Claire Matturro – Mysteries inspired by the Beauty and Insanity of Florida

Praise for The Smuggler's Daughter

"In her newest work, Matturro shows off her literary chops in descriptions that are at once gritty and ruthlessly descriptive of Florida's Gulf Coast at various times and places, while at the same time, she shows us the interior struggles and ambivalence of character after character. Readers will not want to put this book down." ~Tallahassee Democrat

“… a tightly-paced thriller with authentic and engaging characters that the reader will find it hard to say goodbye to. Reminiscent of the work of novelists like Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey, it’s a can’t miss for fans of old Florida noir…”

Dennis Maley, The Bradenton Times

“This no-holds-barred, tell-Florida-like-it-is tale is as rich as buttery lobster. Brilliantly drawn characters, totally believable dialogue, suspense until the very end…”


Southern Literary Review’s September Read of the Month

Now Available

When late-night phone calls summon Jude Coleridge and Camille Prescott to the demolition of their old boarding school, Talbot Hall, painful memories bombard the former best friends. Though estranged for years, both bear the physical and emotional scars from their youth.

At Talbot, they were branded “the crazy girls, the ones who lie.” They soon formed a trio with a new student, Wanda Ann, who ensnared them into her bewildering relationship with the school psychologist, Dr. Hedstrom. But Wanda Ann’s wild stories masked a truth that threatened to engulf them all.

As teens, the girls could only rely on each other as they moved toward an unfathomable, fiery danger. Now, in the crumbling halls of the old school, hours before its final destruction, they must grant forgiveness, to themselves and others, if they are to move forward.

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“Wayward Girls delivers suspense, emotional depth, social commentary, and a gripping story. Grab a copy, a box of tissues, and the phone number of your oldest friend, because you are going to want to talk about this one after you turn the last page. It’s a terrific book!” ~ Mary Anna Evans, award winning author of the Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries.

Meet Claire

Claire Hamner Matturro was raised on tales of errant, unhinged kith and kin, whiskey making, and more than a few nefarious whoppers. Inspired by such stories, she wanted to write fiction, but became a lawyer instead. An honors graduate of The University of Alabama Law School, she became the first female partner in a large uptown Sarasota, Florida law firm. After a decade of lawyering, Claire taught at Florida State University College of Law and spent one long, cold winter as a visiting legal writing professor at the University of Oregon. She guest blogs, reviews books at Southern Literary Review, where she is an associate editor, and Compulsive Reader, maintains a butterfly garden year round in SW Florida, is active in writers critique groups, and counts her blessings daily. Claire maintains her long love affair with Florida through her fiction, as well as her life. 

In addition to The Smuggler’s Daughter, her other books are: Skinny-Dipping (2004) (a BookSense pick, Romantic Times’ Best First Mystery, and nominated for a Barry Award); Wildcat Wine(2005) (nominated for a Georgia Writer of the Year Award); Bone Valley(2006) and Sweetheart Deal (2007) (winner of Romantic Times’ Toby Bromberg Award for Most Humorous Mystery), all published by William Morrow, and Trouble in Tallahassee (2018 KaliOka Press). Changing pace from romantic suspense to serious mystery, Claire wrote Privilege (Moonshine Cove 2019), a steamy legal thriller noir set on the Gulf coast of Florida. She and a co-author, psychologist Penny Koepsel, are polishing Wayward Girls, which their wonderful, fun, funny and radically energetic agent Liza Fleissig placed with Red Adept Publishing for a late summer 2021 publication.

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~Now Available~