The Eleventh Tony Del Plato Mystery Novel Debuts
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GLEN RIDGE, N.J. - JerseyDesk -- Dead by Any Means is the eleventh novel in the Tony Del Plato mystery series. The story takes place in 1944 with the protagonist and Patty Drury, his surrogate teenage daughter, traveling to the Paramount Pictures studio in Hollywood for their participation in a series of B-movies. Author John Dandola's expertise in how movies were made during the Studio System imbues the whole venture with realism.

What becomes apparent to readers is that although Dandola the author likes the process of making movies, he has no love of the physical nature of Los Angeles. Having done his time as a screenwriter, he simply does not like the layout and look of L.A. When one comes from a forested northeastern town, as does Dandola, the look and feel of Los Angeles is quite stark and uninviting.

"I always loved the movie studios' ability to create make-believe locales on film but that ability never reached out from behind the studio walls to the city itself," Dandola says.  Additionally, while working on this novel, he  begged his editor: "Please stop referring to this story as 'Patty Drury Goes Hollywood'." His objection to the seemingly innocuous reference had less to do with his dislike for Los Angeles than for his very first incident there which is both humorous and sad.

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Dandola explains: "The phrase most probably originated in the 1920's or certainly by the 1930's and means to forget your roots in pursuit of fame. In 1942, there was a B movie entitled Boston Blackie Goes Hollywood. If that was the only reference and not the true definition, I would have no problem with it. But the phrase 'goes Hollywood' beckons a very unpleasant personal memory. When I was in college, I had a classmate—a college actor—who became a very close friend. I was the first person to direct him on television and again on film. I was the one who was his reference encyclopedia as to the history of movies. At graduation, his father took both of us aside and said, 'One of you will go to Hollywood. The other will go Hollywood.' It's something our onetime mutual friends still laugh about. I made the trek to Hollywood first. He, on the other hand, married a very prominent television actress and promptly forgot about me and everyone else. He was the one who had 'gone Hollywood' and believe it or not, it still hurts. As a direct result of that, my Patty Drury character would never 'go Hollywood'."

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Dead by Any Means is 206 pages and priced at $17.95. Following the lead of so many other small  publishing houses, it is not available at For easy and secure publisher-direct sales go to

Holly Benedict

Source: Quincannon Publishing Group

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