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Hot Money

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  4,112 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
Malcolm Pembroke never expected to make a million pounds without making enemies. Nor did he expect his latest wife to be brutally murdered. All the clues suggest the killer comes from close to home - but after five marriages and nine children, that still leaves the field wide open. When he finds his own life in danger, Pembroke entrusts his safety to his estranged son, Ian ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published March 4th 1988 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 1987)
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Lisa There is no sex, but there are a couple of murders and they are described... not in the detail as in a P. Cornwell novel, but I would have let my…moreThere is no sex, but there are a couple of murders and they are described... not in the detail as in a P. Cornwell novel, but I would have let my middle school student read it. For younger, you might try a Murder She Wrote or Diagnosis Murder book.(less)

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Smooth as a good malt whisky.

Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
"I intensely disliked my father's fifth wife, but not to the point of murder." I read those fourteen words, and I was hooked! That is the compelling first sentence in this standalone novel by the master storyteller, Dick Francis. This book has convinced me that I want read all of his work, which is a massive collection of horsey based writing! Francis uses a brilliant concept for the structure or plot, if you want to call it that, of this mystery. Narrated by Ian Pembroke, an amateur jockey, Fra ...more
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A clever enough plot that entwines itself around a highly disfunctional and greedy family, all of which are blindly intent on maximising their inheritance. At 432 pages, the story was padded in parts, and maybe the editor's red ink could have deleted a couple of the race meetings (even a trip to Australia for the Melbourne Cup), that I felt were superfluous in the grand scheme of things.
4 stars ****
Robena Grant
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Started this one on May 28th and read it straight through. I loved the cast of thousands and had no difficulty keeping them all straight in my mind. Each character was distinctly drawn, and the whodunit clearly disguised, the main protagonists were fully rounded and likeable. Sign of a genius. : )
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I intensely disliked my father's fifth wife, but not to the point of murder."

So begins "Hot Money," Francis's 1987 masterpiece of homicidal family drama. Malcolm Pembroke is a filthy-rich gold broker and serial husband with a string of wives and children surrounding him. When someone murders his latest wife by suffocating her in her own potting soil, he turns to his estranged son Ian for protection and help.

Ian, while interesting enough, is a fairly innocuous hero; the true focus of the novel a
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
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see why Dick Francis had a terrific career as a mystery writer and why fans still seek out his books.

"Hot Money" is a very enjoyable romp through a disfunctional family populated with several ex-wives and children of various legitmacies. Several attempts have been made on the life of Malcolm Pembroke, the family's patriarch. Malcolm reaches out for help to his estranged son, Ian, an amateur jockey who had turned his back on the Pembroke clan's money and problems. The fun begins.

Francis' w
Marya Kowal
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite Francis books.

Malcom has 5 ex wives and 9 children, all but one of whom want his money, attention, and affection. Only one son is estranged, and that is the son he turns to when he's bashed on the head and his soon-to-be-next-ex is murdered.

The ex wives are hysterically funny, and you'd think Francis would come off as misogynistic when you read about how horrible they are, but he gives each one a backstory so they're also a little pitiful, and more understandable.

The c
Nov 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never read murder mysteries. I think this was my first one. I had to read it because it was about 9 kids who all wanted their inheritance now. Which one of his kids was trying to kill him?
Mar 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best Dick Francis books that I've read. I liked the suspense (as usual) but also the psychological look into a wealthy and largely dysfunctional family like the Pembrokes.
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beloved
1 Jan 1989
28 Jun 1990
1 Jan 1998
21 Jul 1998
Ken Smith
The novels by Dick Francis are always fun to read, easily mixing English horse racing culture with mystery and murder. They are light entertainment for a relaxing summer day. Written by an experienced professional jockey, the novels carry the excitement of the English racing community and love of horses. In the novel Hot Money an amateur jockey, Ian Pembroke, is forced into investigating the murder of his father's fifth wife. Ian's dad is filthy rich and is responsible for a fair amount of pain ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a while since I read a book by Dick Francis and based on the evidence of this story it is my loss. A good plot about a family, on the surface at least, driven by greed that is well written and a compelling read.

The family dynamics are well observed and in the confines of the story very believable. It occasionally felt a bit padded out, and I wasn't totally convinced with the reasoning which identified the murderer, but perhaps I missed something.

