Thursday, February 18, 2010

DICK FRANCIS - RIP

In the last six months we lost several authors, one is Dick Francis, famous for his horse-racing novels. He was 89.

I started reading Francis's novels when I was a teenager. I grew up on a farm with horses and sundry other animals. Horse became my passion. Horses and writing. So, of course, Dick Francis was my guy. I never raced a horse, except against my brother, and I had the faster horses. He had cutting and roping quarter horses, while I went for the walkers and Thoroughbreds, English saddle style.

Many years later, my jumping days ended when I went off the back of a 17-hand hunter-jumper. Broke L-4 and my back will never let me forget it.

That's me. I've written a few mysteries - romantic suspense and traditional, nothing compared to my favorite novelist those many years ago. Along the way, I became and journalist and had to stick to facts.

A champion jockey in the 1940s and 1950s, he retired to write over 40 best-sellers, starting with Dead Cert. I'll never forget that book. How could I? I must have read it ten times in as many years.

His awards are numerous and he became a CBE.

Rest your soul, Dick Francis. You've contributed mightily to the mystery-reading community.