Felix Francis

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Felix Francis (born 1953) is a British crime writer who is Dick Francis’s youngest son.[1] Felix studied Physics and Electronics at London University and then embarked upon a 17 year career teaching Advanced Level physics at three schools,[citation needed] the last seven as head of the science department at Bloxham School in Oxfordshire, before quitting to look after his father's affairs.[2] He currently lives in Oxfordshire.[3]

Felix remembers conversations around the Francis breakfast table being somewhat unconventional. “The production of a Dick Francis novel has always been a mixture of inspiration, perspiration and teamwork. The first one was published when I was nine, and I grew up in a house where breakfast talk would be about the damage a bullet might do to a man’s guts rather than the more mundane topics of everyday life”, he says.[citation needed]

Over the past 40 years Felix assisted Dick with both the research and the writing of many of his novels. His wife Mary Francis had done much of this duty until her death in 2000 when Felix took over her work.[4] Felix and his father shared a love of racing and often worked together on plot and character details at Dick’s home in the Cayman Islands. This partnership allowed Dick to draw upon Felix’s knowledge and experience as a physics teacher in Twice Shy[4] and his past as an international marksman in Shattered (2000) and Under Orders (2006).[citation needed] With the publication of Dead Heat in 2007, Felix took on a more significant role in writing.[4] Silks (2008) was the second novel in this father-and-son collaboration and Even Money (2009) was the third.[5] Crossfire (2010) was the novel Dick and Felix Francis were working on when Dick died in February 2010.

His first novel written without his father was Gamble, published in September 2011, although it is still labeled as "a Dick Francis novel" written by Felix Francis.[4]

Novels[edit]

  • Dead Heat (2006) – co-author
  • Silks (2008) – co-author
  • Even Money (2009) – co-author
  • Crossfire (2010) – co-author
  • Gamble (2011)
  • Bloodline (2012)
  • Refusal (2013)
  • Damage (2014)

Critical response[edit]

Kirkus said Gamble was "fully worthy of the family name", familiar to Dick Francis fans, but well-handled.[6] Eurocrime gave a mixed review to Gamble, commenting on Felix's lack of direct experience of horseracing, and criticised "a curious flatness" in its narration but calling it "a nicely layered, slightly complex thriller".[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "dickfrancis.com biographies. http://www.dickfrancis.com/site/DIFR/Templates/General2.aspx?pageid=8&cc=GB
  2. ^ Karl Quinn, "Son keeps the Dick Francis story galloping along", The Age (Australia), October 30, 2009, http://www.theage.com.au/news/entertainment/books/son-keeps-the-dick-francis-story-galloping-along/2009/10/29/1256405473995.html
  3. ^ "My space: Felix Francis, author", Daily Telegraph (UK), 06 Sep 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/interiorsandshopping/8742959/My-space-Felix-Francis-author.html
  4. ^ a b c d Peter Stanford, "Anything Dad could do... Felix Francis, son of thriller writer Dick Francis, pens his first solo effort", The Telegraph (UK), 01 Sep 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/books/8733150/Anything-Dad-could-do...-Felix-Francis-son-of-thriller-writer-Dick-Francis-pens-his-first-solo-effort.html
  5. ^ MARILYN STASIO, "Dick Francis, Jockey and Writer, Dies at 89", New York Times, February 14, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/15/books/15francis.html?pagewanted=all
  6. ^ "Gamble" (Review), Kirkus Reviews, Aug. 1, 2011, https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/felix-francis/dick-franciss-gamble/
  7. ^ Sarah Hilary, "Gamble" (Review), Eurocrime, 11/09/2011, http://www.eurocrime.co.uk/reviews/Gamble.html