Field of Thirteen

( 10 )

Overview

A superbly crafted collection of thirteen tightly plotted tales that treats readers to murder, mystery, and mayhem in the world of horseracing.

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Field of Thirteen

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Overview

A superbly crafted collection of thirteen tightly plotted tales that treats readers to murder, mystery, and mayhem in the world of horseracing.

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Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer
Dick Francis has the knack. Which, clearly, is never going to desert him. It's the seemingly simple, most-writers-would-kill-for knack.
Nikki Amdur
This mesmerizing collection of short stories shows the literary jockey at the top of his game. . . . Whether it's an elegy for a sportswriter on the skids or the ballad of a Welsh groom and her social-climbing daughter, the stories linger long after you turn the page.
Entertainment Weekly
San Francisco Chronicle
You can always depend on Dick Francis for a rousing good story.
Phoebe-Lou Adams
The thefts and scams are. . .admirable; a couple are . . .enticingly plausible. . . —The Atlantic Monthly
San Diego Union-Tribune
Dick Francis remains one of the most inventive and entertaining storytellers of our time, that rare performer who can both satisfy his audience and leave them hungry for more. Francis never fails to boot home a winner.
People Magazine
[Francis] once again saddles up a winner in this fast-paced collection of stories set in the racing world.
San Diego Union-Tribune
Dick Francis remains one of the most inventive and entertaining storytellers of our time, that rare performer who can both satisfy his audience and leave them hungry for more. Francis never fails to boot home a winner.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Though nearly two score of his novels have come to print, Francis has published only eight short stories in his 41 years as a bestselling author. That octet, composed mostly in the 1970s and initially appearing in various journals Sports Illustrated, the Times of London, etc., is reprinted here, along with five new tales, each introduced in brief by Francis. There's not a slacker among them, though few champions either. The earliest yarn, "Carrot for a Chestnut," dating from 1970 eight years after Francis's first novel, is typical, presenting a morally ordered universe in which malefactors get their due, albeit commonly through indirect means. Here, a jockey who bends a race by feeding a horse a drugged carrot receives his comeuppance by losing his concentration as a result of his crime and getting involved in a nasty accident; as in most of the stories, there's a light twist to the ending. Horse racing figures in every entry, of course. Sometimes it's the focus of a crime--as in "Blind Chance," in which a blind boy picks up on how bettors are getting inside info on races with photo finishes. Sometimes, it's only background, as in "Collision Course," about how a fired newspaper editor hoists poetic justice upon a horrid restaurateur/horse trainer. Most of the stories are superficially clever, but below the quick plotting there's emotional depth; in "Spring Fever," for instance, Francis plumbs the innocent desperation of unrequited December-May love. And throughout there is Francis's voice, strong, smart, ironic, developed even at the beginning but maturing in timbre as he hones his skill. Even more than the horse racing, this voice is the tie that binds these 13 tales into a charmed entertainment. Sept.
People Magazine
[Francis] once again saddles up a winner in this fast-paced collection of stories set in the racing world.
Phoebe-Lou Adams
The thefts and scams are. . .admirable; a couple are . . .enticingly plausible. . . -- The Atlantic Monthly
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Dick Francis has the knack. Which, clearly, is never going to desert him. It's the seemingly simple, most-writers-would-kill-for knack.
Union-Tribune San Diego
Dick Francis remains one of the most inventive and entertaining storytellers of our time, that rare performer who can both satisfy his audience and leave them hungry for more. Francis never fails to boot home a winner.
Kirkus Reviews
In lieu of his annual novel (10 Lb. Penalty), horseracing's gift to the mystery offers his fans his first collection of shorts, including five colts appearing in their first event and eight fillies who've been around the track once or twice. Most of the new stories are horsey parables of revenge. A small-town newspaper editor plots against the restaurant that humiliated his guests; a mild expatriate Brit patiently pursues legal remedies against the lawyer who swindled him out of the bail money he put up for an acquaintance; a couple of means gets even with the social-climbing daughter who neglected her mother, their faithful groom; a timely accident puts paid to the plans of a hit man and the jockey who hired him. The last story, 'Haig's Death,' about the effects of a race judge's fatal heart attack on the owners of the entrants, is the most original.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425194997
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/2/2004
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 966,614
  • Product dimensions: 4.43 (w) x 6.89 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Dick Francis

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.

