Linda Lappin

Signatures in Stone



In this novel, we meet four unlikely misfits seeking inspiration in the timeless Italian landscape. Soon, however, they find their destinies entangled in the meanders of the mysterious sculpture garden of Bomarzo with its freaks and monsters. Daphne, a writer with a hashish habit; Clive, an American gigolo and aspiring artist; Nigel, an English aristocrat down at the heels; and Finestone, a fly-by-night art historian all come together in a decrepit villa looked after by two Italian servants who are not what they seem. To find what they’re looking for, all the characters must descend into the depths of hell. But not everyone will make it out alive.

2014 Overall Winner DAPHNE DU MAURIER AWARD for excellence in Mystery Writing, also Winner in the Historical Mystery section of the Du Maurier Awards, from Romance Writers of America.


About Linda Lappin: The search for the soul of place is one of my passions as traveler, writer, and writing teacher. My work is often inspired by places: islands, ruins, old houses and buildings, and the atmospheres found there. For several years, I have been researching the “genius loci,” the spirit or soul of place. The Romans and the Etruscans believed that every place–every mountain, field, body of water–had an indwelling spirit or soul, which was beneficial or harmful to human activity. And every house and household was believed to have a tutelary spirit. The soul of place was a force which shaped the character and atmosphere of a place and at the same time, an entity with which human beings were constantly interacting and communicating. This idea has stimulated me for a long time, and it has greatly influenced my writing.

Additional information

Weight 10.4 oz
Dimensions 5.5 × 0.5 × 8.5 in



Linda Lappin




Original Language


Publish Date


Page/Word Count

280 pages


WINNER 2014 DAPHNE DU MAURIER AWARD for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense Writing



3 reviews for Signatures in Stone

  1. Wilda Williams, Library Journal

    “Deftly mixes fascinating art history and murder with an exotic atmospheric setting (the Bomarzo garden actually exists), dramatic historical period (1928 fascist Italy), and fully fleshed characters… Readers looking for an intelligent summer mystery will find much to savor here.” – Wilda Williams, Library Journal

  2. Anonymous

    “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. Not one to hurry to the plot, she unveils the scenes piece by piece, character by character and leaves her own signatures for you to find along the way.”

  3. Gently Read

    I Love a Mystery. Linda Lapppin’s Signatures in Stone boasts a remarkable knitting of mystery and romance, a delicate and intricately concocted layering of mysteries…But not a romance of men, to be sure. Instead, she displays her own romance with Italy. Lappin lures the reader into the loins of Italy, describing it with a lust for its countryside and peculiarities as one might let on about a lover. What must not be neglected, and is perhaps part of the mission of the novel, is the uncanny resemblance that Daphne bears to Linda Lappin herself. Daphne, like Lappin, is a mystery novelist (whose series is also incidentally called Signatures), and of similar age and residence. Lappin is exercising the timeless maneuver of writing about writing…and writing what you know. But what can’t be denied is Lappin’s extraordinary skill with these moves, and moreover, her incredible display of multiple layering of mysteries in the piece. – Gently Read

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