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Hidden In Stone (Ria Quinn Mysteries Book 1) by Regina Clarke

On a cold March day, Ria Quinn, amateur archaeologist, arrives in Shokan Falls in upstate New York to claim an inheritance—but who was Aunt Harriet, her benefactor? No one she has ever heard of! Ria discovers there is a mysterious, prehistoric stone circle in the nearby woods that has an impossible connection to the girl’s boarding school her aunt attended thirty years before. Along with this, on her first day she finds a dead body in the snow, gets an anonymous call in the night, and encounters a set of quirky townspeople with too many secrets. How is she supposed to make sense of any of it? When a second victim is found, Ria wonders if she should just return to London, where until recently she had a lowly job as a film researcher with no dead bodies lying around, no real ones, anyway.

Yet against the sheriff’s orders that she stay clear of his work, Ria intends to find out who the killer is and what link the ancient stone circle has to her aunt’s past.

Hailey, the golden retriever who befriends her, is a joy to have near, reading Beowulf in Old English keeps her calm, and she finds the local sheriff more than easy on the eyes, even if he does find her irritating. Those things, together with the gorgeous and ancient Shawangunk and Catskill mountain ranges of the Hudson River Valley, already have a hold on her.

But her desire to get at the truth threatens someone in Shokan Falls, someone who is willing to put her life at risk.

5 Stars: Mystery That Exceeded My Inner Sleuth Expectations!

Storyteller, Author Regina Clarke has delivered a mystery that exceeded my inner sleuth expectations. Right from the start ‘Hidden In Stone’ drew me into the story, when Honoria Quinn (Ria) received an unexpected inheritance (house and land valued at 700,000) from an aunt she never heard of in upstate New York, far away from her London lifestyle and her amateur archaeology adventures.

Author Regina Clarke weaves a story that kept me in suspense and turning the pages. Small town life, quirky characters that exceeded those in ‘Funny Farm’ with Chevy Chase, and a mystery that surpasses Agatha Christie.

…There is much for Ria to explore inside the Harriet Anna Bellthorpe estate and in the surrounding woods, where she finds a dead body. A local golden retriever becomes an unexpected friend as Ria is determined to unravel her aunt’s many secrets.

…I found Harriet’s Journal very interesting and the dense woods surrounding the Bellthorpe property worth Ria’s exploration, so let me share this quote from Chapter IV.

…The woods were surrounded by the town of Shokan Falls. With an uneasy feeling even so, Ria stepped forward, hoping wherever she was headed would be the shortest route out.

…It was then over the rising wind that she heard an ear-piercing screeching sound, like metal dragged across metal. It reverberated through the trees and raised the hairs on her neck. The next moment there came a wailing as something crashed through the woods toward her. The flickering flash had reappeared.

…Ria spun around and started running away from the sound, feeling the whiplash of branches as she raced on, still unable to see more than ten feet ahead but not caring. Whatever was there, she didn’t want to meet up with it, or let it find her. The storm broke and released a downpour that obscured her sight even more. Her shoes could hardly grab purchase on the wet leaves that covered the woodland floor and she fell once, hitting her elbow as she tried to stop her fall.

…Unable to catch her breath, she finally had to stop running. She stayed very still. She listened. Nothing. The rain fell softly now. The light was brightening. The storm had passed.

…Ria still had no idea where she was. Something had been after her. She’d swear to it.

…The sound of a bell ringing cut through her thoughts.

…The church! Had she run a mile in the right direction? By what grace had that happened? Pushing through the bushes and more tree branches, a few moments later she was standing in a cemetery, and the bells were sounding the hour of four o’clock. That didn’t seem possible. It felt as if she had been in the woods forever.

…“Good lord, Ria, what the devil has happened to you?”

…It was Sam. She almost ran into his arms in relief as he crossed through the gravestones toward her, but managed to restrain herself.

…“Got caught in the rain,” she said.

…“I see. And apparently tangled with a bear by the look of you. Couldn’t wait for my company, I take it.”

…“I’m fine. I could do with a lift to my car. It’s over on Bethel Avenue.”

