Maitland 1913 Miss Elizabeth Quinn is something of an institution in Maitland Town. For longer than anyone could remember she and her brother, businessman Michael, have lived in the impressive two-storey stone house next to the church. When she is discovered cowering in the corner of the exhibition gallery at the Technical College the entire town knows something strange has come to pass.
Was it the prehistoric remains or perhaps the taxidermy exhibition that had reduced the whale-boned encased pillar of society to a quivering mess? Or is there something odd about a striking painting on loan from the National Gallery?
Mathematical savant Jane Piper is determined to find out. Deposited on the doorstep of the local orphanage as a baby, she owes her life and education to the Quinn's philanthropic ventures and Elizabeth has no one else to turn to.
As the past and the present converge, Elizabeth's grip on reality loosens. Can Jane, with her logical brain and penchant for puzzles, unravel Elizabeth's story before it is too late?
Ranging from the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, the bucolic English countryside to the charm of Maitland Town, this compelling historical mystery in the company of an eccentric and original heroine is rich with atmosphere and detail.
PRAISE FOR TEA COOPER
'Boasts strong female protagonists, an infectious fascination with the past, and the narrative skill to weave multiple timelines into a satisfying whole...smartly edited, cleanly written...easy to devour.' - Sydney Morning Herald on The Woman in the Green Dress
'Cooper is a welcome inclusion to the rising ranks of female-centred historical Australian novels.' - The Herald Sun on The Naturalist's Daughter
Tea Cooper is an established author of historical fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, journalist and farmer.
These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling.
To find out more, visit Tea on her website.
You can also follow Tea on:
Helen is at a crossroads in her life as she battles with her domineering mother over both her love life and her future career.
Dora can't stop loving Nick, who is married to her best friend, Ruby. But Ruby is hiding a dark secret with the potential to destroy Ruby's marriage.
Millie is anxious about her fiance, sent to Spain to cover the Civil War, and things only get worse when she encounters a fortune teller who gives her a sinister warning.
With war looming in Europe, and the East End of London squaring up to the threat of Oswald Mosley's blackshirts, the women of the Nightingale have to face their own challenges, at work and in love.
From the author of The Nightingale Girls and The Nightingale Sisters, this is the perfect read for fans of Call the Midwife.
Warm-hearted and wilful, her temper as fiery as her beautiful auburn hair, Lady Penelope is a romantic heroine whose impulsive nature makes her as many enemies as her vivacious, flame-haired beauty wins her admirers.
Caught up in the dangerous intrigues of Queen Elizabeth's court, forced to marry a wealthy but repulsive nobleman, she pours all her passion into her children . . . and her lovers. Will Penelope survive her loveless marriage and a life filled with tragedy, and finally emerge triumphant?
What readers are saying about LADY PENELOPE
'Perfect!' - 5 STARS
'My favourite novel' - 5 STARS
'I love the history behind the book' - 5 STARS
'Loved it . . . Penelope was a brilliant character' - 5 STARS
'Good from start to end' - 5 STARS
Born into the rough, but still privileged society of the Australian colonial landowners, Lilibeth Dungarven finds herself married, widowed, and, much to her distress, back under her father's thumb, all before her twenty–first birthday. Determined not to forgo her dream of breeding the perfect racehorse, Lilibeth ignores propriety and sets out to restore the family's flagging fortunes.
When Captain Tom and his mismatched band of bushrangers stumble across a mob of the best horses they've ever seen, and the daughter of the famed Dungarven horse stud, they know their fortunes have changed. Their catch is worth a king's ransom. All they have to do is hold the daughter for seven days. How hard can it be to control the pampered daughter of a colonial upstart?
As her father's only heir, Catherine Cottingham expects to inherit their sprawling property in the Hunter Valley. What she doesn't understand is why her father is trying to push her into a marriage to the pompous and repulsive Sydney businessman Henry W. Bartholomew.
When the will is read it becomes clear money, or the lack of it, lay behind her father's plans. Catherine is mortified – as a married woman all her possessions will pass to her husband, the overbearing Bartholomew. Her only alternative is to wait until her twenty–first birthday and inherit the property in her own right, but can she elude such a determined man until then?
A chance encounter with a travelling circus and its fiery lead performer, Sergey Petrov, offers the perfect solution and Catherine escapes to the goldfields. But there is more to the circus than spangles and sawdust and Catherine finds herself drawn into a far–reaching web of fraud and forgery...
A stunning new novel from the bestselling author of The Horse Thief and The Cedar Cutter