Friday 13 December 2019

✪ The Girl In The Painting ✪ Tea Cooper ✪

ISBN: 9781489270726
ISBN 10: 1489270728
Imprint: HQ Fiction - AU
On Sale: 16/12/2019
Pages: 384

For readers of The True Story of Maddie Bright, The Woman in the Green Dress and The Birdman's Wife comes this atmospheric and richly detailed Australian historical mystery from a bestselling Australian author.

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 Quinns' 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.

ARC received from Harper Collins Australia for an honest review

I am on a bit of a run of Australian historical fiction stories at the moment, and the chance to read a copy of new-to-me author Tea Cooper's The Girl In The Painting was too good to refuse.

Ms Cooper has given us a story with intriguingly woven storylines, told over a 50 year period that I was impatient to turn the next page.

Michael, Elizabeth and Jane's gives us a snippet of the life of our Australian ancestors.  Sometimes I think that the slower paced life, sans technology would be so much nicer, so much simpler.

However lies, betrayals and intrigues surround this trio.  I was messaging a friend who had already read this book as I was reading, with so many questions, so many guesses at who was who and what was what.  I was surprised at the twists and turns that this story took along the way.

Wonderful characters pushed this story forward at a wonderful pace.  There were also some deplorable characters that I couldn't wait to see the end of haha.

I was reading this book in my work lunch breaks, and I found myself wanting to stretch my break just a couple of minutes more, needing to know what was happening,  I ended up taking it home and devouring the second half in one evening.

This was my first Tea Cooper read, and I will be searching out more in the future.

Tea Cooper is an established Australian author of contemporary and historical fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling. She is the bestselling author of several novels, including The Horse Thief, The Cedar Cutter, The Currency Lass, The Naturalist's Daughter and The Woman in the Green Dress.
To find out more, visit Tea on her website. 
You can also follow Tea on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.