I grew up reading Dick Francis mysteries. I’ve read them all at least once and they continue to entertain. Of course, Dick Francis is no longer writing the books . . . although they are still called “Dick Francis” books they are penned by his youngest son, Felix. I didn’t realize, until I looked it up, that Felix has been an integral part of his father’s work for a very long time.
According to Wikipedia,
Over the past 40 years Felix assisted Dick with both the research and the writing of many of his novels. His wife Mary Francis had done much of this duty until her death in 2000 when Felix took over her work.Felix and his father shared a love of racing and often worked together on plot and character details at Dick’s home in the Cayman Islands. This partnership allowed Dick to draw upon Felix’s knowledge and experience as a physics teacher in Twice Shy and his past as an international marksman in Shattered (2000) and Under Orders (2006). With the publication of Dead Heat in 2007, Felix took on a more significant role in writing.Silks (2008) was the second novel in this father-and-son collaboration and Even Money (2009) was the third. Crossfire (2010) was the novel Dick and Felix Francis were working on when Dick died in February 2010. His first novel written without his father was Gamble, published in September 2011, although it is still labeled as “a Dick Francis novel” written by Felix Francis.
The Dick Francis “franchise” was a family business and joint effort for many, many years. In an interview with the Telegraph in 2011, Felix comments that while his father had the idea for his books and would write the first draft long hand, his mother, Mary, played a critical role in “polishing” the text when she typed them up.
As an author, Felix Francis seems content to continue in his famous family’s hoof prints, with no current plans to develop his own series:
“When people ask me what I do, now, I reply, ‘I write the Dick Francis novels’. It is the biggest joy of my life. I feel as if I have found happiness being an author.”
Felix Francis’ next Dick Francis Novel, Refusal, will be released on September 20th and will feature the much beloved protagonist Sid Halley. Will you be reading it?
I will, for sure!