Inventor John Hays Hammond, Jr., & Actress Marjorie Reynolds Return as Characters in Dead in Small Doses


PRLog (Press Release) January 31, 2012 In 2007, novelist and John Hays Hammond, Jr., biographer
John Dandola, not only set his mystery, Dead by All Appearances, at Hammond Castle but he featured Hammond as a major character. That story involved Nazi spies infiltrating the inventor's lab during 1942 while a radio broadcast was being prepared to feature actress Marjorie Reynolds, fresh from a War Bond Tour in conjunction with the premiere of Holiday Inn. The book did quite well and yet again garnered Hollywood attention to the series which has been repeatedly optioned for possible
film adaptations. All that aside, Dandola found the characters of
Hammond and Reynolds so enjoyable to write that they both are
back in the series' newest entry entitled Dead in Small Doses.

The premise came about through Dandola's research while writing
his Hammond biography, Living in the Past, Looking to the Future.

"There was a constant lament whenever I interviewed people who
knew Hammond that there was no film or audio footage of him," the
author explains. "But in January of 1942, Popular Science magazine
did a bio of Hammond in a very well-drawn comic strip format. When
you know movies, you know a potential storyboard when you see
one and Paramount Studios used to produce the Popular Science
film shorts. So I invented such a movie project about Hammond
which gave me a perfect excuse to once again include Paramount
actress Marjorie Reynolds in the mix."

The synopsis:

"When you've got the right characters in the right setting, they do actually begin talking and acting for themselves," Dandola acknowledges. "Hammond was a hoot who could very well have gotten himself into the fictional stories I have created. The extensive scenes of filming the Popular Science movie short at the castle, a lavish dinner party, and life behind-closed-doors are just as they would have happened. There's a great deal of satisfaction in all that."

Of course, it does help that John Dandola also knows both the inventor and his castle so well that keeping the Hammond legacy alive is quite an effortless undertaking for him.

Although the producer who holds the film rights to the first three 1940's mystery novels has first refusal, several other movie inquiries have come in after pre-publication copies of Dead in Small Doses were distributed within the entertainment community. Since Hammond Castle is an all-important backdrop for the last two novels, it will definitely impact budgetary considerations so Dandola has been asked to assist in the search for possible filming locales to replicate the building and property as they were in Hammond's lifetime.

"It's always about putting together a film's budget. Period pieces cost a great deal of money to produce," Dandola explains. "Having my novels continually optioned for movies says that my creations seem to conjure up something which others would like to capture on film. I have no control over the purse strings in making that come to fruition but it's very much a compliment nonetheless."

Dead in Small Doses is published by Compass Point Mysteries (435 pages, $16.95) and is available through the publisher's web site at

John Dandola is a member of the Mystery Writers of America for his novels; the Writers Guild of America for his screenplays; and the Dramatists Guild of America for his plays.

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Copyright 2012 by The Quincannon Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
Author John Dandola Once Again Uses Gloucester's Hammond Castle as a Backdrop in
His Newest Mystery Novel Set During 1943
On the cover is the
Caribbean Great House
which serves as one of the novel's locales.
In the spring of 1943, Tony Del Plato gets a surprising assignment when Paramount Pictures decides to make one of its Popular Science movie shorts about inventor John Hays Hammond, Jr. Filming will take place not only at Hammond's grandiose castle-home in Gloucester, Massachusetts, but also aboard his yacht on an archaeological trip to the Caribbean. Tony's job: bodyguard to actress Marjorie Reynolds, who suggested the movie and will be featured in it. But filming on location also manages to embroil all three of them in a Caribbean murder.