Read In the Frame by Dick Francis Online


Charles Todd—a renowned painter of horses—is shocked when he turns up at his cousin Donald’s house for a weekend visit to find his cousin’s young wife dead on the floor—and Donald the police’s prime suspect. Determined to prove Donald’s innocence, Todd trails a set of clues from England to Australia to New Zealand, only to realize that someone is trailing him. Someone withCharles Todd—a renowned painter of horses—is shocked when he turns up at his cousin Donald’s house for a weekend visit to find his cousin’s young wife dead on the floor—and Donald the police’s prime suspect. Determined to prove Donald’s innocence, Todd trails a set of clues from England to Australia to New Zealand, only to realize that someone is trailing him. Someone with every intention of taking him out of the picture for good…...

Title : In the Frame
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425209585
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

In the Frame Reviews

  • Algernon
    2019-05-21 21:14

    I stood on the outside of disaster, looking in. Sometimes you know right from the opening phrase that you're in for a treat and that you will probably abandon all other pursuits around the house until you turn the last page of the latest Dick Francis thriller. As I've already read about two dozen of his books, this isn't really a surprise, and what others may call predictable and repetitive in his characterization and plotting I call reliable, dependable and comfortably familiar.But Francis does like to use again and again certain techniques and certain types of heroes and villains, so the best way to differentiate between his stories is by the profession of the main character and by the sometimes touristical trivia of his chosen location, when the action moves overseas. By this metric,In the Frameis about painting, and of course the main area of interest for Charles Todd is the painting of horses. With his usual thorough research, Francis offers interesting bits about pigments, brush techniques, famous exponents of the art - Stubbs, Munnings. As for the travel trivia, Todd starts on his quest in England, but has to follow leads to Australia and New Zealand, where you can almost see the author taking down notes on the Ayers Rock, men only bars, Maori or volcanic terrains.With the connection betwen painting and racing established, the book includes some very good scenes around the racing track, from the small venues in the Home Counties to the extraordinary popularity of the sport at the Antipodes: Jump racing at Plumpton, and the familiar swelling of excitement at the liquid movement of racehorses. Paintings could never do justice for them: never. The moment caught on canvas was always second best. The story itself is a murder investigation, with Mr. Todd thrown into an unfamiliar role as private investigator in trying to help his cousin Donald who loses his wife in a brutal burglary in the opening sequence. Despite an improbable coincidence early on (view spoiler)[ Todd immediately stumbles upon a second burglary in an unrelated incident(hide spoiler)] and some really stupid moves on the part of his adversaries, the action moves at a lively pace and the pages turn almost by themselves. While Todd is the usual competent professional with a quiet presence hiding a quick mind and unrelenting drive, obstinacy and physical endurance, I found the presence of his Australian friend provides a welcome balance. Jik is another painter, as loud and outgoing as Todd is introverted and self reliant. In the absence of a romantic interest for the main character, the story makes do with two tangential ones, subtly understated but just as powerful and authentic as I have come to expect from mr. Francis.In conclusion, as good a point as any other for readers unfamiliar with the author, and a decent addition to the collection of the fans.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Nente
    2019-05-29 15:59

    The mystery itself is typical Francis fare; so much so, in fact, that I spotted the villain on his first appearance. There's a generous dollop of violence, the villain is a bit deranged, but at least that side isn't drawn out (which I objected to in several other Francis novels). A good bit of research, as always - this time into painting - and I absolutely admire the way the researched facts are handled, not ladled out if large helpings, stopping the plot for a time, but sprinkling them here and there to create a truly authentic flavour.There's no actual racing here, however. The characters watch a couple of races, and even that without much comment. For some reason I liked the books where the main character is a working jockey a bit more: perhaps they felt more alive still.

  • Skyler
    2019-05-31 22:03

    My favourite Dick Francis mystery, although I think Whip Hand is the best.

