Another Francis: A quick, exciting read, with characters it is fun to envy, but probably not fun to be in real life, the right number of plot twists and turns, and a shocking set-up. The hero, called Charles Neil Todd here, though really the same character as in other Francises, walks in on his cousin just after the latter has called the police to a burglary and then discovered his wife battered to death. In order to rescue him from the clutches of the police, who consider him a suspect, Todd tracks a curious coincidence in his cousin's recent past. Led to Australia, to the company of a welcoming old friend ~ and his not so welcoming, new wife ~ Todd investigates and, after some beatings and other frights, resolves the coincidences, solving the burglary and, probably, the murder. The racing is only incidentally important ~ much action occurs on a racecourse, around a big race, but could be anywhere ~ the main importance is that Todd and Jik, his friend, are painters ~ Todd of horses, mainly, Jik of living, lasting abstracts ~ which aids them in the investigation of art fraud, galleries, copies and copiers. Just for the few hours a Francis takes to read, but completely for those hours, i am carried away into another world, other surroundings. And, as always with Francis, i come away wanting to know more about his particular interest ~ here the painting of Todd and Jik, but also Australia itself; can it be as fascinating as Francis paints it?