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Dick Francis was one of the most successful post-war National Hunt jockeys. The winner of over 350 races, he was champion jockey in 1953/1954 and rode for HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, most famously on Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National. On his retirement from the saddle, he published his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write forty-three bestselling novels, a volume of short stories (Field of 13), and the biography of Lester Piggott. During his lifetime Dick Francis received many awards, amongst them the prestigious Crime Writers' Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger for his outstanding contribution to the genre, and three 'best novel' Edgar Allan Poe awards from The Mystery Writers of America. In 1996 he was named by them as Grand Master for a lifetime's achievement. In 1998 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2000. Dick Francis died in February 2010, at the age of eighty-nine, but he remains one of the greatest thriller writers of all time.
Beloved series character Sid Halley, a champion jockey, makes a welcome return in the latest fast-paced crime novel from bestseller Francis (Come to Grief). When a crippling injury forces Halley into retirement, he begins a second career as a PI. Thanks to his doggedness and integrity, he attracts many clients, including a mysterious government figure who asks him to assess the unintended consequences of Britain's legalization of Internet gambling, and others who wish him to unravel the nest of puzzles surrounding the murder of a jockey, Huw Walker, suspected of throwing races. This time, the sinister forces arrayed against him have an unexpected weapon threats of violence against Halley's new significant other. The writing and action are as crisp as ever, though longtime Francis fans may find the plot a little familiar. BOMC and Mystery Guild main selection. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
After six years in retirement, Francis is back with another exciting thriller. Sid Halley, a former jockey who became a private investigator after being injured in a serious racing fall, now finds himself in even more danger off the track. After a day at the races that ends in three deaths, Sid ends up with a few too many jobs. Lord Enstone has asked him to find out why his horses keep losing, the father of the murdered jockey wants Sid to investigate his son's death, and his part-time boss at the secretive Cabinet Office wants Sid to look into organized crime's involvement with gaming centers and online betting. Francis, with the skill that has earned him three Edgar Awards, develops each of these inquiries, adding intriguing plot twists along the way. His characters come to life in Martin Jarvis's stellar performance of this enthralling mystery. Sure to be a best seller, Under Orders will be an exciting treat for Francis's and Sid's many fans. Highly recommended for all public libraries.-Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.