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Dick Francis (pictured with his son Felix Francis) was born in South Wales in 1920. He was a young rider of distinction winning awards and trophies at horse shows throughout the United Kingdom. At the outbreak of World War II he joined the Royal Air Force as a pilot, flying fighter and bomber aircraft including the Spitfire and Lancaster.He became one of the most successful postwar steeplechase jockeys, winning more than 350 races and riding for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. After his retirement from the saddle in 1957, he published an autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write more than forty acclaimed books, including the New York Times bestsellers Even Money and Silks. A three-time Edgar Award winner, he also received the prestigious Crime Writers' Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger, was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, and was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2000. He died in February 2010, at age eighty-nine, and remains among 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.