  • David Highton
    2019-06-10 17:16

    So reliable, an intrepid hero, horse racing, crime and all so easy to read

  • Harry
    2019-05-25 19:07

    What is there to say about Dick Francis? As I think about all of his books (yes, this review covers all of his books, and yes I've read them all) I think about a moral ethical hero, steeped in intelligence and goodness embroiled in evil machinations within British horse racing society - either directly or indirectly. The heroes aren't always horse jockies, they can be film producers, or involve heroes engaged in peripheral professions that somehow always touch the horse racing world.But more than that, Francis's heroes are rational human beings. The choices made are rational choices directed by a firm objective philosophy that belies all of Francis's novels. The dialogue is clear and touched with humor no matter the intensity of evil that the hero faces. The hero's thoughts reveal a vulnerability that is touching, while his actions are always based on doing the right thing to achieve justice. Causing the reader to deeply care about the characters in a novel is a difficult thing to do. No such worries in a Francis novel. The point of view is first person, you are the main character as you read the story (usually the character of Mr. Douglas). The hero is personable, like able, non-violent but delivering swift justice with his mind rather than through physical means. This is not to say that violence is a stranger to our hero. Some of it staggering and often delivered by what we would think of normal persons living in British society.You will come to love the world of Steeple Chase racing, you will grow a fondness for horses, stables, trainers and the people who live in that world. You will read the books, devouring one after the other and trust me Dick Francis has a lot of novels (over 40 by my last count).There are several series woven into the fabric of Francis's work: notably the Sid Halley and Kit Fielding series.Assessment: Dick Francis is one of my favorite writers. I read his books with a fierce hunger that remains insatiable and I mourn his death.

  • Anachronist
    2019-05-30 22:09

    Synopsis When Charles Todd visits his cousin, Donald, he lands unexpectedly right in the middle of a major crisis: a burgled house, Donald's young wife, Regina, brutally murdered, Donald himself prostrated by grief, almost at his wit's end. What's even worse the police inspector instead of looking for a murderer starts accusing Donald of orchestrating the whole burglary to profit financially from it and help his ailing firm. Charles is outraged by their approach but what can be done? Especially that shocked Donald doesn't even think of defending himself efficiently.Returning to London Todd, who earns his living as a painter specializing in horses, is hired by Maisie to immortalize her burned house on canvass. Chatting with that lady he almost has a sense of déjà vu: Maisie, like his cousin, has visited Australia recently, she, like his cousin, brought back a Munnings painting bought for a very reasonable price in an obscure, little art gallery and now she lost her house and almost all her belongings. Just a coincidence? Or maybe those two tragedies are somehow connected? Also in the case of Maisie the insurers are giving the victim a lot of grief, suspecting foul play. When Todd decides to investigate, Maisie is only too willing to assist him financially.With her money, Charles is able to go to Australia and start sniffing around. He is helped by Jik, his old university friend, also a painter, and his wife, Sarah who live in Melbourne. Soon enough they trail a set of clues only to realize that someone is trailing them. What will they discover?What I liked I liked the characterization in this novel, I really liked it a lot. It was done in really great way. Charles (or rather Todd, he hated being called Charles in fact) is a painter and he talks, thinks and breathes his passion. If he watches somebody he can describe them very accurately afterwards, he can tell you what ingredients are in particular paint colours, he can distinguish between a fake and an original just looking at the paint brushes; you don't doubt for one second that he is the real thing. The same can be said about his friend Jik - although he is a man of a completely different temperament and style, he and Todd understand each other perfectly well mainly because they share the same way of thinking.It was a nice change that Todd wasn't made to fall in love during his investigation. Well, he kind of fell for Sarah but he controlled his feelings like an adult, responsible person. No insta-love or insta-lust - it made the novel even better. At least I got the feeling that the relationship between Jik, Sarah and Charles were natural and real.What's more, I loved the narration style - smooth, elegant, unaffected, peppered with funny dialogues and situations in the right moments, teaching you a thing or two about art as well. In fact I was surprised when I found out that Francis was not a painter but a retired jockey; the man definitely knew a lot about painting and must have had an artisitc soul.It is a crime story and I am glad to say that the whole mystery was nicely done, not very difficult but also not so easy to solve. Sometimes Todd reminded me of Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street - they shared the same passion in pursuing the justice. It is a compliment of a kind I suppose ;).What I didn't like I admit that Charles Todd was a bit too lucky from time to time, especially for a total rookie of a private investigator who encoutered very ruthless and agressive criminals on his path. It was his first case, after all! I was also surprised a bit that such a big, efficient criminal organization like the one he discovered didn't have a plant inside the police forces. However, those are minor quibbles.Final verdict One of better murder mysteries I've read for a long time even if it felt a bit dated. I will gladly take another Francis book.

