Francis here for latest bestseller

Millionaire horse racing author, Dick Francis, will be signing his latest book, Dead Heat at Books & Books on Saturday.

Francis splits his time between a home in England and one in the Cayman Islands. The signing will be from 7pm at the store in Caymana Bay.

After a six-year absence from the bestseller lists, Francis roared out of the gate with 2006’s Under Orders, demonstrating once again every ounce of his famed narrative drive, brilliant plotting, and simmering suspense.

Hard on the heels of that triumph comes Dead Heat, set against the backdrop of Britain’s famed Two Thousand Guineas Stakes.

Francis, 87, was born in South Wales. He was a young boy 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.

Following the war, Dick Francis, son and grandson of jockeys, became a professional steeplechase jockey himself.

He was Champion Jockey in 1954 and rode for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for four years. He raced eight times in the world famous Grand National Steeplechase, nearly winning in 1956 when the Queen Mother’s horse, Devon Loch, collapsed under him a few strides from victory. This incident, which he 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.

In January 1957 he retired from race riding and took up a pen. He became a racing feature writer for the London Sunday Express and published his racing autobiography, The Sport of Queens. Sports writing soon led to fiction writing. He has become one of the most successful authors in the world since.

In June 2000 he and his wife, Mary, who helped with much of the research for the books, celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary. Sadly, Mary died later that year, bringing to an end one of the great literary partnerships of the twentieth century. However, a new partnership now blossoms with his younger son, Felix.

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