Claudia Ricci, PhD, formerly was a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and a prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, where one of her projects was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She has published three novels, one of which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction has been published in numerous literary magazines nationwide. She spent 15 years teaching English and journalism at the University at Albany, and was a visiting professor for one year at Georgetown University. 


My new novel, Sister Mysteries, is out! Order it here!

Set in northern California in the late 19th century, Sister Mysteries is a murder mystery that doubles as a #MeToo tale.





sister mysteries

It’s 1883 in northern California. A young Dominican nun is dragged from her convent, accused of seducing and murdering her cousin, Antonie. He suffers from syphilis and has written a pile of erotic fantasies, spnning her into a flamenco dancer and incriminating her for the crime. More than a century later, Gina Rinaldi, a writer suffering from depression, finds herself literally immersed in the story. Gina’s link to Sister Renata is an old Mexican housekeeper, Señora Ramos, who lures Gina back to the past with a plea to save the nun from the twin monsters that are her cousin and the men-only courtroom. Is Gina as delusional as Antonie, or is she living a past life, reincarnated as the nun?  Is she whisked back through time on a mission to save her soul, and the nun, or has she begun to unravel? How will writing the nun’s story heal her? Sister Mysteries is a murder mystery that doubles as a #Me Too tale. It zeros in on the power of men, and their fantasies, to dominate and destroy women.  Beautifully written, the novel’s many secrets make it a page-turner. Told in three voices, the book’s poetic language and haunting images guarantee a delightful and memorable read.

seeing red

At 19, Ronda Cari gave up a promising career in ballet when she became pregnant by her college professor. Now, 18 years later and the mother of two boys, she gives up her marriage to follow her flamenco-guitarist lover Jesus to Spain, where he has disappeared. Her journey of discovery leads her to unveil the secret behind her lover's departure and renews her love of dance, this time through the magic of flamenco.

dreaming maples

A baby born under a Renoir painting at an art museum? That's one of the climactic scenes from Dreaming Maples, a mother/daughter story that follows bohemian artist Candace Burdett as she attempts to prove a point: that she can do a better job as a mother than her own mother, Eileen. But despite her good intentions, adolescent Candace quickly learns a lesson: she has more of her mother inside her than she cares to admit. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, this mesmerizing first novel weaves Candace's harrowing story around the painfully honest diaries kept by Eileen during her own pregnancy with Candace, reminding readers that heartbreaking family dramas makes circles around each other, wreaking havoc in successive generations. In the end, Candace finds herself in her grandmother Audrey's Vermont sugar maple forest, fighting life and death decisions, and it is there that she finally has to come to terms with her terror, and her mother. Together, these powerfully drawn characters plunge toward an ending that will keep readers spellbound.





sister mysteries

Powerful drama, passionate writing, well defined and compelling characters, erotic passages, religious fervor, the metafictional presence of the writer and her problems, a heady mix of narratives and voices, suspense, gripping turns of fortune and event and more.
— Eugene K. Garber, author of Metaphysical Tales and The Historian
I just finished Sister Mysteries and I don’t even know what to say. Just an absolutely amazing piece of work.
It brought back memories of your other two books: the vivid imagery, the poetry, the artistry of your writing. I can’t wait to share this with others. I’ve grown so much over this journey these three days.
I could go on, but I just need to walk and let it all sink in!
— Andrew LaCoppola, Palatine Bridge, N.Y.
Just finished Sister Mysteries—Bravo!! Brave and unique! The multiple narratives keep the story (ies) moving and provide an exciting and unusual read. I love the flamenco music throughout; it gives the cover an added intensity. The ending is satisfying—not a small feat for such an intricate and complex story.My favorite parts were with Kitty and the little circle of warmth she provided! Kudos!!
— Sharon Flitterman-King, Ph.D., Hillsdale, N.Y.

seeing red

Ronda’s story in Seeing Red not only made sense to me, but the writing touched me viscerally, emotionally. I could feel her challenges, pain and desire; life was tearing her apart. I felt drawn in from the very first paragraph. She goes to Spain to follow her fantasy lover and pursue her love for flamenco, what she finds there through her wild adventures is the most important thing missing - her love for herself. I recommend this book to all of my friends.
— T.m.

dreaming maples

Ricci has spun a well developed tale of mother-daughter relationships delving into the depths of human pyche ... beautifully written...
— Jennifer Smith, North Adams Transcript
Ricci’s use of metaphor enriches the story...Ricci is a moving storyteller and writes a lush and insightful novel. Albany Times Union, June 30, 2002, Lisa Stevens
— Lisa Stevens, Albany Times Union





two drops of ink

Feeding on Light | Feb. 2018
Gabriela's Moon | June 2017
Red Bird Alert | Nov. 2016