  • Kit Ehrman
    2019-06-16 17:03

    This book changed my life. I discovered it in 1977, quit the government job I was working at the time, and went to work in the horse industry so I could experience the horse world firsthand. I worked with and owned horses for 25 years, all because of this book.

  • Paula Schumm
    2019-06-18 20:01

    I listened to the audiobook from the library. This murder mystery novel has art, murder, theft, and travel. Charles Todd is an artist of horses, but he travels the world to prove his cousin innocent of murder. Recommended.

  • Cindy
    2019-05-20 14:09

    Charles Todd is a painter, mostly of horses. He goes to visit his cousin only to find that their house has just been burgled and his cousin's wife murdered. Charles stays with his cousin, trying to help him deal with insurance, police, the clean up. But as time passes, it becomes clear that the investigation is stalled and his cousin is falling into a deep depression. Charles decided to take matters into his own hands and follows the clues to Australia.Like all Dick Francis books, the pace moves pretty quickly, with lots of physical dangers and several horse races. This one features the Melbourne Cup. I didn't enjoy the audio version as much as I usually do for some reason. I just couldn't seem to concentrate long enough. I'm not sure if it was me or if it was the narrator or what.

  • Contrarius
    2019-05-31 20:58

    This Francis book opens with a tragedy, and throughout the book it contains more explorations of emotion than I think most Francis books do. The main character is once again in the "unassuming but successful mostly-loner everyman" mode, but there appears to be more focus on his social interactions (with his cousin, best friend, best friends wife, new friend) than in many other books in the series. This book reads very cinematically, and in fact it was remade into a TV movie in 1989.As usual, the narrator Tony Britton does a fine job with this book. In general he is quite good with accents, and those accents get a workout here. His Americans do all tend to sound the same, and his New Zealanders sounded pretty much like his Aussies, but I suppose that is just quibbling. ;)

  • Tasha
    2019-05-28 15:08

    Another really great mystery from Dick Francis!

  • MaryLou Pearce
    2019-06-01 17:53

    Any Dick Francis book gets five stars from me.

  • E.P.
    2019-05-29 15:49

    "In the Frame" is another of the slight, slender thrillers Francis was turning out in the 1970s, full of travel and good times. This one has a slightly somber edge, though.Charles is another of Francis's artist heroes, this time an actual artist, who paints mainly horses and sort of makes a living doing so. He aspires to nothing higher, but when his cousin's wife is murdered and several other people he knows report being burgled, he ends up heading off to Australia to try to track down the culprits, where he teams up with a friend from art school and gets into exciting situations during the Melbourne Cup.While lightly sketched, "In the Frame" showcases Francis's feeling for color, something seen clearly for the first time in "Enquiry," and developed more fully here. Charles sees the world in terms of paint, color, and frame, unsurprisingly, and he pulls the reader into a brightly realized world, full of intense, color-drenched sensory experiences. It contrasts the sunny holiday world of Australia during the Melbourne Cup with gloomy autumnal England, where Charles's cousin sits at home brooding over his wife's murder. Francis always had a flair for well-chosen descriptive passages, and it reaches a particular high point in this novel. A pleasure to read, packing plenty of punch in its few pages.

  • Renata Shura
    2019-06-05 19:18

    When I first read this eons ago I loved it so much, but this time around it fell a bit flat. I still loved the aussie slang bit, but so much of the communication of the day (1976) dates the story and actually detracted from the enjoyment of it for me. Also, it's a pretty depressing set of circumstances and as a teen, I don't think I understood the depths of grief like I do now. So rather than seeing it as a great DF romp, it actually depressed me. I was pretty shocked that I'd react that way.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-26 19:02

    Thoroughly enjoyable but not, I think, Francis's best work. I don't mind the fact that his books adhere to a formula, but this one never seemed to develop fully enough to really bring the formula to life. However, I did enjoy the Australian setting and the interactions between Jik and Todd, and I thought that Sarah's character was skillfully drawn. She wasn't a caricature. She progressed through very natural suspicion, reluctance, fear, courage, and affection.

