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.
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. Visit Linda’s website for her books, awards and upcoming events: http://www.lindalappin.net/
Linda Lappin occasionally leads workshops based on her book The Soul of Place A Creative Writing Workbook: Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci, which won the Nautilus Award in 2015 in the area of creativity.
Other award-winning novels: The Etruscan, a gothic tale set in 1922, Katherine’s Wish, dealing with the life of Katherine Mansfield in France.
Bio of Linda Lappin: Poet, novelist, and translator born in Tennessee in 1953. MFA: University of Iowa Writers Workshop, 1978. During her years at Iowa, she specialized in poetry with Florida poet Donald Justice. Her first volume of poetry, Wintering with the Abominable Snowman, was published in 1976 by the avant-garde press, ‘kayak,’ run by George Hitchcock in Santa Cruz, California in 1976. She received a Fulbright grant in 1978 to participate in a two-year Fulbright seminar in literary translation held in Rome at the Centro Studi Americani, under the directorship of Frank MacShane of Columbia University and William Weaver, the noted translator from Italian. The project pursued by Lappin in those years, a translation from the Italian of Carmelo Samonà’s novel, Brothers, won two prizes in literary translation in the United States: The Renato Poggioli Award in Translation from Italian given by the New York PEN club and a National Endowment for the Arts grant in translation in 1987. She was awarded a second translation grant from the NEA in 1996 for her work on Tuscan writer Federigo Tozzi. From 1987 to the year 2000, she published essays, poems, reviews, and short stories in many US and European publications, including several essays on women writers and artists of the 1920s, including Missing Person in Montparnasse, in the Literary Review, about the life of Jeanne Hébuterne, “Jane Heap and her Circle” in Prairie Schooner, dealing with the lives of Jane Heap and Margaret Anderson, founders of the Little Review and “Dada Queen in the Bad Boys’ Club, Baroness Elsa Von Freitag Loringhoven” in Southwest Review. Major themes in Lappin’s work include women’s biographies and autobiographies, expatriate writers in the 1920’s, and displacement. Bio from – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Lappin