A first-hand remembrance of the making of the classic short film Johnny Lingo. In this small memoir, one of its key makers recalls not only his recollections of an enthusiastic cast and crew, but the unusual and little-known last-minute circumstances involved in finding a location that he and others believe made it possible for the film to be made. Even at the time of its release, few outside its crew were aware of these events. The film was released um-teen years ago—well, in 1969—with little fanfare. But it is fondly remembered today by legions who have seen it. It is even remembered by many more who were not yet born when the film was made, and it is still being shown today.

 How did this happen? Part of the answer may lie in the purpose for which the film was made: it is a portrayal of love and loyalty and respect that is timeless.

$1.99—Buy for the Kindle

I have always been fascinated by the time period of the 1930s, and many of the stories you’ll find here are set in or close to that time. It was the last period in the history of the world when there were vast areas still relatively remote and unexplored. There were cities whose names whispered mystery, adventure and romance. Certain names fairly glowed with an enticing aura of the unknown: Istanbul, Cairo, Baghdad, Lhasa, Shanghai, Calcutta, Rio. And more.

What changed that world, of course, was World War II, and I’ve always thought it was a great loss. Fortunately, there are still stories to be told about that time, many of which could have happened in our own backyard, a place that could also be full of mystery, adventure, and romance. You can still find a few small, tattered remnants of that world in the political wilds of, say, Washington DC, or London, or Paris, or Moscow, but when any kind of light is shone on their dark corners, what you’ll see today is usually more tawdry than romantic.


A horrible crime might never have been uncovered if not for a retired schoolteacher's empathy with a young girl in distress.

Listen to the author read his story as published in July-August 2010 Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.


Catch Me In Lisbon

Book 2

Ben Maxx and Lina Sommers have made long strides toward realizing their dreams.

Ben enjoys the unusual accolades and good boxoffice he has achieved on the first of his travel films. But success is tempered by the absence of Amelia, the young woman he fell in love with while making them. But she has disappeared. They were separated as they strolled one evening on the sands of Copacabana by a man who wanted to kill him, and would have settled for both. After a final confrontation, the man was dead, but she had vanished. A detective he has hired at long distance reports she is presumed safe, but half a world away. While he earnestly awaits further details, he must push on with plans to shoot his next short films in Lisbon.

Lina’s early success in German cinema has brought her to Hollywood to be cast in a big budget picture for a major studio. It is the dream of her lifetime, and her studio is predicting it will launch her as a major worldwide star. Preparations for her next picture are quickly underway.

Both understand their early success is precarious, and only the beginning of a long road. As Ben is introduced to Lina, they soon become friends, and quickly compare their dreams for the future. A definite attraction develops between the two, but Ben clearly remembers Amelia, and he must quickly set boundaries in his friendship with Lina.

But an ominous detour appears that neither expected! Lina’s career is quickly derailed by her brother, whose star is starting to rise under the new management in her homeland. He insists she give up her Hollywood aspirations and return to Germany to use her talents to help her native country to rise to power on the world stage. She refuses, and he sends agents to convince her to return. When she rejects them, he sends another whose methods include kidnapping.

In the blink of an eye, Ben is drawn into her struggle. He quickly comes to realize that helping her to avoid her brother could very quickly derail his own future and his own dreams. The showdown is played out in the venerable streets of Lisbon as Ben is confronted by the knowledge he may have to take a life in defense of Lina . . . and himself.

A novel. $9.99—Get it for the Kindle

© 2021 Douglas Grant Johnson

Sydney is Newly published !

Catch Me In Sydney

Book 3

BEN AND AMELIA ended a romantic evening with a moonlight stroll on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

     It was an evening made for mutual expressions of love, but the moment was interrupted by an unexpected encounter with a man who was intent on killing him and would easily have settled for both. In Ben’s struggle to fend off the attacker, Amelia disappeared.

     Ben’s simple detective work reveals she has been taken to Sydney Australia.

     He also learns her father owns the largest shipping company in the Far East, and has already promised her to another. He offers a large sum of money for Ben to back off, but Ben is quick to reject the offer. Ben hires a detective to locate her, but the man disappears before completing his mission.

     In an age of primitive air travel, Ben Maxx must trek to the other side of the world in search of Amelia, and to find the killer of his detective.

     Ben finds Amelia has been waiting for him, hoping he will come. But alone, in a country he knows little about, he must face not only her powerful, strong-willed father, but also the man to whom she has been promised. This man is an adversary who is willing to kill to win. Not only to kill, but to kill in strange ways. In precious moments together, Ben and Amelia learn new and interesting things about each other, especially when he learns about some of her surprising talents and abilities.

     At the same time, he also must face new concerns that could change the dreams of his own career.

A novel. $9.99—Get it for the Kindle

Catch me in Rio

Book 1

Ben Maxx is a young man with a dream in the golden age of


He quickly casts aside his new college diploma to follow a haunting desire to make travelogues as he walks in the footsteps of his great grandfather, a renowned world traveler and lecturer who left vivid descriptions of the fabled cities of the earth. To follow the dream, he takes passage  on a ship bound for Rio de Janeiro, expecting a sensuous interlude in a sun-washed paradise.

 But even before he steps ashore, his world is turned upside down. His cameraman and mentor is brutally murdered, and he is quickly faced with the reality of his own lack of experience, and with sudden doubts of his own ability. At the same time, he is ready to fall in love with a beautiful English girl he meets on the voyage. But it seems she only wants to play the role of a good undercover agent and discover what happened to a secret roll of microfilm.

With few resources, Ben struggles to make sense of the murder and of brutal rivalries he discovers ashore. He must not only learn his new trade in a hurry, but quickly discover whether he has the will to take another life that desperately seeks his own. Of one thing he is sure. His long-dead idol is standing by, looking on, offering encouragement. But that is the trouble. That seems to be all he is doing.

A Ben Maxx novel.  $9.99—Buy for the Kindle

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