Dick Francis, famous for his horse racing-based crime novels, has died aged 89, his family has said.
The former jockey who wrote some 40 best-selling novels during his career, was also a champion jockey in the 1940s and 50s and the Queen Mother's jockey.
BBC News Online readers have been sending their thoughts about the best-selling writer.
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I first came across the novels of Dick Francis in the British Council library in Ghana and read every single copy it stocked. When I first came to England, I made up for lost time by reading the titles that had been unavailable to me back home. Each time I need a pick-me-up in terms of emotions or in my own writing, there are a few books that I immediately reach out for and one of them is a Dick Francis novel.
Nana Yaa Larbi, Hayes, Middlesex
I never met Dick Francis but am a huge fan, and always looked forward to his latest book. In fact, I have to thank the BBC World Service for this. When I was in school, there was a feature where novels were read over the air and one of these was Dick Francis' book Whip Hand.
I enjoyed both the mystery and the authentic racing background and as soon as the serial was finished, I went to my local library to see if there were any of his books there. My mother and I are both fans of his books and he will be surely missed!
Barbara Canary, Boston, USA
I had the pleasure to meet him whilst working at his son Felix's home. My memory of him was that he was a complete gentleman. He had a lovely twinkle in his eye. May he rest in peace and be reunited with his beloved wife.
Patsy Bignell, Banbury, Oxon
I remember being in the Victoria Public Library at the age of 14 and standing there and reading Dead Cert for an hour. I just come from the riding stables where I was a stable cleaner and taking English horseback riding lessons. I introduced the book to my entire family of grandparents, parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, and cousins we have all purchased Dick Francis novels and have passed them on to our children and grandchildren. I am glad that Dick Francis was such a gift to the world's readers. Thank you for the legacy of his books.
Brian McGavin, Prince George, Canada
We spent a fantastic weekend with Dick and some of his family in Scotland a few years ago and it was an honour to talk to him about his amazing life. He will be truly missed and we send our love to his family.
My brother introduced me to Dick Francis books when I asked if he had a book I could read on the train. After reading many of the books I wrote to Mr Francis to show my gratitude for his wonderful books and I received the most wonderful letter in return, which I have always treasured. Later, I was fortunate enough to meet him at Aintree and he signed many of my first editions. It was a great honour to meet him.
Michelle Gavine, Monikie, Angus, Scotland
I had the very great pleasure of meeting and talking to Mr Francis when I was living in the Cayman Islands. He was the consummate gentleman. I recall asking him which horse he would like to have ridden during his career; "Arkle" he said without hesitation. My condolences to his family. He will be missed.
Terri Beckett, Mold
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Dick Francis' books were for many years, one Christmas present I eagerly awaited. I still have every book he wrote, his final book will complete my collection.
Stephen Ives, Ashton-under-Lyne, near Manchester
It's a sad day for the Francis family. It's also a sad day for all his fans all over the world. I love all Dick's novels, I'm a collector and do have almost all his novels in Dutch translation and also some in English language. I always look forward for a new one. I hope Felix learned enough from his father to follow up with his ideas so we can read some more books!
T. Snel, Zoetermeer, Netherlands
I remember picking up "Dead Cert" in an airport bookstore 30 years ago and have been a fan ever since. I had the pleasure of attending a Dick Francis book signing several years ago in Pasadena. A very gracious man.
Mike Donscheski, Pasadena, California, USA
My condolences to the family. A friend and colleague introduced me to the Dick Francis novels, after she had been introduced to the world of horses and horse racing by a trainer. We thoroughly enjoyed the stories and made it a habit to exchange our opinions of whodunit.
Evelyn, Lugano, Switzerland
My family has a bookstore in the Cayman Islands. For many years Mr Francis (along with his wife) would have book signings in the store. Many days he would hand deliver his British newspapers to me after he read them.
Cindy, Austin, TX
Long before I visited England in the 70s I was an avid fan of Mr Francis' books. When we went to England (courtesy US Air Force), we were fortunate to live in the Midlands and made a point of trying to find all the villages I so vividly remembered from my reading. I am truly saddened by his loss.
Gabriele Belden, Colville, Washington, USA
Not many authors develop the creative imagination and discipline required to write a novel per year... I remember Blood Sport and Second Wind both excellent reads. Dick Francis will be missed as not many authors have that 'touch' of earnestness and detail to human nature he had.
Dayo Adefila, Nigeria
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