…“Of course it is,” he said, grinning. “I think I can manage that. I can loan you a first-aid kit, too, and a mirror, if you like.”

…“The ride will do. Thank you,” she said, striding off toward the street.

…“Uh, my truck’s over here,” he said, pointing to the west wall of the cemetery. “I was just putting some new oleander plants in the ground for the minister, but they’ll keep.”

…Ria wanted to ask why, since he was a lawyer, he was doing the gardening for the church. But suddenly she couldn’t be bothered. She’d let go of her insatiable and inconvenient and sometimes exhausting curiosity for once. Instead, she got in the truck and did her best to appear relaxed, a state she knew she would not actually even begin to attain until she was back home sitting with a glass of pinot noir and watching an old sci-fi movie. And not thinking about anything!

With Aunt Harriet’s journal, secrets to unearth, and murder to solve, I invite you to enjoy this well-crafted mystery that begins the ‘Ria Quinn Mysteries’ series. Next in the series is ‘Messenger Out Of Time’.

Editorial Review (Book Marketing Global Network).

Product Details:
Ria Quinn Mysteries Book One
Paperback: 268 Pages
Publisher: Independently Published (October 14, 2019)
Language: English
Global Library: Cozy Mysteries
Global Library: Women Sleuths
Global Library: Ria Quinn Mysteries by Regina Clarke

Amazon Print:


Messenger Out Of Time (Ria Quinn Mysteries Book Two) by Regina Clarke

During the annual Halloween and Christmas festivals in Shokan Falls, Ria discovers a prehistoric peat bog on the outskirts of town. It lies near an abandoned state hospital, once known as an insane asylum.

As an amateur archaeologist exploring prehistoric artifacts in England and Ireland, she had come across unstable bogs before, places where ancient bodies lay hidden beneath. She just has to check this one out. Only, when she takes a few steps across it, the body of a woman surfaces, one Ria knows has not spent millennia in such a watery grave.

Soon after, remarkable footage shows up in an old film she is given, suggesting the insane asylum may have been built over a Neolithic village, though this is in wild dispute.

Ria is pulled into a mystery that inextricably links the woman in the bog to the asylum and to a Native American legend drawn out of the landscape of the Hudson River Valley. Despite the wishes (and orders) of local Sheriff Gareth Matheson and resistance from the mayor of Shokan Falls, she cannot help but investigate it all, with her golden retriever Hailey at her side.

And when the mayor is found dead inside the ruins of the asylum, Ria must discover the truth about a secret held in silence for too long.

Product Details:
Ria Quinn Mysteries Book Two
Paperback: 242 Pages
Publisher: Independently Published (December 27, 2019)
Language: English
Global Library: Cozy Mysteries
Global Library: Women Sleuths
Global Library: Ria Quinn Mysteries by Regina Clarke

Amazon Print:


The Singing Stones (Ria Quinn Mysteries Book Three) by Regina Clarke

A consciousness-raising group is holding their retreat at the Merlyn Inn. Their plan for a fire ceremony in the meadow across Druid Lane makes innkeeper Deidre frantic, until Ria agrees to help. When a lute-player she meets at the retreat persuades Ria to join him in exploring an ancient boulder field behind the inn, he shows her how the stones ring in bell-like tones when tapped with a hammer. While clambering over the field, they are shocked to discover the bludgeoned body of a man in a business suit, a hammer beside him that has been used for much more than tapping on the stones.

Amateur archaeologist that she is, Ria wants to know why he was digging in that field. Is it possible the River Writers club staying at the inn knows what is going on? She has never met a quirkier group of people. What about their leader, who knows too much about Ria? There’s no chance to find out. After the fire ceremony, amidst celebrations inside the inn, he is found murdered.

The fire ceremony itself haunts her. Ria joins the drumming circle, surrounded by high posts topped with flaming torches, the dark woods behind as a backdrop. It is mesmerizing. So often while exploring archaeological digs, she had imagined living in the prehistoric times the digs revealed. With the drumming, she feels suddenly as if she has come close.

