Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Margaret Mizushima's "Hanging Falls"

Margaret Mizushima is the author of the award-winning and internationally published Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. She serves as president for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, was elected the 2019 Writer of the Year by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and is also a member of Northern Colorado Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Women Writing the West. She lives in Colorado on a small ranch with her veterinarian husband where they raised two daughters and a multitude of animals.

Here Mizushima dreamcasts an adaptation of her latest novel, Hanging Falls:
Hanging Falls, the sixth episode in the Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries, would be great fun to cast. The series is set in a small fictional town surrounded by the Colorado Rocky Mountain wilderness, so the landscapes in the movie would be gorgeous. The opening scene in the book was inspired by an actual setting in Colorado called Hanging Lake, and it would make a beautiful backdrop for the action that occurs in the first few chapters when Deputy Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo discover a body snagged within a fallen tree floating at the edge of the lake. The action and the investigation move from there down into Timber Creek where another protagonist, veterinarian Cole Walker, becomes involved.

With an eye toward casting, we’ll take a look at Mattie first. Mattie is an attractive (okay…beautiful) woman of about thirty-one years of age, and she’s employed as a deputy in the local sheriff’s department. She’s athletic, was once a cross-country champion on the local high school track team, and when her department acquired Robo, she beat her male colleagues in a cross-country footrace to win the chance to become his handler. She’s also of biracial descent, Caucasian and Latinx. I would cast Monica Raymund to play Mattie. At age twenty-nine, Ms. Raymund is close enough to the right age, and her role as Gabriella Dawson in Chicago Fire has shown her capable of handling the athleticism required of Mattie in an action-oriented film.

Cole Walker is a strong-minded man who works as the sole veterinarian in the Timber Creek region. Though he’s a bit of a workaholic, he’s also a family man learning how to be a single parent to his two daughters after his ex-wife left him. He’s approaching forty, has dark hair, is physically fit, and at this point in the series, he has fallen in love with Mattie. I would choose Chris Pratt to play his role. Pratt’s features match the description of Cole in the books, and he’s able to play cowboy-type roles that require strength and sensitivity. I hope he loves dogs!

And that brings us to Robo, a German shepherd who is primarily black with tan markings. (Color patterns could be adjusted if we can find the right talent.) The real-life police dog that inspired Robo’s character has sadly passed away from old age, so we’d have to audition for the perfect star to play this third protagonist. Any suggestions?
Visit Margaret Mizushima's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Margaret Mizushima & Hannah, Bertie, Lily and Tess.

Coffee with a Canine: Margaret Mizushima & Hannah.

My Book, The Movie: Burning Ridge.

--Marshal Zeringue