However, in short this was a good reintroduc
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I finish this, Dick Francis has pulled away from Philip Roth to third place in my Goodreads Most Read Author list – this is Francis’ 17th book that I have read. And I think I’ve found my favorite, so far at least. “Hot Money” doesn’t follow the standard recipe that I’ve noticed in most Francis’ stories – mashing up some aspect of horse racing with two other areas that he surely had to research, like movie production and computer viruses, and building a believable and driving mystery containin ...more
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I had read all the Dick Francis books. I'm so glad I was wrong. Lately, as I reread them, I naturally find them less than original, less fun to read. It's so nice to find one I didn't know existed and recapture that fun and esteem that comes from reading a book like Hot Money.

It's a typical Dick Francis novel. A mild-mannered protagonist who is forced into helping someone out of a jam inspired by a murder, usually involving a strange or estranged family and always involving horse raci
Sep 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dick_francis
Francis, Dick - 26th book

With his five ex-wives and the nine children between them, it's no great surprise that spectacularly wealthy gold trader Malcolm Pembroke should preside over a motley clan in constant conflict with one another.

But when violent death strikes the least likable of his former spouses, Malcolm himself feels threatened, and he calls on his most capable son, Ian, the family jockey. Ian's task: to protect his father from their nearest, if not always dearest, relati
I've read all the Dick Francis books over the years, starting back in the 80's when I found my first tattered copy in a used bookstore. When Dick passed away last year, I decided it was time to rediscover the pleasure of his stories. I particularly enjoyed this story of family dysfunction and greed. I loved the voice of the protagonist and found the mystery to be satisfying.
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
More of a character study than a mystery, a study of a large, dysfunctional family on the brink of a collapse. And my favorite Dick Francis novel, hands down. Ian Pembroke is my favorite Francis hero, nothing seems to faze the guy, and I loved his relationship with his father, Malcolm.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: francis
Story of a multi-millionaire patriarch who's four ex-wives and children want their inheritance now so much so there are three attempts on his life. One son is trusted To help protect the father and works on n trying to discover who is attempting the murders.
Suzanne Borcherds
Great mystery

I love all books written by Duck Francis! This book keeps one guessing to the very end. He has great insight into the minds and hearts of people and turns it into fascinating works of fiction. Very entertaining and informative. I highly recommend this book.
Katy Ginn
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read and one I picked up by pure chance because it was the only thing there and I needed something to read, but it kept me engaged and made me laugh so what's not to like. Not a life changer but definitely a decent read.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2017
Francis a the top of his form. Good stuff.
Jackie Nooyen
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved this book, would read and recommend.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun romp
Mani Kandan
Good story and characterization but too slow.
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
A good plot.
Donald Stevens
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good as always.
As I read, I was comparing this to the works of two other mystery writers. Comparisons are odious, but also fun. One is Robert Barnard, due to the unsavoriness of so many of the characters. (Unlike with Barnard, when you know the complete asshole of chapter 1 will be murdered by chapter 3, there was no chance they'd all be murdered.) It works better in Barnard, perhaps because he concentrates his writer's bile on one or two characters. Francis is trying to create 10 nasty people, and also explai ...more
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Reading this makes me glad that my family is not, and God willing never will be, this complex. Or this acrimonious. I'm also glad Ian Pembroke is the sort of character who can shrug off the invective leveled at him because wow. I sure couldn't.

Ian has to navigate all the vitriol and figure out everyone's motivations. Why are they all so unhappy? Could one of them be a murderer? Most of the book is a treatise on How Not To Treat People. They're pretty vicious to each other, and more than willing
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2015 Reading Chal...: Hot Money by Dick Francis 1 6 Mar 12, 2015 04:23PM  
  • Dick Francis's Bloodline
  • One Fine Day the Rabbi Bought a Cross
  • Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist (Mrs. Pollifax, #13)
  • The Mother Hunt (Nero Wolfe #38)
  • East of Desolation
  • A Grave Mistake (Roderick Alleyn, #30)
  • Betrayal
  • People Who Walk in Darkness (Porfiry Rostnikov, #15)
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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“She said several times that Malcollm was a fiend who was determined to destroy his children, and that I was the devil incarnate helping him. She hoped we would both rot in hell. (I thought devils and fiends might flourish there, actually.)” 2 likes
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