The Mystery of Dick Francis and the Missing Heads

I've been sent some cover shots for some American printings of Dick Francis recently for my website. I don't know whether it's the publishers, or the designer, or maybe just sheer, freaking chance, but someone obviously has an issue with heads.

They're obscured:


Or just plain missing.

The one above is utterly bizarre. If it had been the cover for Bonecrack, in which models of horses with broken legs are sent to the hero, I could have just about understood it.

Thanks to Bettina Vine for these.


SF said…
That last image is truly bizarre. Bonecrack has nothing to do with beheaded jockeys!

I have a collection of all Dick Francis' books, typically Pan paperbacks until I bought hardbacks in the 1980s. The Pan covers are fascinating- a product of their time with artwork that mixes several elements of each story. I was a teenager when I started collecting - 13 years old. I had to put a sticker over a topless lady on the cover of Enquiry as I was afraid my Mum would confiscate the book!
madwippitt said…
Duuuuh? What utterly baffling covers. Certainly wouldn't compel me to pick any of them up.

I loved DF's books when I was a teenager: good transitional reading to adult books in those days before 'Young Adult' categories hadn't been invented. Nowadays I find them uncomfortable reading - partly because of some of the rather disturbing violence, but also because (to me at any rate) of the lack of any affection which comes through for horses. They're just there as plot devices, to win or lose.
Jane Badger said…
I read them at the same age as both of you too - when I was first allowed into the adult section of the library they and Agatha Christie were the only things I was allowed.

Madwippit, I know what you mean about them wearing. I think he's a brilliant story teller, but for the first time I found myself looking at my very extensive Dick Francis collection and wondering if I really wanted to keep it. Haven't yet made my mind up.

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