by Dick Francis

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Incomparable New York Times bestselling author Dick Francis offers a compelling tale of fine living, fast horses, and shattering suspense...

Wine merchant Tony Beach has expertly catered his latest society soiree, but the fun’s over when a team of hit men crash the party...literally. The event leaves Tony with a bitter aftertaste of suspicion—and sets off a mystery that’s an intoxicating blend of deception, intrigue, and murder.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425203934
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/05/2005
Series: A Dick Francis Novel Series
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 182,306
Product dimensions: 6.64(w) x 4.34(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Dick Francis was born in South Wales in 1920. He was a young rider of distinction winning awards and trophies at horse shows throughout the United Kingdom. At the outbreak of World War II he joined the Royal Air Force as a pilot, flying fighter and bomber aircraft including the Spitfire and Lancaster. He became one of the most successful postwar steeplechase jockeys, winning more than 350 races and riding for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. After his retirement from the saddle in 1957, he published an autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write more than forty acclaimed books. A three-time Edgar Award winner, he also received the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association’s Cartier Diamond Dagger, was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2000. He died in February 2010, at age eighty-nine, and remains among the greatest thriller writers of all time.


Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

Date of Birth:

October 31, 1920

Date of Death:

February 14, 2010

Place of Birth:

Tenby, Pembrokeshire, southwest Wales

Place of Death:

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies


Dropped out of Maidenhead County School at age 15.

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Proof 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
JustSumGuyInNC More than 1 year ago
I recently discovered Dick Francis and have read a handful of his books, including one co-authored with his son, Felix. Opening one of his books is like putting on a favorite pair of comfortable slippers. The stories are not overly long so the reader is spared excessive details. Plot lines move along and interest is maintained. There is no undue profanity or sex, which is a welcome change. This story¿s protagonist is a widower still coming to grips with the untimely loss of his wife. He takes refuge by immersing himself in the running of his small wine shop and catering service. When a tragedy occurs at one of the events he is catering, his expertise in wine and spirits is sought out by both police and private investigators, not without endangerment to his personal life and limb. The reader sympathizes with this quiet man and marvels at how his unique knowledge ultimately leads to the solution of the crime. This book provides a very satisfying reading experience and is highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is vintage Dick Francis. The hero is a widower wine merchant, who teaches us about whiskey and wine-making. The characters were well-sketched, their motivations clear. The story was intriguing. The hero is not physically tortured as much as usual in Dick Francis' novels, a welcome change.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tent crash with deaths,wine, scotch whisky forgery, missing horse. Great mystery
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wine merchant Tony Beech had life all figured out when his world caved in. Now he's marking time, selling wine and grieving the death of his young wife and unborn child. But when a routine wine delivery ends in disaster, Beech finds himself playing a deadly game of cat and mouse.Good, solid Francis - break out the wine and cheese and curl up with it today.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite Francis books. I like Beach - I could almost imagine being him and easily imagine knowing him. Also, only a few nasties and not a lot of time spent with them - most of the book time was spent building relationships between the good guys. I don't like it when a book spends all its time either following the bad guys around and dwelling lovingly on their actions or having the good guys deal with the bad ones (ok, relates mostly to mysteries, where good guy/bad guy is a reasonably accurate distinction in most of them). One reason I like Francis is that he does spend time developing his good guys, even the ones (the vast majority) who only appear in one book.
JustAGirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another of Francis's masterful mysteries. This one starts with a terrible accident as a horse-box crashes into a marquee full of people, and continues in a tale of finding courage and tasting wine, full of twists and edge of the seat moments of tension. An enjoyable and satisfying page-turner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Long book lost the excitement over half way through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful likeable well defined characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A damaged protagonist, and a calamity to start things off. Characters who come to life on the page and a mystery to solve. Another great Dick Francis mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much . I thought the characters were well fleshed out and interesting .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was moved AND I learned about wine in a non-painful manner
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dick Francis' books are always uplifting but this portrayal of loss and depression is moving, touching and ultimately, again, uplifting. For those who have doubted themselves, lost a loved one and moved beyond the dark places, this book will resonate.
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nookerod More than 1 year ago
A very easy and fun read but complex enough to be interesting.
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