RARA-AVIS: Hmmm...there's a lot of Dicks out there...

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 09 Apr 2000

Dick Lochte wrote:

>With all the talk about horseracing, I was surprised that
>nobody mentioned the Dick Francis novels. Some of them, especially the
>early titles like "Dead Cert" and "Odds Against" are very strong and very
>violent. "Whip Hand" has as its hero a hardboiled private eye whose hand was
>crushed in a racing accident. Nearly all of them have dark and sometimes
>depressed heroes.

Yeah, like he said. Dick Francis. Definitely hard-boiled, especially the early stuff, and certainly the Sid Halley books. Too often overlooked when it comes to hardboiled writing, too often dismissed by people who've never read them, as cozies with horsey settings. Sorry, but people get hurt in these books for real.

And, if the rumours are true, the Francis books are an answer to another question that frequently pops up here: "Are there any women writing hard-boiled?" If they are true, Francis' wife actually writes the books, based on Dick's ideas. I'm not sure, though, if anyone in the Francis camp has officially confirmed or denied this. Looks like maybe I don't know Dick, after all...

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/ This month: The P.I. Poll on Short Fiction, plus new stuff from Hugh Lessig, Peter Parmantie and Dave White.

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