by Dick Francis

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In this mystery from New York Times bestselling author Dick Francis, a jockey becomes the sole inheritor of his late brother's business, horse, mistress, and enemies.

Steeplechase jockey Derek Franklin has had more broken bones than he cares to count, but it seems his latest injury could very well bring his days on the race course to a screeching halt. But that’s the least of his concerns when his brother turns up dead, leaving Derek as the sole inheritor of his estate.
It doesn’t take long for Derek to learn that his brother—a magistrate who imported and sold semiprecious stones—was keeping more than his share of secrets. Now Derek must recover $1.5 million worth of missing diamonds—and find out who wanted his brother dead—or else his career won’t be the only thing in danger of being cut short...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101464731
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/07/2006
Series: A Dick Francis Novel
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 8,307
File size: 426 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Dick 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.


Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

Date of Birth:

October 31, 1920

Date of Death:

February 14, 2010

Place of Birth:

Tenby, Pembrokeshire, southwest Wales

Place of Death:

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies


Dropped out of Maidenhead County School at age 15.

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Straight 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
JustSumGuyInNC More than 1 year ago
You always learn something when you read a Dick Francis mystery, and this time it is the wholesale jewelry business. As always, the protagonist is a likable, moral, straight-thinking fellow who suffers more than his share of lumps along the way. The story bogs down for excess detail about mid-way through the book, but eventually works its way out with some surprising revelations, and all is tied up nicely by the book's end. A very pleasant diversion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this up last year in the hallway in front of the school library [in the discard pile]. Being an odd person and this looking like an odd book I picked it up. I began to read it and put it on a hiatus while I had other school issues to tend to. I continued it after September and finished it today. I need to say this is one of the best books I have ever read.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
auntieknickers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jockey Derek Franklin inherits a business when his elder brother dies in a suspicious accident. Then he discovers missing jewels, a lover he didn't know his brother had, and many other things. Fascinating look into the world of gemstone dealers combined with Francis's usual excellent plotting.
LA12Hernandez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Gem stones and was impressed with myself on how much I knew about them. Once again a book that draws you in and lets you live there for a while.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This one is diamonds - I like it. I like both Derek and Grenville - neat how we find out about him without ever really meeting him. It's also interesting how the attacks come from different enemies with different motivations - Derek keeps trying to make sense of them as one thing and it ain't. No father thing - well, sort of between Derek and Grenville, almost a generation between them - and Derek doesn't end up with the girl (extraordinary for a Francis!). Not one of my favorites, but I like it.
monado on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Straight, the hero's much older brother dies unexpectedly, leaving everything to the younger brother and making him the executor of the will. The younger, a steeplechase jockey, suddenly finds himself with a gemstone wholesale business, a mistress, a mystery, and assorted enemies. The young man tries to keep the business going as he learns it, to foil the enemies, to keep his cool with the mistress, and to find the missing diamonds.
tripleblessings on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jockey Derek Franklin suddenly inherits his brother's business as a dealer in semi-precious stones, and discovers dangerous secrets. Fascinating background, strong emotional impact, likeable hero. One of my favourites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read moves well.
EPClark More than 1 year ago
"Straight" has always been one of my favorite Francis stories, and I'm not sure why. The main topic--gemstones--holds absolutely zero interest for me, and neither do the clever gadgets that the main character has to figure out. But maybe that's why it's interesting. The chances of me ever wearing lots of gems, or getting involved in the industry in any way, are remote to say the least, which is part of the fascination: Derek also has zero interest in gems to begin with, but, forced to run his brother's business after his brother's untimely death, he learns an appreciation for them, something Francis describes in almost sensuous terms. In fact, the whole novel is strangely sensuous, from the slippery, shimmering gems that Derek finds himself handling daily, to the erotic encounters he has with his brother's mistress, to the final life-and-death struggle in which Derek's many-times-broken ankle collapses under his weight at just the wrong moment, despite all his intensions to run on it and all the adrenaline coursing through his system, numbing the pain. Francis at his best moments had an eye, ear, and nose for physical detail that rendered his writing incredibly alive. Balanced against the sensuality that courses through "Straight," bursting out even from the title--which refers to many things, including the main character's sexuality--is the flip side of physical pleasure: the destruction, psychological and physical, that the characters experience. Rather than one explosive encounter, it's a slow process: Derek's brother slowly slips away as his life support is turned off one machine at a time, key relationships slowly erode, and Derek's ankle is damaged over and over again, until it's rendered mechanically useless. And then the two sides come together in a sudden epiphany, solving the final mystery of the book. Francis doesn't delve so much into social issues in "Straight" the way he does in some of his other books, and it doesn't have quite the same soul-searching as books like "Come to Grief" and "To the Hilt" do, but, as befits a books about gems, it may be one of his most elegantly constructed and written books, the plot beautifully balanced, the language lapidary and clear. A pleasure to read, whatever your inclinations are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am never disappointed with one of Dick's books. Never ever!
Sumariel More than 1 year ago
Though this is not on the track, it is about a jockey who inherit's his brother's life, and is totally unprepared. As with his usual fair, the storyline is excellent.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The story is ok but it is not all about horse racing which is what it is about!Too many did things go on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago