to prove Donald's innocence, Todd trails a set of clues from England to Australia to New Zealand, only to realize that someone is trailing him. Someone with every intention of taki
Diana Gamin
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dick Francis is my go-to author when I want a mystery with a horse in it. I most appreciate the way his protagonist always manages to solve deadly problems with little to no violence on his/her part (although violence is usually inflicted on the protagonist). He also will take give an in-depth look at something outside of the horse world, and I enjoy learning about those professions or processes (glass making, painting, etc.). The stories are always well-paced, edgy/tense, and I rarely figure ou ...more
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book starts out with a huge bang - the main character finds his cousin in the aftermath of a burglary and the body of the cousin's wife in the library. Events take him all the way to Australia and New Zealand, and this is really a fast-paced story. So thrilling!

I saw from my note that I'd last read this almost exactly 10 years ago, but I remembered practically nothing of the story. Great! ! ! I love Dick Francis books and there aren't going to be any more of them, so thank heavens for my poo
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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...