Requiescat In Pace, Dick Francis

Dick Francis
Mystery novelist Dick Francis

I’m very sad to announce that British mystery writer Dick Francis, 89, has died.

Mr. Francis wrote the first mystery novel for adults I ever read. I was a child who was too grown-up for my chronological age, but I loved horses passionately. I’d read all the Walter Farley books, Black Beauty, and pretty much any other book about horses you can think of. If a book even hinted that it might mention horses, I’d read it. I was also at that in-between age; I was reading widely, but had only just recently made the jump to reading both fiction and nonfiction written for an adult audience.
Whip Hand

So when a book-loving neighbor gave me a copy of Whip Hand, it was like discovering a kindred soul. People wrote books for horse-crazy grown-ups, too! I’ve happily read my way through an awful lot of Dick Francis horse mysteries, in the years since.

Mr. Francis was a renowned jockey, before he became a best-selling mystery novelist.

He’ll be missed.