Dick Francis is an author I came to by way of listening to someone else talk about what she likes about his books. Dick Francis books are set against a background of the English horse-racing world, and character, especially such values as loyalty and courage, are as central to the books as the action, violence, romance, and mystery plot-line. I just finished reading his/their newest title, Silks, which I enjoyed very much. Dick Francis used to write his books with major research assistance from his wife Mary - the two of them together were "Dick Francis". Mary died in 2000, and no more books came out until 2006, when Under Orders was published. Felix Francis, Richard and Mary's son, is now his father's research assistant and co-author. From my perspective, that partnership seems to be working, and it's good to have Dick Francis back [tho the older titles written with Mary are still a bit better]. He's now 87 years-old, so I don't expect we'll have him for much longer.