Seeing a phone video of a hooded figure digging through the boulder field, Ria and friends go there and witness the same figure, only to end up scaring him away. Yet her presence and her constant questions have awakened someone else’s curiosity. Whoever it is wants whatever the stones are hiding, and Ria knows he is not done yet. She feels safe in her home with her precious golden retriever Hailey at her side—but is she?

Product Details:
Ria Quinn Mysteries Book Three
Paperback: 293 Pages
Publisher: Independently Published (December 22, 2020)
Language: English
Global Library: Cozy Mysteries
Global Library: Women Sleuths
Global Library: Ria Quinn Mysteries by Regina Clarke

Amazon Print:


About Regina Clarke: I call my website “Stories from an Unexpected Universe” because that is how my stories come into being. Storytelling is such an ancient tradition. My hope is that the stories and books I write bring you a good read, a respite from the frenetic pace we sometimes live, and most of all, a path into other ways of seeing. My writing is often inspired by the haunting landscape where I live in the Hudson River Valley.

For updates and multi-author promotions, sign up for my newsletter “River Valley Notes” at Find out more about my writing and receive a free book at my website: My blog there focuses on all manner of mystery, fantasy, the love of reading, and personal development. Your comments are welcome, indeed!

My fantasy novel MARI was a finalist in the ListenUp Audiobooks competition. Short stories have appeared in Thrice Fiction, Kzine, Bewildering Stories, Mad Scientist Journal, NewMyths, Aurora Wolf, Alien Dimensions, and T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Blog, among others. Two stories were featured on The Strange Recital podcast in Woodstock, NY. I was also a finalist in the Hollywood SCRIPTOID Screenwriter’s Feature Challenge for my script “Second Chances.”

Available Books by Author Regina Clarke (and Contributors)

  • Banshee: A Winter Tale
  • Creating Your Own Kindle Ebook Cover
  • Environmental management: A guide for facility managers (The facilities management library)
  • Force Field: Alien Encounter
  • Game Plan
  • Gene Pool
  • Guardians of the Field: Book I
  • Hidden In Stone (Ria Quinn Mysteries Book 1)
  • How to Write a Technical Manual FAST May 21, 2016
  • Indies Unlimited 2017 Editors’ Choice Flash Fiction Anthology (Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Anthology)
  • Know You Are Worthy: ~ Brief Meditations ~
  • Kzine Issue 6 May 19, 2013
  • Mad Scientist Journal: Winter
  • Mari
  • MARI: An Epic Fantasy
  • Messenger Out of Time (Ria Quinn Mysteries Book 2)
  • My Parrot Harry (The Life and Times of Harry, the Eclectus Parrot, Book 1)
  • Retrieval
  • SELA: Book 1: The Abyss
  • Stopover and Other Stories for a Rainy Night: Mystery Story Collection
  • The Daguerreotype: A Time Travel Story
  • The Gatekeepers of Genthor Sep 8, 2015
  • The Magic Hour
  • The Singing Stones (Ria Quinn Mysteries Book 3)
  • The Visitors Apr 26, 2016
  • The Winning of Olwen Sep 16, 2016
  • Voices from the Old Earth
  • Winter’s Edge: A Mountain Mystery

High Fantasy:

  • MARI
  • The Gatekeepers of Genthor Voices from the Old Earth Guardians of the Field Banshee

Mystery/Science Fiction:

  • Force Field Gene Pool Retrieval
  • SELA, Book 1: The Abyss The Visitors

Mystery/Time Travel:

  • The Magic Hour The Daguerreotype

Suspense/Detective Stories:

  • Winter’s Edge
  • STOPOVER and Other Stories for a Rainy Night Hidden In Stone: A Ria Quinn Mystery, Book 1


  • The Winning of Olwen

Ria Quinn Mysteries by Regina Clarke:

  • Hidden In Stone (Ria Quinn Mysteries Book 1)
  • Messenger Out Of Time (Ria Quinn Mysteries Book Two)
  • The Singing Stones (Ria Quinn Mysteries Book Three)

Amazon Author’s Page:

Professional Website:



You Tube Channel:

Author’s Page At Book Marketing Global Network:

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