Sunday, January 15, 2012

Review: High Stakes


High Stakes is a particularly good Dick Francis book, which says a lot, since they are all first-rate. It follows the tried and true Francis formula of a hero who is successful in a particular profession, has a connection with horse racing, and gets drawn in to solve a crime.

In this case, Steven Scott is the inventor of a popular line of mechanical children's toys who used his wealth to buy racehorses. But Scott's lack of hands-on involvement makes him a sitting duck for a shady trainer working a con on gullible owners.

High Stakes is more of a caper than Francis's usual, more straightforward who-done-it. Scott figures out the con early on and puts together his own, elaborate sting to catch the bad guys. This involves recruiting a mishmash team of amateurs, all with particular skills or connections, a horse-buying trip to Florida, and a love affair with a firecracker American gal.

It's no spoiler to say that the good guys prevail and the bad guys get their comeuppance. But, like always, it’s a great ride.


If you would like your review of this or any other Dick Francis book listed here, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it.


This is my first book for the European Reading Challenge and counts as my UK choice.  What country will I visit next? Probably Italy, when I participate in the Venice in February Challenge.


  1. I really like Dick Francis too. I think my favorite of all of them has to be Hot Money. I love the complicated family dynamics in that one. Good luck on your European Reading Challenge. I joined only two challenges this year. Both of them have the goal of reducing the TBR mountain - which is my biggest goal for the year. Happy reading!

  2. Kathy: Hot Money is on my iPod -- it looks very good. I go after these Francis books like an addict. I try to space them out more than I do, but I get a real craving every couple of months.

    Good luck with your TBR goals!

  3. It's good but not his best. His mysteries seemed to have gotten substantially longer the longer he wrote, but they were all enjoyable. Shame he's passed.

  4. I've never tried Francis's work, but it sounds like I need to try it.


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