Lights! Action! CAMERA! Nick Donahue is on the set.

Jul 12, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cathi Stoler

When I wrote Nick Of Time, a Nick Donahue Adventure, I created my character as an intelligent, suave, and good-looking guy who works as an International Blackjack player. If it sounds sexy and a little bit risky, it is. Nick, a good guy, often finds himself caught up in circumstances that have more to do with danger than Blackjack — like coming to the aid of a beautiful woman in distress, Marina DiPietro, and getting kidnapped for his trouble, or helping his brother, Alex, a banker at Suissebank, avenge the death of a co-worker, or taking on the New York mob and it’s capo, Tommy B Bonnanniao. As I said, professional gambler, not an action hero. And the settings, Venice, Zurich, and Monte Carlo, make things more exotic and intriguing.

Hmmm, I thought, like so many authors before me, with all this swirling around Nick, this story would make a great movie. I believed these characters could jump right off the page and onto big screens, and small ones, everywhere. What director or producer would want to pass up such an opportunity?

With that in mind, I decided to make it effortless for any one of them to just pick up Nick Of Time, and go with it. And, to make it even easier, I did my own pre-casting for the main characters.

— Tom Hiddleston as Nick Donahue, a professional Blackjack player who travels the world playing the game. Nick is tall, dark, and handsome, as well as a little bit quirky, which is part of his charm. Impeccably dressed in a black tuxedo and bowtie, Nick brings a sense of humor to the table, until that is, he has to go all in in a high-stakes game to save Marina’s life. If Tom isn’t available, although I can’t imagine he’d turn down the role, there’s always Luke Evans who could fill in nicely.

— Gal Gadot as Marina DiPietro, a tall, willowy knockout, and an insurance recovery agent. Marina entices Nick to help her to retrieve a package of gems stolen by an infamous gang of jewel thieves. As you might imagine, things don’t go as planned, and after a world wind of missteps, Nick winds up having to rescue Marina. If Gal is otherwise engaged, Elizabeth Debicki could step in. And, she has a history working with Tom Hiddleston.

— Chris Pratt as Alex Donahue, Nick’s younger, handsome brother. Alex, a banker working for Suissebank in Zurich is at a loss as to what has happened to his former boss and colleague who has disappeared. He believes the bank has had him killed and not transferred as they claim. When Alex asks Nick for help, things spiral out of control as Nick blows the whistle on the bank and its money-laundering scheme for its biggest client, the New York mob. Chris Pine would do nicely in this role, as well.

— Kevin Costner as Tommy B Bonnanniao, Capo of the New York mob. Tommy B expects Nick to win at a high-stakes Baccarat game in Monte Carlo and make good on the money he lost in a money-laundering scheme because of Suissbank’s downfall. If Nick doesn’t come through, Marina could lose her life. Rough around the edges and used to getting his way, this character could also be played by Stephen Baldwin or Arian Moayed.

The option is open, so if you’re interested in a high-octane project, let me know.

Cathi Stoler’s writing has been featured on Mysteryrat’s Maze twice now. You can find With a Twist here and Out of Time here.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week.

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Cathi Stoler is an Amazon Best Selling author and Derringer winner who knows how to mix a drink or two and play a hand of Blackjack. She has written four acclaimed novels in her Murder On The Rocks Mystery series with Bar None, Last Call, Straight Up, and With a Twist, as well as the Nick Donahue Adventures, Nick of Time and Out of Time, and The Laurel and Helen NY Mysteries. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a Board member of NY Tri-State Sisters in Crime. You can find her at, or email her at cathi@cathistoler[dot]com.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


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