With an in-depth knowledge about toy rarities and what makes hobbyists tick,
how could this author resist not working that into his newest murder mystery?


Although he is an author, screenwriter, and playwright by profession,
John Dandola is probably best known to fellow toy collectors for his
articles which appeared in the late Plastic Figure & Playset Collector
magazine. But Dandola has used that intricate knowledge to fuel a
motive for murder in his newest mystery novel, The Unbound Wind.
He even gives a nod of thanks in the Author's Note to such toy-
collecting stalwarts as Glen Ridenour, Rusty Kern, Tom Terry,
and Bill Hamilton for their assistance with research while crafting
the story.

"Authors—especially mystery authors—are always looking for
ways to use their interests to expand their storylines in unique
ways," Dandola explains. "I always wanted to tackle something with
a toy-collecting angle but this was the first time that seemed right in
employing it."

The synopsis:

The rock carving in Westford, Massachusetts, had been the subject of debate for a good many years. Romantics claimed it to be the effigy of a medieval knight killed during some pre-Columbian exploration. Detractors claimed it to be partially Native American with whimsical enhancements made by nineteenth-century schoolboys.

After visiting Westford as a favor to a military miniaturist who is researching the carving, Jeffrey Devereaux and Kirsten Eriksson begin experiencing turmoil in their own daily lives.

Things only worsen when the curator of Hammond Castle Museum allows his usual indecisiveness to jeopardize not only their long-standing personal friendship but their future working relationship as well. When a member of the museum's Board of Directors turns up dead after a Renaissance Faire on the castle grounds and another death occurs during a toy show in the castle's Great Hall, Kirsten can't help but wonder about the origin of the Westford effigy and the possibility that all of these misfortunes are somehow connected with it.

Like Dandola's previous two Wind mystery novels, Wind of Time and Wicked is the Wind, this newest entry in the series makes pre-Columbian exploration in New England a part of the plot and continues to use Hammond Castle Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts, as a home base for his protagonists—one of whom turns out to be a toy collector. The premise will draw in all readers looking for something different. The toy collector mindset is explored and the toy show scenes will ring true with all enthusiasts while manufacturing details about toy figures will fascinate even those with only a passing interest.

The Unbound Wind is published by Compass Point Mysteries (234 pages, $14.95) and available online exclusively through Biblio.com at

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Copyright © 2009 by The Quincannon Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
Author Uses His Toy-Collecting Hobby as a Motive in His New Mystery Novel
The Unbound Wind is the third
paranormal murder mystery by John Dandola.