Dick Francis cover

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Dick Francis

English jockey and crime writer

1920   -   2010

country of citizenship: United Kingdom, Wales
native language: English
educated at: Summer Fields School
occupation: writer, equestrian, novelist, jockey
award received: Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Edgar Award, Cartier Diamond Dagger

Richard Stanley Francis CBE FRSL (31 October 1920 – 14 February 2010) was a British crime writer, and former steeplechase jockey, whose novels centre on horse racing in England.After wartime service in the RAF, Francis became a full-time jump-jockey, winning over 350 races and becoming champion jockey of the British National Hunt. He came to further prominence in 1956 as jockey to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, riding her horse Devon Loch. It fell when he was close to winning the Grand National. Francis retired from the turf and became a journalist and novelist. All his novels deal with crime in the horse-racing world, with some of the criminals being outwardly respectable figures. The stories are narrated by one of the key players, often a jockey, but sometimes a trainer, an owner, a bookie, or someone in a different profession, peripherally linked to racing. This person is always facing great obstacles, often including physical injury, from which he must fight back with determination. (The most frequently recurring of Francis' protagonists was former jockey turned one-armed private investigator Sid Halley.) More than forty of these novels became international best-sellers.
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