Rome, Italy — Summer 2023 — Pleasure Boat Studio is thrilled to announce the release of the second edition of Linda Lappin’s celebrated novel, SIGNATURES IN STONE: A BOMARZO MYSTERY. This captivating suspense tale takes readers on a thrilling journey through the enigmatic Monster Park of Bomarzo, also known as the Sacred Wood, an extraordinary Baroque sculpture garden in Italy. With the 500th anniversary of the park’s creation approaching, this edition is accompanied by a magnificent new cover and a series of Tarot card illustrations by Santa Fe artist Carolyn Florek.
In SIGNATURES IN STONE, readers are transported to the atmospheric setting of the Monster Park of Bomarzo, a sixteenth-century garden adorned with mythical creatures believed to represent a terrifying journey into the realm of nightmares. Against this backdrop, four travelers find themselves intertwined in a fate-driven Italian holiday. Daphne, a British writer of occult mysteries, her down-on-his-luck aristocratic publisher Nigel, the aspiring artist and American gigolo Clive, and the art historian Professor Finestone, all converge in a dilapidated villa near the park. They are attended by rustic servants who harbor secrets of their own.
Professor Finestone has made a groundbreaking discovery, revealing that the garden was designed by one of Italy’s greatest artists as a transformative experience that delves into the shadow side of life. Over the centuries, the park’s meanders continue to influence the minds and destinies of those who venture within. As the group explores their heart’s desires amidst the haunting sculptures, they become entangled in a web of intrigue and danger. When Daphne, renowned for writing cozy murder tales, becomes the prime suspect in a shocking homicide, she must confront her own darkness and rely on her sleuthing skills to uncover the terrifying truth.
Linda Lappin’s gripping tale presents an intriguing exploration of gardens in Renaissance Italy, where they were regarded as tools for altering consciousness and changing destiny. The Monster Park of Bomarzo becomes the backdrop for a “Gothic-in-Wonderland” phantasmagoria, immersing readers in a suspenseful and thrilling journey.
Awards & Reviews
Captivating critics and readers, SIGNATURES IN STONE, was the OVERALL WINNER
in the DAPHNE DU MAURIER AWARDS for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense Writing – best mystery of 2013
“Scary and satisfying …I loved this novel….Lappin’s people are as dangerously compelling as her Italy.” —Nina Auerbach, author of Our Vampires, Ourselves *****amazon reviews
“Readers looking for an intelligent summer mystery will find much to savor here.” —Wilda Williams, Library Journal
“Written in an elegant, relaxed style, with a plot that peels back slowly, the book bewitches…” —Mystery Scene Magazine
“Lappin is a modern day Agatha Christie with prose that is like eating dark chocolate or sipping a glass of fine wine — the story continues to entice your senses and simply gets better and better the more you partake.” —I Love a Mystery
“Recommended!” —Midwest Book Review
“Linda Lappin’s Signatures in Stone boasts a remarkable knitting of mystery and romance, a delicate and intricately concocted layering of mysteries.” —Gently Read
“Lappin has populated a dilapidated villa and its adjacent park of grotesque sculptures with a vivid group of victims and suspects who turn out to be mysteries in themselves, While the primary pleasures of Signatures in Stone are its places and its people, the story itself satisfies because its twists are engrained in the chasms of its setting and its characters.” —Walter Cummins, Rain Taxi
Linda Lappin, poet, translator, and novelist, is the prize-winning author of four novels: The Etruscan (Wynkin deWorde, 2004); Katherine’s Wish (Wordcraft, 2008), dealing with the last five years of Katherine Mansfield’s life; Signatures in Stone: A Bomarzo Mystery (Pleasureboat Studio, 2013), overall winner of the Daphne Du Maurier award for best mystery novel of 2013; and Loving Modigliani: The Afterlife of Jeanne Hébuterne (Serving House Books, 2020), Daphne Du Maurier award finalist and shortlisted for the 2021 Montaigne Medal for Books of Distinction. She is also the author of The Soul of Place: Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci, (Travelers Tales, 2015), winner of a Nautilus Award in the category of creativity in 2015. A former Fulbright scholar to Italy, she has lived mainly in Rome for over thirty years. She is at work on a second Daphne Dublanc mystery novel, Melusine, set in Bolsena. Her website is www.lindalappin.net