  • Denise Kettering
    2019-06-02 14:51

    Like other Francis novels, this book revolves around the horse racing world. Charles Todd is a horse painter, who finds himself trying to solve some problems on his cousin's behalf. There is a good degree of suspense in trying to figure out the case and the way that the various characters overlap and interact. The moral and upright main character is compelling and the events are interesting. Overall this is an enjoyable and fast read.

  • Our_orders
    2019-05-23 16:14

    This was a good light hearted mystery novel. I can say I liked it, even though, having just fractured my shoulder this past summer (skateboarding), I physically cringed at the idea of getting out of bed and doing all the things our main character did as soon as he did. No way! The fracture in my shoulder was considered hairline and I was unable to turn my head without excruciating pain for at least two weeks. Ah well, that's fiction for you.

  • Nancy
    2019-06-15 15:19

    Excellent. If you're a fan of Francis this is great stuff. And for once, he takes the time to continue the narrative after the baddie is unveiled in order to deal with Charles's brother's ongoing grief.

  • Alejandro
    2019-05-31 21:12

    Intersting plot; good entertainment.Glad I was not the one trying to find the culprit.

  • C.E. Case
    2019-05-29 15:59

    Mostly fun for the depiction of 1976 Australia and New Zealand.

  • Gary Smith
    2019-06-06 14:16

    A great, easy read.

  • Sue
    2019-05-27 21:03

    Charles Todd shows up at his cousin's house in England for a visit only to find his cousin, Donald, in a state of shock and Donald's wife dead of blunt force trauma to the head. Donald's wife had come home to find a burglary in progress and was brutally killed for that discovery. Charles stayed with Donald for several days but ultimately returned home to London at Donald's urging. Soon after, while at the races, Charles meets a woman who wants to commission him to do a painting of the remains of her house which was destroyed by fire. As they talk, there are too many similarities in the stories between her experience and Donald's to just be coincidence. Both had traveled to Australia, both had purchased expensive paintings, both met with tragedy after returning to England. Charles decides to go to Australia to see what he can find out. In Australia, he hooks up with an artist friend of his who is willing to help him. What follows is a typical Dick Francis ride of trying to stay alive and one step ahead of the bad guys in order to turn the information over to the police. Re-read in 2013. I really enjoyed this one. Not as much horse stuff in this one as others - the main character is a painter of horses instead of a jockey or stable lad. I'm not saying that as a positive or negative, really, just as explanation of the horse theme that tends to run through Dick Francis' books. Follows the typical formula: decent guy finds out about bad stuff going on, decent guy starts poking around to find out what's really going on, which thoroughly annoys the bad guys, decent guy forced to extract himself from perilous situations, stay alive, and turn information over to the authorities. Even though it's formula, it's fresh. You know generally what will happen but not specifics. A good read that left me thinking afterward about the sequence of events and how he worked out the conclusion.

  • Shorty
    2019-05-27 19:19

    I always turn to a Dick Francis novel, when I need a break from the latest writing styles of today. Francis always turns out to be a refreshingly sweet breeze from the past, full of old-fashioned manners, lifestyles, and attitudes, and isn't it nice to go there once in a while, for a short stay? Even if it's in a short novel such as this.In the Frame is a novel about a painter, instead of the usual jockey, which was a nice change of pace. Francis makes sure to write, in the beginning of the book, about how he spent time with two different real artists, just to be able to tell us how things work. How the artist paints, how he cleans his brushes, and how he feels about other artists. And I think Francis does an amazing job, once again.In the Frame deals not only with artists, painting, and (of course) horse racing, but also forgery, on a large, overseas scale. Once again, I was fascinated, and wanted to spend more time with the main character, even though the main reason for the mystery was a death. What a lovely time I had, living in this novel. I hope you will have one as well.

  • Holly Kenyon
    2019-06-16 20:06

    I first read this book many years ago when I worked through every Dick Francis book written.It was even better this time around. Considering it was written in 1976 it holds up very well. Ok, the lack of mobile phones to assist the plight of our heroes and the use of telex instead does put a date on it, but it really doesn't detract from the story. It was great to have a rounded and complete story with plenty of edge of the seat moments packed into such a little book. Admittedly I am rather more used to the epics of Robin Hobb et al so the end seemed to arrive very quickly, but it was not short on content and Francis manages to tell a great story without waffling on unnecessarily. If I have to find a quibble, and it is only a little one, I would have liked to have experienced a little more of New Zealand and Australia while we were there. To take our lead character out to these places and not make a bit more of them was a shame. The descriptions we did get of the Wellington coast line were startlingly accurate and vivid. I know those rocks! Thoroughly enjoyable.