Biography

Dick Francis was born in Lawrenny, South Wales in 1920. He served in the Royal Air Force for six years during World War II, piloting fighter and bomber aircraft including the Spitfire and Lancaster between 1943 and 1946.

Following the war, Francis, the son of a jockey, became a celebrity in the world of British National Hunt racing. He won more than 350 races, was Champion Jockey in 1953-1954, and was retained as jockey to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for four seasons, 1953 through 1957. Francis rode eight times in the world famous Grand National Steeplechase, and nearly won in 1956 when his horse, the Queen Mother's Devon Loch, a few strides away from victory with a clear field, suddenly collapsed. This incident, which Francis calls "both the high point and low point of my career as a jockey," was the impetus for him to begin a second career as a writer. Shortly after the incident, a literary agent approached Francis about writing an autobiography.

In 1957, Francis suffered another serious fall and was advised to retire from race riding. He completed his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, which was published later that year, and accepted an invitation to write six features for the London Sunday Express. He stayed on as the newspaper's racing correspondent for 16 years.

Sports writing soon led to fiction writing, which in turn led to a string of bestselling novels. His first, Dead Cert, was published in 1962. His 36th novel, 10 Lb. Penalty, was published in the U. S. by G. P. Putnam's Sons in September 1997. In addition to his novels and autobiography, Francis has also published a biography of Lester Piggott, A Jockey's Life, and eight short stories. He has edited (with John Welcome) four collections of racing stories, and has contributed to anthologies and periodicals.

Francis's books have been bestsellers in a number of countries, and have been translated into more than 30 languages, including all European languages, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Bantu, and several dialects of Chinese. Each of his novels has also been recorded on audio in both Britain and the United States.

Francis was made an Officer of the most noble Order of the British Empire in 1984, and was awarded the British Crime Writers Association silver dagger in 1965, gold dagger in 1980 and Cartier diamond dagger for his life's work in 1990. The recipient of three Edgar Allen Poe Awards for Best Novel from the Mystery Writers of America, most recently for 1995's Come to Grief, Francis is the only person to have been awarded the prestigious award more than once. The Mystery Writers of America named Francis Grand Master for his life's work in 1996, and he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Tufts University in 1991.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Sir Richard Stanley Francis (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 31, 1920
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tenby, Pembrokeshire, southwest Wales
    1. Date of Death:
      February 14, 2010
    2. Place of Death:
      Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

Table of Contents

Notes on the Racecard
Raid at Kingdom Hill 1
Dead on Red 13
Song for Mona 40
Bright White Star 68
Collision Course 80
Nightmare 111
Carrot for a Chestnut 122
The Gift 146
Spring Fever 172
Blind Chance 190
Corkscrew 208
The Day of the Losers 239
Haig's Death 254
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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    Posted February 26, 2013

    Willowleaf

    "What?! Omg imposter!!! I did not die!!"

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    A cat

    A black she-cat with one red eye and one blue eye padded in and walked over to rainpaws body. "Your brothers and sisters will end up just like you, soon." She looks around then pads out.

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    Posted February 25, 2013

    Maplejay

    "I'm so sorry. We will kill Demonclaw for this. Stay here. Make sure your kits are safe." The med cat said before racing off.


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    Willowleaf

    She stared angrilly at the cats before taking her last breath and dying.

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    Nursery

    A cave next to the warriors den, with a l entrance for queens and there kits. Inside the cave was a huge space, big enough for horeclans kits to run play and have fun in. One-third of it was filled with soft nest made of feathers and moss.

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