Under Orders

Version: Unabridged
Author: Dick Francis
Narrator: Martin Jarvis
Genres: Detective Stories
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Published In: October 2006
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 8 hours
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Sadly, death at the races is not uncommon. However, three in a single afternoon was sufficiently unusual to raise more than one eyebrow." It's the third death on Cheltenham Gold Cup Day that really troubles super-sleuth Sid Halley. Last seen in 1995's Come to Grief, former champion jockey Halley knows the perils of racing all too well-but in his day, jockeys didn't usually reach the finishing line with three .38 rounds in the chest. But this is precisely how he finds jockey Huw Walker-who, only a few hours earlier, had won the coveted Triumph Hurdle.

Just moments before the gruesome discovery, Halley had been called upon by Lord Enstone to make discreet inquiries into why his horses appeared to be on a permanent losing streak. Are races being fixed? Are bookies taking a cut? And if so, are trainers and jockeys playing a dangerous game with stakes far higher than they are realistic?

Halley's quest for answers draws him even deeper into the darker side of the race game, in a life-or-death power play that will push him to his very limits-both professionally and personally.

Reviews (4)

Outstanding Dick Francis

Written by Anonymous from Clifton, TX on July 31st, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Dick Francis' Enquiry is, as always, outstanding. Narrator does an excellent job.

Under Orders

Written by Rachel M from Fallbrook, CA on January 30th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 3/5

A slow starter, but a good mystery all-in-all. I'd rent it if you have some patience for the beginning!

Dick Francis rides again!!

Written by Tony Rozendaal on August 24th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Excellent, and a good reader. Enjoyed the book very much, and all the characters were wonderful


Written by Anonymous on May 8th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Dick Francis is always at his best when the main character is directly involved in horse racing, and Sid Halley has always been my favorite lead character. If you have not read Dick Francis before, this would be a good, current novel to start out on. If you are a long time fan, it will not disappoint.

Author Details

Author Details

Francis, Dick

" Dick Francis was born in Lawrenny, South Wales in 1920. He served in the Royal Air Force for six years during World War II, piloting fighter and bomber aircraft including the Spitfire and Lancaster between 1943 and 1946.

Following the war, Francis, the son of a jockey, became a celebrity in the world of British National Hunt racing. He won more than 350 races, was Champion Jockey in 1953/54, and was retained as jockey to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for four seasons, 1953 through 1957. Francis rode eight times in the world famous Grand National Steeplechase, and nearly won in 1956 when his horse, the Queen Mother's Devon Loch, a few strides away from victory with a clear field, suddenly collapsed. This incident, which Francis calls ""both the high point and low point of my career as a jockey,"" was the impetus for him to begin a second career as a writer. Shortly after the incident, a literary agent approached Francis about writing an autobiography.

In 1957, Francis suffered another serious fall and was advised to retire from race riding. He completed his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, which was published later that year, and accepted an invitation to write six features for the London Sunday Express. He stayed on as the newspaper's racing correspondent for 16 years.

Sports writing soon led to fiction writing, which in turn led to a string of bestselling novels. His first, Dead Cert, was published in 1962. His 36th novel, 10 Lb. Penalty, was published in the U.S. by G.P. Putnam's Sons in September 1997. In addition to his novels and autobiography, Francis has also published a biography of Lester Piggott, A Jockey's Life, and eight short stories. He has edited (with John Welcome) four collections of racing stories, and has contributed to anthologies and periodicals.

Francis's books have been bestsellers in a number of countries, and have been translated into more than 30 languages, including all European languages, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Bantu, and several dialects of Chinese. Each of his novels has also been recorded on audio in both Britain and the United States.

Francis was made an Officer of the most noble Order of the British Empire in 1984, and was awarded the British Crime Writers Association silver dagger in 1965, gold dagger in 1980 and Cartier diamond dagger for his life's work in 1990. The recipient of three Edgar Allen Poe Awards for Best Novel from the Mystery Writers of America, most recently for 1995's Come to Grief, Francis is the only person to have been awarded the prestigious award more than once. The Mystery Writers of America named Francis Grand Master for his life's work in 1996, and he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Tufts University in 1991.

Francis' adored wife Mary, who helped with much of the research for his books, died in 2000, shortly after they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. With the death of his Mary, his spiritual and literary helpmate, he decided to call it a day. His 39th book, Shattered, was published in 2001. "