Michael Henchard gets drunk at a fair and sells his wife and child for five guineas to a sailor. Henchard proves to be violent, selfish, greedy and crude, yet at the same time he is magnanimous and humble.
On a bitter November evening, young Mary Yellan journeys across the rainswept moors to Jamaica Inn in honor of her mother's dying request. When she arrives, the warning of the coachman begins to echo in her memory, for her aunt Patience cowers before hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn. Terrified of the inn's brooding power, Mary gradually finds herself ensnared in the dark schemes being enacted behind its crumbling walls - and tempted to love a man she dares not trust.
"would be amazing except for one thing"
When the horse that wins a race gallops in with frothing mouth and popping eyes, what is more natural than to suspect that someone slipped a booster into his oats? With 11 steeplechasers hurtling over the finish line in this pepped up states and all the dope tests conclusively negative, the Earl of October had something of a problem if he wanted to preserve the health of his favorite sport.
Tim Ekaterin's merchant bank, like all banks, only invests in sure things. Now he's about to involve it in ₤5 million of prime horseflesh, a stallion called Sandcastle. Top breeders reckon it's the safest bet in racing. But racing doesn't just attract the money men of the city. It's riddled with all kinds of dubious dealmakers. People who don't think twice about breaking bones. People to whom no bet is safe until it's paid in blood, Ekaterin's blood.
"Sue me -- I love D. Francis"
William Whittlestaff becomes a guardian to Mary Lawrie, the orphaned and penniless daughter of an old friend, and gradually finds himself falling in love with her.
"Fantastic British Fiction"
On the death of his son, Sir Harry Hotspur had determined to give his property to his daughter Emily. She is beautiful and as strong-willed and high-principled as her father. Then she falls in love with the black-sheep of the family.
"Sometimes a Great Fall"
When a sick friend asks Edward Lincoln to investigate the comprehensive failure of a string of racehorses, he agrees to help out. But it is impossible for him to go about the task quietly and unnoticed because he is now a world-class star of action films, in which he always plays the hero. And the apparently easy survey of the string of racehorses blows him through a smokescreen into circumstances, where, to survive, he has to make himself become the man everyone else already thinks he is.
"my new favorite author"
The unexpected arrival of a new apprentice jockey at his father's racing stables heralds the beginning of a series of dark happenings for Neil Griffon. First his father suffers a grisly accident, then Neil is brutally assaulted and abducted. The price for his freedom will mean the betrayal and deception of those who trust Griffon most. But he has no choice: a no-compromise crime czar has made an ultimatum - that his own 18-year-old son be hired by Griffon's stables to ride the superstar horse, Archangel, in the Derby.
When Kit Fielding, champion steeplechase jockey, finds out that his chief patron, Princess Casilia, is facing an increasingly serious threat, he goes unhesitatingly to her aid. Neither realises that his instinctive support is the first step towards a frightening battle involving violent risk, with the honour of the princess's family as the prize and Kit's own destruction as the forfeit.
Derek Franklin is an injured jockey. The last fence at Cheltenham has left him on crutches. But his brother’s death means even bigger trouble. He inherits a jewellery business, a mistress – and some very shady business associates. Franklin likes to play things straight. But with £1.5 million in diamonds gone missing, he finds honesty can be a deadly virtue.
Jamaica Inn stands alone on Bodmin Moor, stark and forbidding, its walls tainted with corruption. Young Mary Yellon soon learns of her uncle Joss Merlyn's strange trade here. But does he deal in blacker secrets still?
"Keep an open mind and try to avoid spoilers"
At an annual party to celebrate the success of the racing season, everything seemed to be running well to form, including the need for more champagne. Then a runaway horsebox ploughed into the marquee. A witness to the terrible death and destruction, wine merchant Tony Beach knows it is just one of those tragic accidents. But when his expert advice is called into play over sub-standard alcohol in a local night club, connections start to click, and another person dies, horribly.
"Another winner for this ex-jockey"
Alexander Kinloch, artist, has worked out a good pattern for his life. His home is a small bothy on a remote mountain in Scotland; he paints on commission, from which he derives both pleasure and a decent income; he lives alone and likes it. One day, however, Alexander's peace is violently shattered when he returns home to find a group of strangers waiting for him. Afer a scuffle, he is left for dead with only the wind and the words "Where is it?" ringing in his ears.
"to the hilt"
Malcolm Pembroke never expected to make a million pounds without making enemies. Nor did he expect his latest wife to be brutally murdered. All the clues suggest the killer comes from close to home, but after five marriages and nine children, that still leaves the field wide open. When he find his own life in danger, Pembroke entrusts his safety to his estranged son, Ian, an amateur jockey; and through him discovers a compulsive new outlet for his financial expertise.
"Another Dick Francis Great!"
There's a new wind blowing in this dazzling collection of new Rumpole stories: for the first time Rumpole finds himself appearing for an asylum-seeker at the Appeals Tribunal and, worst of all, his chambers have become a smoke-free zone.
To the Jockey Club, the racing world would be a better place without Julius Apollo Filmer. An expert in corruption with a devastating line in witness intimidation, and proving to be a slippery character to put behind bars. Baffled, they call in undercover security agent Tor Kelsey to keep an unflinching eye on Filmer and his associates. A mission that takes him from the finest of English racecourses to the wild Canadian interior, on a luxury transcontinental train journey to end them all.
"Dick Does It Again"
At nearly 18, easy-going Benedict Juliard has no stronger ambition than to ride in steeplechases as an amateur jockey. His father, George, driven towards a life of public service and politics, asks his son to enter into a pact that neither of them will commit any act that could destroy the father's growing reputation and career.
"As always Dick Francis tells a great story!"
On the first day of Royal Ascot, the crowd rejoices in a string of winning favourites. Ned Talbot has worked all his life as a bookmaker - taking over the family business from his grandfather - so he knows not to expect any sympathy from the punters as they count their winnings, and he counts his losses. He’s seen the ups and downs before - but, as the big gambling conglomerates muscle in on small concerns like his, Ned wonders if it’s worth it any more.
"One of the cleaner ones."
Gene Hawkins, investigator by trade, was expert at arranging events so that they appeared accidental to all involved. Therefore, when he himself witnessed an ‘accident’ his curiosity flared up bright, and he insisted on looking into what he regarded as a work of art. A quarter of a million pounds worth of Derby-winning stallion had vanished into the Blue Grass of Kentucky... and a young man and a girl spent a dangerous afternoon in a punt on the River Thames.
"Great storytelling and narration."
Perry Stuart is a TV meteorologist who routinely works before the cameras. His life calm and ordered, his face familiar to every British household, Stuart's profound weather knowledge and accuracy have given him high status among forecasters, but no physical baptism by storm. Not, that is, until a fellow forecaster offers him a Caribbean hurricane-chasing ride in a small aeroplane.