Thursday, January 7, 2016

FFB: Dick Francis's Gamble by Felix Francis

Author and former jockey Dick Francis, who wrote about 40 mysteries, died in 2010 at the age of 89.

His son, Felix Francis, co-wrote four books with his dad and has continued writing his own mysteries, some with, “Dick Francis’s…” in the title.

One of Felix’s books, Dick Francis's Gamble, came my way during the holidays when I was looking for a light, fun read. Gamble was exactly that – and more.

The 2011 novel, Felix’s first on his own, is the story of Nichols “Foxy” Foxton a former jockey now working as a financial advisor for a small investment company. While at the races with a colleague, Herb Kovak, a man approaches them and shoots Kovak dead in front of hundreds of people, then disappears into the crowd.

Unable to explain what happened or why to the police, Foxton gets involved with the murder in several ways. Not only was he standing next to the victim, but also he soon learns that he was named Kovak’s executor. Further, Kovak left everything he owned to the astonished Foxton.

In going through Kovak’s effects, Foxton learns some disturbing truths about his business friend. He may have been running an illegal gambling ring, and the operation may have lead to his murder.

While sorting out the mess Kovak left behind, a wealthy client confides in Foxton that he suspects one of his investments in an Eastern European development project may be a scam. Foxton, now with two mysteries to solve, barely gets started when the killer shows up at his doorstep, gun in hand.

Felix Francis does a nice job plunging Foxy Foxton, his likable first-person narrator, into trouble and turning up the heat. Gamble was thoroughly enjoyable, and I will be seeking out other Felix Francis novels this year.


  1. I've enjoyed a couple from his father, but haven't yet tried the son. This does sound enjoyable though, cheers.

  2. Light, breezy stuff, Col, and a holiday break from the stories I usually read.

  3. Didn't know Dick Francis was dead, but I hadn't thought of him in a while. Enjoyed a bunch of his books back in the days I frequented the tracks -- when I had money to burn (that must have been a long time ago!). Glad to know his son has picked up the torch. I shall have to check him out.

    1. Mathew – Thanks for reading the post. I read some of Dick Francis’s mysteries a long time ago. But I did not know he had written so many books. I will have to go back and catch up on Dick’s work as well as seek out Felix’s.