To the Hilt ~ by Dick Francis

Ahhhh… a good old fashioned who-done-it in the traditional style by a master,  one of Dick Francis’  last novels.  I just picked it up on a whim seeing as what I’d tentatively planned to read either wasn’t quite on the market yet or had received less-than-stellar reviews.   I won.  🙂


To the Hilt
by Dick Francis
1996 / 351 pages
read by Simon Prebble
rating:   A / mystery (who done it)

This is a nice slow-moving mystery in which no one dies until about half-way through. But the set-up involves Alexander Kinloch, our protagonist and an artist who happily lives in Scotland near his uncle, an earl.

His mother, widowed and remarried some years prior.  Her husband is the owner of a prosperous brewery,  or it was until it’s found out that someone has been skimming some money,  embezzling,  or something. The long-term controller is missing.  This probably set off the heart attack.

Mom pleads for Alexander to come and help, but before he leaves he is attacked in his little place in Scotland by four thugs who harangue him rather cryptically,  “Where is it?”

When he gets to England he finds things in disarray and his step-sister and her husband are deeply suspicious of his presence.   He’s not getting well,  he knows something about the state of things and he wants Andrew Kinloch to sort it out. The will and its codicils are of paramount importance.

Horses are included,  this is Dick Francis of course,  but not a mainstay of the plot.  Francis was a jockey until he was injured and took to writing crime novels and a hallmark of the whole series is the racing  theme.

It’s a good book to start Dick Francis with.  I’ve read his books on and off for many years.  Never a poor one and they’re not in any particular order.


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5 Responses to To the Hilt ~ by Dick Francis

  1. Aymee says:

    I’ve never read anything by him, I think I need to start soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carmen says:

    I read one mystery by this author, titled 2-pound–or 5 or 7, I’m not sure–Penalty, also about a jockey. I don’t remember much of the details, just that I liked it. I didn’t know it was a series with the same theme (jockeying).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The mysteries of Dick Francis are almost all about jockeys – maybe all of them. This is because that’s what he did for a livelihood prior to his injury. So then he wrote about horse racing and often artists. Some of the books have the same amateur detective but the novels aren’t really connected in any way. Try another one – whatever strikes your fancy.

      I got started because a dear friend gave me a whole set of Dick Frances after my house fire. He knew i was a reader and these were just laying around his house. Sweet, huh? I still haven’t finished the ones he gave me 25 years ago, but I graduated to Kindles and Audibles. lol –


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