Preview Reviews: The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

Preview Reviews: The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper is a compelling historical mystery, rich with atmosphere and detail. Our Preview readers loved the Australian setting and loved trying to solve the mystery!

Read their thoughts here:

Tea Cooper has written another outstanding novel. Like all her previous works I was unable to put this one down. The Australia of yesterday years is beautifully portrayed by Tea and you cannot help but fall in love with the characters. This book left me wanting more! – Aleisha, QLD, 5 stars

The Girl in the Painting is one of those stories that manages to capture the true essence of time and place. It’s not an easy thing to do – and this novel manages to do it twice in the perfectly blended timelines. I loved indulging myself in the story as we followed the characters in both Maitland and Sydney and trying to get to the bottom of the mystery as Jane investigates. The characters are charming – especially Jane. She’s not what I expected considering the era but she’s wonderfully written. I was also delighted by how the fictional characters were interwoven with authentic historical events. This book is rich in detail and delivers a satisfying story. – Kate, QLD, 4 stars

A lovely written Australian historical fiction book. I found The Girl in the Painting very easy to read and not wanting to put it down, thinking….. one more chapter, one more chapter, one more chapter…. Oh gosh, how am I going to wake for work in a couple of hours. The Girl in the Painting is my first Tea Cooper book and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I enjoyed reading about Michael and Elizabeth Quinn emigrating to Australia to reunite with their parents that they had not seen in years. They then move to the Maitland Goldfields where they meet Jane Piper an orphan whom they take under their wing. I found the three characters interesting. Then a mystery starts when Elizabeth is found cowering in the corner of an art exhibition gallery. Why was she cowering? What did she see in the painting? What secrets is Michael starting? And to find the answers to these questions, I had to keep reading and deal with the sleepless night. If you like Australian history I would give The Girl in the Painting a go. – Maria, SA, 4 stars

The girl in the painting is a historical fiction novel written by Tea Cooper and set across two timelines, one in the 1800’s and one in the 1900’s and is based in Australia. It tells the story of a young Irish immigrant, Michael, who gets the boat to Australia with his sister, to be reunited with his parents. – Emma, VIC, 4 stars

Tea Coopers The Girl in the Painting is a lovely story set in Australia’s early years. I found it quite interesting reading of the early days in Sydney (and Hill End), and how people lived in those days; as well as the actual story of the life Michael Quinn and his sister Elizabeth made for themselves in a new land. The book also covers their later life in Maitland, and how an orphan girl (Jane) who becomes a part of their lives helps solve a decades old mystery affecting Elizabeth… – Ayesha, NSW, 3 stars

An interesting read about settling in early Australia during the gold rush and that of family bonds and secrets. The writer provides good character depth and gives you a good understanding of their thoughts, actions and emotions. Thoroughly enjoyable and easy read with likable characters – Kim, NSW, 4 stars

An intriguing and enjoyable read! Tea Cooper built the characters so that the reader became invested in what was happening to them. The link between the young Jane and the older Jane helped me build a great picture of who she was and her relationships to Elizabeth and Michael. Character interactions were very well written. I will be recommending this book! – Kathryn, WA, 4 stars

This book was a really enjoyable read. It was a great example of good story telling and I was turning each page eager to find out what came next. The story follows the journey and history of Michael Quinn and his sister Elizabeth from poverty stricken circumstances in England to a so called brighter future in Australia following their parents who had immigrated earlier. The characters were engaging and you were really interested in what was happening to them. The background of early colonial life in Australia was well written and detailed enough to give the reader a sense of life in the late 1800’s and beginning of the 1900’s. The book encompasses the subjects of discrimination, loneliness, racism, gender and class and whilst without an in-depth analysis, weaves these well into the story as contributing fact to the characters’ lives and significant events. If you want to just have a good read without taxing your concentration too much, then this the book for you. – Roz, VIC, 4 stars

Jumping back to Australia of 1862, brother and sister emigrate from the slums of England to the growing mining town of Hill End but all is not as it seems; one harbors a secret that could change everything. Through Cooper’s twisting tale the devastating secret intertwines both past and present retellings of both siblings’ lives, as a mysterious travelling painting and a girl of mathematical genius unravels the sanctity once established. Cooper produces a compelling and heart wrenching novel that had me captivated from the first page to the last and will be loved by any reader who decides to be whisked away into the arms of ‘The Girl in the Painting’. – Charlotte, NSW, 5 stars

