Over the week-end came the sad news that noted mystery writer Dick Francis had passed away at the age of 89. Mr. Francis, a championship jockey turned successful crime novelist was one of the most prolific writers in the mystery field. He wrote 42 novels, all revolving around horse racing. Even people who were not particularly interested in horse racing praised these books. With virtually no sex or bad language (in deference to the Queen Mother who was his biggest fan) Mr. Francis told compelling stories, adored the world over. One of the biggest mysteries involving Mr. Francis was, who actually wrote the novels. Although he freely gave collaborative credit to his beloved wife, Mary, skeptics felt that an uneducated jockey was incapable of writing such fine work, and ascribed the authorship to the better educated Mary. After Mary's death in 2000, he announced that there would be no more books, perhaps giving credence to this theory. However, he did produce four more splendid novels albeit working with his son Felix. The final Dick Francis novel, Crossfire, will be published later this year. If you've never had the pleasure of reading a Dick Francis mystery, the library has lots of them, both in paperback and hardcover. On a cold winter's night, sit down in front of a crackling fire, with a cup of tea and a Dick Francis novel and you'll be in horse heaven.