Book No 9 (2014) : Enquiry

enquiryThere are many famous authors whose books I have never even considered reading. Given that I need to make my way through 50 volumes this year, I decided I need to move out of my literary comfort zone, which tends towards classic novels and contemporary literary fiction. I’m prepared to admit to a certain reluctance to attempt writing which I perceive to be too popular. OK, I am getting to be a bit of a book snob in my old age! To counteract this creeping pomposity, I decided to sample the work of some writers whose names I instantly recognise, but dismiss as being not quite ‘my thing’. Dick Francis was the first of these household names which I have hitherto completely ignored!

‘Enquiry’ was chosen at random from a shelf in the charity shop. According to reviews though, I luckily picked one of Francis’ classics. The book is a mystery thriller, concerned with the enquiry conducted following jockey Kelly Hughes’ second place finish in the Lemonfizz Cup. His failure to win arouses suspicion of betting irregularity – both Hughes and his trainer (Cranfield) have their licenses withdrawn, leaving the yard facing ruin. Hughes is convinced he has been framed and sets out to prove it. The trail causes him to question many in his racing circle and sends him to private investigators and Jockey Club dinners. No doubt about it, Hughes is a sexy hero – he’s gritty, witty, determined, and drives a Lamborghini!

There was nothing at all to dislike about the book; the characters are somewhat stereotyped, but still credible. It’s cleverly plotted, fast-moving and leaves no loose threads at the end.

I can’t say I’d rush to read many more Dick Francis but I’ll try anything once.

Apart from Sophie Kinsella, that is.

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6 thoughts on “Book No 9 (2014) : Enquiry

  1. Olivia Clayton March 2, 2014 / 8:52 am

    PS. In case you’d like to know which six out of his many dozens of books I thought were worth keeping (for years and years ) and rereading regularly here they are: :lol For Kicks, Flying Finish, Forfeit, Rat Race, Knock Down and Banker. 🙂

  2. Olivia Clayton March 2, 2014 / 8:49 am

    I have probably read most of his books, but found only six of them interesting enough to keep. :lol I reread them regularly though. 🙂 Things that appealed to me, ( apart from the obvious story writing skills ) were certain details eg. descriptions of a woman tidying a room with the minimum of effort and the protagonist noticing it as example of time and motion efficiency … so I wasn’t surprised when I discovered a few years ago that apparently Dick Francis did not write his books on his own; his wife “helped him”, which is why when she died his books dried up and when they began again were dreadful, until he found a new co-writer. 🙂

    • inthenickioftime March 2, 2014 / 9:21 am

      There is a saying about there being a great woman behind every great man! I did enjoy the book and could appreciate it, I just felt that with so many hundreds of books to choose from, it just wasn’t special enough to make me want to return to the author. Maybe a long journey or hospital waiting room book!

      • Olivia Clayton March 2, 2014 / 11:38 am

        “Enquiry” is *not* one of my favourites. 🙂 ie. not special enough for me either. :lol

  3. Cheryl Bryers March 1, 2014 / 11:58 pm

    Sophie Kinsella has made me laugh out loud!

    • inthenickioftime March 2, 2014 / 9:18 am

      Ok, Cheryl – I’ll give her a chance and I promise to be open-minded. Any suggestions as to which I should try?

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