I always get such a kick when a little-known author that LJ has covered suddenly gets wider recognition in the literary world. Last year, I reviewed Linda Lappin’s Signatures in Stone, an atmospheric mystery set in 1920s fascist Italy. I was intrigued by Lappin’s unreliable narrator, an opium-addicted mystery writer named Daphne DuBlanc, and the gothic setting of the eerie 16th-century sculpture garden, known as the Park of Monsters, in the village of Bomarzo. It’s the type of moody romantic suspense Daphne du Maurier might have written.
How appropriate then that Lappin’s novel (her third after The Etruscan and Katherine’s Wish) should be honored with the 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award in the Historical Romantic Mystery/Suspense category. Sponsored by Romance Writers of America’s Kiss of Death chapter, the awards were announced this past weekend at RWA’s national conference in San Antonio, TX. Kudos to Lappin and to her publisher Pleasure Boat Studios. I already have added The Etruscan to my reading list. Also on my bucket list is a trip to Bomarzo. For a list of other RWA winners, see Bette-Lee Fox’s report.