Felix Francis

FELIX FRANCIS is Dick Francis’s younger son. Born in 1953, Felix studied Physics and Electronics at London University and then embarked upon a 17-year career teaching Advanced Level physics at three schools, the last seven as head of the science department at Bloxham School in Oxfordshire. After leaving teaching, Felix then became a businessman, spending 13 years as deputy chairman of World Challenge Expeditions Ltd, before starting his third career as an author.

As a child, Felix remembers that conversations around the Francis breakfast table were somewhat unconventional. “The production of a Dick Francis novel has always been a mixture of inspiration, perspiration and teamwork. The first one was published when I was nine, and I grew up in a house where talk would be about the damage a bullet might do to a man’s guts rather than the more mundane topics of everyday life”.

Over the next 40 years, Felix assisted Dick with both the research and the writing of many of his novels. They shared a love of racing and often worked together on plot and character details at Dick’s home in the Cayman Islands. This partnership allowed Dick to draw upon Felix’s knowledge and experience as a physics teacher and marksman in Twice Shy, and as an outdoorsman in Longshot.

With the publication of Under Orders in 2006, Felix took over the writing of the ‘Dick Francis’ novels from his father. This was followed by Dead Heat in 2007, Silks in 2008, and Even Money in 2009. Crossfire was the book Felix was working on when Dick died in February 2010, marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of another in the Dick Francis brand. Since then there have been another twelve ‘Dick Francis’ novels, with Felix’s latest, No Reserve, published in September 2023.


Dick Francis

DICK FRANCIS was a World War II Spitfire, Wellington and Lancaster bomber pilot before becoming a successful post-war National Hunt jockey. The winner of over 350 races, he was champion jump jockey in the 1953/1954 season and rode regularly for HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. He famously rode the ill-fated Devon Loch for Her Majesty in the 1956 Grand National. On retirement from race-riding, Dick published his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write thirty-eight bestselling novels, a volume of short stories (Field of 13), and the official biography of Lester Piggott. He was rightly acclaimed as one of the greatest thriller writers in the world.

Dick Francis was the winner of the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold and Diamond Daggers and remains the only three-time recipient of the Mystery Writer of America’s Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Novel, winning for Forfeit in 1970, Whip Hand in 1981, and Come to Grief in 1996, the same year he was made a Grand Master for a lifetime’s achievement. He was awarded an OBE in the 1984 New Year’s Honours List, and was promoted to CBE in 2000.

Since his death, Felix has taken over the literary reigns from his father and Dick's legacy will live on through the Dick Francis novels.