Julia Lombardi is a mystery even to herself. The beautiful model can’t remember where she’s from, where she’s been, or how she came to live in Rome. When she receives an offer to accompany celebrated eccentric artist Salvador Dalí to the Sacro Bosco—Italy’s Garden of Monsters—as his muse, she’s strangely compelled to accept. It could be a chance to unlock the truth about her past…

IN THE GARDEN OF MONSTERS is a retelling of the myth of Hades and Persephone, inspired by Salvador Dalí's 1948 visit to the Sacro Bosco Mannerist statue garden. 

IN THE GARDEN OF MONSTERS will be available in hardback, ebook and audio formats on September 24, 2024. Pre-order your copy at the links below!

Chef's Secret FINAL Cover

THE CHEF'S SECRET (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster)

THE CHEF'S SECRET, the second historical novel by Crystal King, is set in Renaissance Rome, detailing the mysterious life of one of the most famous chefs in history. THE CHEF'S SECRET tells the story of Bartolomeo Scappi, the private chef to four Popes and the author of one of history’s best selling cookbooks. His nephew and apprentice, Giovanni, is on a quest to find out the truth about his uncle and the fifty-year love affair that the chef hid from the world. 

THE CHEF'S SECRET  is a fictional retelling of the life of Bartolomeo Scappi, who lived in sixteenth century Rome. When his cookbook, L’Opera, was published in 1570, it became the world’s best-selling cookbook for the next two hundred years.


FEAST OF SORROW: A NOVEL OF ANCIENT ROME  (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster)

 Set amongst the scandal, wealth, and upstairs-downstairs politics of a Roman family, Crystal King’s seminal debut, FEAST OF SORROW, features the man who inspired the world’s oldest cookbook and the ambition that led to his destruction.

On a blistering day in the twenty-sixth year of Augustus Caesar’s reign, a young chef, Thrasius, is acquired for the exorbitant price of twenty thousand denarii. His purchaser is the infamous gourmet Marcus Gavius Apicius, wealthy beyond measure, obsessed with a taste for fine meals from exotic places, and a singular ambition: to serve as culinary advisor to Caesar, an honor that will cement his legacy as Rome's leading epicure.

FEAST OF SORROW was a finalist for the 2017 First Novel Prize and awarded a Must-Read designation by the Mass Book Prize.