RARA-AVIS: Re: Perhaps a more relevant suggestion for the sports noir discussion

From: Dick Lochte ( dlochte@gmail.com)
Date: 23 Feb 2008

While I've read most of Dick Francis' work, and it's certainly crime fiction, I wouldn't personally call it hard boiled. I'd say Dick Francis is more in the vein of Rex Stout, Ellery Queen, and Agatha Christie than the Black Mask hard boiled writers we discuss here. It does not surprise me that his name has not come up. He writes about genteel people who find themselves in the midst of a criminal conspiracy by no fault of their own, and it's their integrity and intelligence that gets them out of it. Not really the meat we digest here.

Patrick King


Hardboiled? Soft-boiled? Parboiled? I suppose it's in the mind of the reader. But I think some (not all) of Francis' novels are filled with too much sadistic violence and detailed torture, too many depressed heroes with wives or relatives dying of cancer or living in iron lungs, too many animal mutilations, too many truly sociopathic villains to be put in the Christie-Queen-Stout category. And if the Sid Halley novels aren't hardboiled, with the hapless jockey-turned-private detective getting more of his destroyed hand lopped off in each, then I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a book that is.

Dick Lochte

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