John Dandola's
Hammond Castle Mysteries


• Wind of Time
A Jeffrey Devereaux-Kirsten Eriksson Novel

"In the year 1123, Bishop Eirik went in search of Vinland."

So reads the very terse entry which appears in six different Icelandic annals. Yet no further explanation or resolution is offered leaving the inevitible conclusion that the bishop was never heard from again.

Nearly nine centuries later, teacher and amateur historian Jeffrey Devereaux has a chance meeting with Kirsten Eriksson, the girl of Icelandic heritage who had been his first adolescent crush. When her reading of mystical runestones at a Renaissance Faire finally brings their love to fruition, subsequent visits to Kirsten's home on Cuttyhunk Island, a mysterious stone tower in Newport, Rhode Island, and Hammond Castle Museum on the coast of Massachusetts plunge them into history and carry them from 20th to 12th century New England, where they face the ghosts of Bishop Eirik's lost Norse settlement and their own very personal connections to the past.

"One of those 'you-can't-put-it-down-books!"
—Salem J. David, No Man's Land Island: History & Legends

"The mysterious cylindrical ruin in Newport's Touro Park is a the center of [this] romantic novel that turns on Viking solve an ancient"
—Providence Journal-Bulletin

"Dandola adds a new slant to the mystery surrounding Newport's Stone Mill Tower."
—Newport Daily News

• Wicked is the Wind
A Jeffrey Devereaux-Kirsten Eriksson Novel

Epiphany, Massachusetts, had been founded by Shakers and rescued from fire by Civil War veterans of the famous 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers. The soldiers and their families were invited to settle and, as the Shakers died off, the town developed into a predominent black community.

Unfortunately, such a rich history hasn't prevented present-day Epiphany from becoming the embodiment of municipal turmoil. Its neglected historic buildings are crumbling; its real estate values are plummeting; its merchants are relocating; and its corrupt politicians are squabbling over who's to blame.

Making matters worse, new construction has been halted in a drained tidal marsh when seemingly ancient artifacts are uncovered there. After one of Kirsten Eriksson's friends becomes involved, amateur historian Jeffrey Devereaux is asked to make an inspection of the site. But the political climate and an ensuing murder nearly obliterate Jeffrey's conclusion that the artifacts may actually pre-date Epiphany's founding by centuries—a turn of events which brings his affiliation with Hammond Castle Museum very much into play.

"With colorful characters, great dialogue, and a solid sense of John Dandola places Kirsten Eriksson and Jeffrey Devereaux in a cozy murder mystery employing her psychic tendencies and his passion for history."—International Titles

• The Unbound Wind
A Jeffrey Devereaux-Kirsten Eriksson Novel

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.

"Dandola has created simple, thoughtful, clever layers and crafted them into a deceptively complex whole. History, mystery, humor, and social statement are mixed well with a delightfully odd ghost story."—International Titles

• A Beckoning Wind
A Jeffrey Devereaux-Kirsten Eriksson Novel

As a teacher, Jeffrey Devereaux is finding his professional life increasingly burdened with tension, friction, and needless bureaucracy. When the incompetent female principal of his grammar school is replaced by an equally incompetent but much more cantankerous male principal, Jeffrey welcomes the chance for a winter-vacation escape to Florida.

What should be a peaceful week of sunshine and relaxation shared with Kirsten Eriksson at her aunt's retreat on the Gulf Coast turns out to be anything but when they become involved with solving a murder which is somehow connected to newly-discovered artifacts dating from contact between local Indians and Conquistadores in the sixteenth century.

Also included is an additional bonus: a never-before-published short story, Whispers Upon the Wind, in which Jeffrey and Kirsten are asked to investigate the mysterious origin of a fresco hidden within Hammond Castle Museum. How and where did the castle's builder obtain it? And was it legal or illegal to import such  European artwork to Gloucester, Massachusetts, even during the freewheeling Roaring Twenties?

"This well-researched novel shows off Dandola's storytelling gift. He entertains us with quirky, eccentric local residents.…fun, believable people who have personalities that really tick…As in past Wind novels, Kirsten has the ‘sight,' which are dreams that relive the past or foresee the future. Dandola has perfected this dream technique and uses it like a movie camera for the reader…"

• Dead by All Appearances
An Edie Koslow-Tony Del Plato Mystery

When Teddy Edison, youngest son of the late Thomas Alva Edison, asks Tony Del Plato to investigate some odd occurrences at the castle laboratory of millionaire inventor John Hays Hammond, Jr., it is a request more for Tony's much needed change of scenery than out of any real necessity. While leaving West Orange, New Jersey, might prove to be therapeutic following the recent events in Tony's life, little could anyone foresee that this forced vacation on the restful and beautifully rocky coastline of Massachusetts would ultimately involve local gangsters, murder, and espionage.

Adding to the confusion is a scheduled remote radio broadcast from the castle not to mention an unexpected rivalry between M.G.M. publicity girl Edie Koslow and Paramount actress Marjorie Reynolds, who is visiting after a War Bond tour in Boston to promote her new film, Holiday Inn.

"Well-written by American author John Dandola, these thrillers unveil an odd and novel pair of amateur detectives: a movie publicity girl and a barber, who is one authentic and intriguing Italian-American."
—Giornale di Sicilia

"Through movie publicist Edie Koslow and local barber Tony Del Plato, whose mysterious skills go well beyond hairstyling, Dandola presents Edison family history, small-town politics, and Tinsel Town gossip of the period and melds them seamlessly."
—Mystery Scene Magazine

• Dead in Small Doses
A Tony Del Plato Mystery

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 a trip to the Caribbean. Tony's job: bodyguard to actress Marjorie Reynolds, who suggested the movie and will be featured in it.

Throughout the course of the novel, Tony reveals some of his mysterious background through a trio of stories about his tutoring by Thomas Edison, his solving of an actual New Jersey cold case from the 1880's, and his association with notorious New Jersey gangster Abner "Longy" Zwillman. But those stories aside, filming on location also manages to embroil Tony and Marjorie in a Caribbean murder.

"A unique blend of history, mystery, and nostalgia with the mood of a 1940's film. Clever casting, sharp period dialogue, and memorable scenic descriptions set a backdrop for an unexpected series of events. Great fun, and blessedly different, this is a book to take into your comfiest chair and enjoy as you would an exciting journey."
—Julia Buckley, author of The Dark Backward and Madeline Mann


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