I used to love Dick Francis’ writing back in the day when I read almost nothing but mysteries. His were wonderful, fascinating easy reads – British mysteries, but not particularly cozy.
He was a jockey in the horse racing culture – and that is by and large what he writes about. Lots of interesting horsey information, good real characters, a look at Britain’s class segregations and interactions.
Francis stopped writing about 6 years ago, when his wife died. Now a septuagenarian, he’s writing again. Under Orders features Sid Halley, a series character featured in a number of Francis’ books, now an investigator specializing in his old turf.
The women in the book are real – Francis likes clear and direct women who speak up – real enough to be in harm’s way and to cause harm. It seems clear to me that he actually likes women strong enough to be partners.
A satisfying book – Francis’ skills are very evident. I’m glad he’s back for everyone’s sake.