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Richard Stanley "Dick" Francis was a British jockey and crime writer, many of whose novels centre around horse racing. Francis wrote more than 40 international bestsellers. His first book was his autobiography The Sport of Queens (1957) which led to him becoming the racing correspondent for London's Sunday Express newspaper, remaining in the job for 16 years. In 1962 he published his first thriller Dead Cert, set in the world of racing. Subsequently he regularly produced a novel a year for the next 38 years, missing only 1998 (during which he published a short-story collection). Although all his books were set against a background of horse racing, his male heroes held a variety of jobs from artist (In the Frame and To the Hilt) to private investigator (Odds Against, Whip Hand, Come to Grief, Under Orders-- all starring injured ex-jockey Sid Halley, one of only two heroes used more than once). All the novels are narrated by the hero, who in the course of the story discovers himself to be more resourceful, brave, tricky, than he had thought, and usually finds a certain salvation for himself as well as bestowing it on others. Details of other people's occupations fascinated Francis, and the reader finds him- or herself immersed in the mechanics of such things as photography, accountancy, the gemstone trade, restaurant service on trans-continental trains - but always in the interests of the plot. Disfunctional families were a subject which he exploited particularly well (Reflex, a baleful grandmother, Hot Money, a multi-millionaire father and serial ex-husband, Decider, the related co-owners of a racecourse).Information source: wikipedia