  • Bonnie
    2019-06-07 16:09

    I've never read or listened to a Dick Francis book I didn't enjoy and this one was certainly no exception. All of Mr. Francis' books have something to do with horse racing. As with another book I recently read that delved into wine and whiskey, this book's narrator isn't directly involved with horse racing. Instead he is a painter of horses and horse racing. Charles Todd's cousin's wife is murdered in the course of a burglary when she surprises the burglars in the act. Todd meets a woman whose house has burned down and the many antiques and curios she and her husband have collected don't appear to have burned with the house. Both she and the cousin are suspected of arson (in her case) and murder (in his). Todd thinks there is a connection with paintings that both bought in Australia and he goes there to find out more.

  • Lenny Husen
    2019-06-17 19:58

    Excellent, one of Francis' best. 4.5 stars. Docking 1/2 point from 5 because I wanted Maisie to get her Treasures back.Sidebar: Why do Francis' protagonists always have to get the shit kicked out of them?I sincerely admire Dick Francis for his ability to write for both men and women. These are highly enjoyable books, although I am partial to the older ones from the late 50's and 60's up to the early 70's.The protagonist is always male, always good-looking in a quiet way, slender yet muscular, introverted, strong, agile, with a career connected in some way to racing, and always has multiple broken bones by the end of the story (but quickly knitting, fast healing and no impediment to conquering evil).This is a stand-out book, however, because it is really about the Grief Reaction and Complicated Bereavement. The theme is "to right the unrightable wrong." It deeply moved me.

  • Eva
    2019-05-29 18:02

    Charles Todd arrives at his cousin's house to discover that it has been burgled of antiques, 2000 bottles of fine wine, and his cousin's wife has been murdered. The police are convinced his cousin arranged the theft and murder because of the wine. The thieves must have known to bring wine boxes and to have had the time to pack it all up.Todd paints racehorses for a living. At the track to meet a client, he is introduced to a woman who has also had a recent burglary. He discovers that the woman and his cousin both recently returned from Australia and that each had bought a painting while there. Desperate to clear his cousin, Todd travels to Australia to learn if the two paintings are connected. What he finds leads him on a wild chase around Australia and into the path of a ring of violent, international thieves.This is a captivating book with a satisfying ending.

  • Louise
    2019-06-16 14:56

    I always enjoy Dick Francis' books, especially the earlier ones. In this one, artist Dick (oh, sorry, Charles Todd) turns up for a visit with his cousin Donald, only to find the place crawling with press and police. The house has been thoroughly burgled, and Donald's wife Regina has been murdered with Donald being the prime suspect.A chance meeting with Maisie, whose house recently burned down, leads Charles on a trip to Australia and New Zealand to see if he can uncover an organised crime ring. Charles' trip to Melbourne coincides with the Spring Racing Carnival, culminating of course in the Melbourne Cup - which Charles decides to be a brilliant time for a spot of burglary of his own.

  • Leonard
    2019-06-06 21:55

    This is a very fine novel by Dick Francis whose books are usually about people who like horses. The main character in this book is a painter of horses who finds himself wrapped up in a mystery that involves horse paintings, antiques, large thefts, murder, and trips to Australia and New Zealand. My fifth grade grandson is reading at a 10th or higher grade level and it's difficult to find material at that level appropriate for a ten year old. This might be one author who would be acceptable. Of course there are some words that a ten year old does not know, but not very many, and this is a good way to expand his vocabulary.

  • Linda
    2019-06-10 19:12

    Charles Todd, planning to spend the weekend with his cousin Donald Stuart, walks in on a burglary gone wrong and the murder of Stuart’s wife. Charles, a painter of horses, is interested in a painting that Donald has just brought home from Australia. The coincidence of another horse lover who has been in Australia and bought a painting which is stolen when she arrives home leads Charles to visit a friend in Australia, where they uncover an art fraud scheme. This book has all the earmarks of a Francis thriller, and I enjoyed it but didn’t think it was one of his best. I may have read it in the past but don’t remember having done so. I thought I had read all his books.