Friday, February 22, 2008

Guest Blog--Dead Heat by Dick Francis and Felix Francis

I have been a Dick Francis fan for many years. I usually like the cozy cottage or English-style mystery, but somewhere along the way, I got hooked on Dick Francis and Tony Hillerman. In a Dick Francis novel, the hero inevitably gets beaten up badly. Not an element in Agatha Christie novels. I have some Francis books that are favorites and others that I have enjoyed less.

When his wife Mary died, Dick Francis announced that he would not write again since she had been his collaborator in writing the mysteries. I have been pleased to see that he is still writing. It took me about six months to read Dead Heat simply because I am a borrower and not a buyer of hardback mysteries. And the waiting list was long.

Dead Heat is about a chef, Max Moreton, who is part owner in a restaurant in Newmarket, the heart of horse racing in England. First the guests at a dinner catered by Moreton suffer from food poisoning, and then the box where he is again catering a dinner at the races is bombed. It takes a bit of poking around on his part before Moreton realizes that he personally is being targeted.

I enjoyed the book although I am not sure it is one of Francis's better novels. I am a Gordon Ramsay fan (despite his bad language), so I chuckled over the references to his TV show in the book and enjoyed a glimpse into the world of cuisine.

I am sure all of the Dick Francis's fans out there feel as I do and hope there are more novels coming in the future.

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