The Girl in the Painting Author, Tea Cooper’s Best Books of the Year

The Girl in the Painting Author, Tea Cooper’s Best Books of the Year

About Tea Cooper:

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 ThiefThe Cedar CutterThe Currency LassThe 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 FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Buy a copy of The Girl in the Painting here.

Read a review of The Girl in the Painting here.

My Favourite Books of the Year

I spend a lot of time reading for research purposes—old journals, letters, newspaper reports, advertisements, pamphlets, so I very much treasure my escape reading. When I reached the end of this list I discovered that my reading was less varied than I thought, gravitating towards multiple timelines, mysteries and historical fiction based in truth. In 2020 I might have to be more adventurous! The books which stood out for me this year, in no particular order, were:

The Huntress by Kate Quinn. Courageous women who didn’t follow the path expected of them, and three great storylines woven together beautifully with a great suspense thread. It reminded me a little of one of my favourite books Carve Her Name With Pride—the story of Violette Szabo, which I first read as a teenager and have revisited many times.

 The Collaborator by Diane Armstrong. Again, a book that masterfully wove together the past, the present and the hope for the future. I was stunned by it. I thought my knowledge of WW2 was good and I’m old enough to remember the stories I was told as a child, but I had never heard of a rescue train that took hundreds of Jews to Switzerland, nor the man who managed to wrangle the deal.

The House of Brides by Jane Cockram. I’ve always gravitated to gothic-flavoured stories and this was such a clever twist on one of my favourite books—Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

And while on the subject of gothic—I loved Devil’s Lair by Sarah Barrie. Set in Tasmania, the perfect location for this suspenseful drama, the twists and turns kept me turning the pages. I couldn’t put it down.

The Orange Grove by Kate Murdoch Full of rivals and secrets and power games. Brilliantly researched and a cast of fascinating characters that leapt off the page.

 The Ex by Nicola Moriaty. I was captivated by this domestic thriller from the first page and then to top it off it had the best plot twist!

The True Story of Maddie Bright by Mary Rose MacColl. A complex and cleverly executed multiple timeline—1918, 1920, 1981 and 1987—with a mysterious character and wrapped in real historical events. What wasn’t to love about it?

The Accusation by Wendy James. A gripping story full of twists and turns that fascinated me, even more so when I discovered it was based on an historically accurate crime story updated to the modern era.

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer. A photograph, a letter and a relic from the past, an historical fiction and a dual timeline. I was in heaven! Alina’s story has gone straight onto my keeper shelf!

The Van Apfel Girls are Gone by Felicity McLean. In a matter of pages the questions, accusations, suspense and intrigue drew me into the story of the Van Apfel Girls

 

Reviews

Rich with Atmosphere and Detail: Read an Extract From The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

Review | Extract

16 December 2019

Rich with Atmosphere and Detail: Read an Extract From The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

    The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper: Your Preview Verdict

    Review | Preview

    16 December 2019

    The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper: Your Preview Verdict

      Preview Reviews: The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

      Review | Preview

      16 December 2019

      Preview Reviews: The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

        A Compelling Historical Mystery: Read a Review of The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

        Review | Our Review

        16 December 2019

        A Compelling Historical Mystery: Read a Review of The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

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              Publisher details

              The Girl in the Painting
              Author
              Tea Cooper
              Publisher
              Harlequin
              Genres
              Australian Fiction, Fiction, Historical Fiction
              Released
              16 December, 2019

              Synopsis

              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.
              Tea Cooper
              About the author

              Tea Cooper

              Tea Cooper lives in a stone cottage on one hundred acres of bushland, just outside the time-warp village of Wollombi, NSW Australia. When she isn't writing, Tea can be found haunting the local museum or chatting to the locals, who provide her with a never-ending source of inspiration.

              Books by Tea Cooper

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