Angel Returns in a New Mystery Novel
The Floridant/10224254

Author's Late Cat is Once Again a Vital Part of the Storyline

LAKE PLACID, Fla. - Floridant -- "Angel saved me on a great many levels," author John Dandola openly admits. "We had this strong bond which is why I couldn't help making her a character in my books."

The cat was a stray who adopted Dandola and his wife. The exact circumstances are presented in the previous novel, Wind Through the Ruins. That book and its reception revived Dandola's Wind series of cozy mystery novels. Unlike so many books featuring animal proteges, Dandola's approach in presenting Angel was not overly cute or unrealistic. In the books, she is as she was with all of her quirks intact. She may cause the protagonists to see or discover things but she doesn't solve the mysteries as so often happens with Lassie or any number of other pet counterparts.

"Angel was one of those animals whose quiet personality just captured people's hearts," Dandola explains. "She was rather dog-like in that she greeted any visitor to the house. After meeting Angel, there wasn't a phone call or e-mail from my editor which didn't ask about her. It was my editor's suggestion that we hopscotch my newest Wind novel over my latest Dead novel so that this Angel story could debut on the second anniversary of Angel's passing."

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That passing, Dandola took particularly hard because of the callousness of a vet who refused to see Angel on short notice even though it was very much an emergency. It caused the cat to suffer needlessly. Dandola wound up rushing her to the nearest animal hospital which was two hours away. The vet was reported to the state licensing board but that didn't remove Angel's suffering which, it turned out, had been brought about by the vet's previous lack of  treatment.

"Ainj became so much a part of me that it was as if I lost myself," Dandola says. "I still miss her to no end. I know it sounds crazy but even though she was deaf, I talked to her and she understood. In the novels, I passed such a bond onto my male protagonist. That more than anything has appealed to readers."

The book's synopsis:

When a shifting and settling in terrain reveals a nineteenth-century grave, the ensuing investigation involves an archaeological team which presents more than a few repercussions. Of course, Jeffrey Devereaux's and Kirsten Eriksson's pet cat, Angel, is with them every step of the way and she proves to be an intricate part of several solutions.

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A Varying Wind is available directly from the publisher. It is 192 pages and priced at $16.95.

To purchase contact or go to the web page:

A third novel featuring Angel is currently being written.

Holly Benedict

Source: Quincannon Publishing Group
Filed Under: Books

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