I picked this book for our group to read because in the time since I last read it, however many years ago, the ending has always stuck with me.  Not necessarily the details of the ending, but the excitement of it.  And on this rereading, I found that the excitement was still there.  Whew!

The group enjoyed this book, even if it was dated.  Published in 1967, there’s none of that cell phone, internet stuff and we learned from one of our members that horses are still shipped by air. 

There was a big discussion about the place of romance in mystery stories.  Agatha Christie was against having a romantic subplot, but in Flying Finish, a love interest was crucial to Henry Grey’s development as a character.  Until he met Gabriela, he was a gray man, very one-dimensional, though his ability to juggle multiple aspects of his life without one area knowing about the other was pretty intriguing.  The romantic part of the story made Henry blossom and become more rounded, Gabriela giving him a reason to live whereas prior to that, he seemed to almost have a death wish.  Riding horses, flying planes, running away from the debutantes that his mother threw at him.

Billy was declared to be the most awful character, which was no surprise, seeing as how he was a sociopath and all.  But Yardman was equally bad, just because it wasn’t so obvious.

Pam found the beginning of the story slow going, but that could be because current mysteries have a much faster pace.  This was no Lee Child.

Then began the discussion of the relative intelligence of horses, llamas, cats and dogs which soon spiraled out of control.

I neglected to ask Pam for her picks but I would like to recommend Janet Evanovich’s new one, Explosive Eighteen.  It’s no Dick Francis but Stephanie Plum is always entertaining.

Next month, we’ll be having treats at our meeting.  Possibly something African?