Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hannah Dennison's "Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall"

British born, Hannah Dennison originally moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting. She has been an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet flight attendant and Hollywood story analyst. Now living in Portland, Oregon, Dennison continues to teach mystery writing at UCLA Extension and still works for a west coast advertising agency. She writes the Honeychurch Hall Mysteries (Minotaur) and the Vicky Hill Mysteries (Constable Crime) both set in the wilds of the English countryside.

Here Dennison dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall:
Thank you for inviting me back to share my dream cast for the second book in the Honeychurch Hall Mysteries, Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall. Of course, I’d prefer British actors, but as long as the accent works, I’m just as happy with a foreigner.

Here are my choices:

My protagonist is Kat Stanford, age 39. She quit hosting an antique roadshow called Fakes & Treasures to start her own business. Kat’s got a great sense of humor. She’s self-deprecating and has a reputation for being clumsy. I stand by my original choice of Tamsin Greig who played Beverly Lincoln in HBO’s Episodes.

I also stand by my original choice for D.I. Shawn Cropper, the slightly crumpled detective. He’s not remotely Kat’s sophisticated type—but there is something between them that hints at future possibilities. I’d have to borrow Stephan Mangan as Sean Lincoln from Episodes. Since the chemistry on-screen between Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln (see above) sparkles, it would be great to pair them up again.

Iris Stanford, Kat’s 69-year old mother, harbors a slew of secrets, one being the reason she moved to Honeychurch Hall in the first place. Iris also secretly writes steamy bodice-rippers under the pseudonym of Krystalle Storm. Celia Imrie, who plays Madge Hardcastle in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, would definitely nail the role.

Lady Edith Honeychurch, mid-eighties, still rides sidesaddle to hounds and is a true believer in the British “stiff upper lip.” Since it’s been confirmed that there will only be one more season of Downton Abbey, it means that Dame Maggie Smith could become available.

Now, let’s turn to the new characters who make their debut in Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall.

Benedict Scroope is rather a rakish figure from Lady Lavinia’s past. He’s an environmental consultant who is hired to help stop a high-speed train line being built through the Honeychurch Hall estate and village. Harry Lloyd, who played Brian in The Theory of Everything, is deliciously shifty but dangerously charming at the same time.

Next up is Alfred Bushman, Iris’s stepbrother, who will become a recurring character. Alfred was a boxer with Bushman’s Traveling Boxing Emporium that visited the Honeychurch Hall estate every summer back in the nineteen forties and fifties. Alfred is a loveable rogue despite having a rap sheet as long as his heavily tattooed arms. Philip Davis, who is currently starring as Jud Paynter in Poldark, a remake of the wonderful BBC series that ran from 1975-1977, would be perfect.

And finally, we meet Angela Parks, a mysterious young woman who seems just too eager to serve the Honeychurch family as their new housekeeper. With a passion for all things below stairs it has to be MyAnna Buring who played Lady Cora’s ladies maid, Edna Braithwaite in Downton Abbey, that fits the bill completely.

Now all I need to do is to wait for Hollywood to come calling!
Visit Hannah Dennison's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Murder at Honeychurch Hall.

My Book, The Movie: Murder at Honeychurch Hall.

Writers Read: Hannah Dennison.

--Marshal Zeringue