As soon as I heard of The Girl in the Painting I was expecting to love it. Dual time line Historical Fiction set in colonial Australia; it already featured a few of my favourite themes. And I’m happy to say Tea Cooper didn’t disappoint. The Girl in the Painting is totally immersive. I was hooked right from the beginning. William and Elizabeth Quinn are immediately likeable and young Jane Piper’s character is quirky and endearing. Cooper uses true historical events to set the story solidly in its time and place. I do enjoy a strong female character and both Elizabeth and Jane are characters that are independent and intelligent. The Girl in the Painting is an engrossing story featuring a compelling mystery that will keep you turning the pages. – Veronica, NSW, 5 stars

I love historical fiction and ‘The Girl in the Painting’ by Tea Cooper was no exception. I read this book in just a few days – I couldn’t put it down! complex and interesting characters, the well-paced plot and the attention to detail make this a delightful book. The story centers on Elizabeth and Michael Quinn and their ‘adopted daughter’, Jane Piper. When Elizabeth takes a turn in the exhibition gallery at the Technical College, Jane takes it upon herself to solve the mystery. I will definitely be looking to read more of Coopers work in the future. – Laura, SA, 4 stars

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, this is my first book written by Tea Cooper, and it certainly won’t be my last. This is an historical fiction based around brother and sister Elizabeth & Michael who immigrated to Australia in 1862, and is told over 2 timelines (1860’s & 1906). They offer orphan Jane the opportunity for further education and take her to live them. They are quite successful and run some business’s around Maitland. Then Elizabeth has a turn at an exhibition gallery, What happened to Elizabeth, How is Michael involved and what secrets are being kept? The story unravels chapter by chapter and keeps you interested till the end. Thoroughly enjoyable book – Lisa, TAS, 5 stars

I wanted to keep turning the pages of this book and unravel the background of the characters. A historical fiction with an air of mystery with an ending I did not see coming! I highly recommend reading ‘The Girl in the Painting’. – Amanda, QLD, 4 stars

I really enjoyed this book, as I have with other Tea Cooper books I have read. Great mix of historical fiction, intrigue and family drama. It was easy to read, but not in a fluffy candy-floss fiction kind of way. As a Mum of a young child I particularly appreciate the short chapters, it meant I could pick it up when I had a short moment to myself, and even if I only got 10 minutes of reading in I wasn’t completely lost when I picked it up again later. The characters were likable and the story interesting, I really enjoyed reading this book. – Ash, ACT, 5 stars

An amazing, engaging book that drew me in from the very first page! – Lydia, VIC, 4 stars

“The Girl in the Painting” by Tea Cooper is a historical mystery novel that follows Elizabeth and her brother Michael Quinn as they emigrate from Liverpool to Australia in the second half of the 19th century. The second storyline follows events in 1913, at a time when they have established themselves in Maitland. They become the benefactors of Jane, a young girl who was left at an orphanage and who as a knack for mathematics and logic. The story is told by the three main characters and centers around Elizabeth’s sudden ‘turns’ and ‘dilemma’ that seem to be caused by an exhibition in their town. Slowly, the mystery unravels and the past starts to make sense. The book is an easy-read and the historical detail gives the story an authentic feeling. Whilst the plot twists were sometimes predictable, I still felt compelled to continue reading, especially towards the end. I enjoyed Jane’s character the most; she’s intelligent, feisty and independent and plays a central role in solving the mystery that surrounds Elizabeth and Michael. This book deserves a place on your upcoming summer holiday lists. Enjoy! – Gwen, VIC< 3 stars

What marvellous Australian historical fiction! Cooper’s characters are interesting and engaging and it’s utterly impossible not to fall in love with little Jane from the first chapter. Cooper gives the reader a good dose of intrigue with a hint of romance and wraps it all in wonderfully evocative prose. – Marianne, NSW, 5 stars

The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper was a great read! Loved this book from the very start, interesting historical read, characters I fell in love with and a story that kept me turning page after page.   Set in 1913 Australia and going back to 1860’s the story had me hooked from learning of the early life on the gold fields with an underlying mystery that is peeled back and revealed layer upon layer, and does not disappoint once we know the whole story.  Read this, you will love it. – Debbie, VIC, 5 stars

A mystery of secrets and memories This was a delightful and compelling read, told in two timelines, the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The Girl In The Painting is a historical mystery tale and had me quite intrigued. It’s the year 1862 in Birkenhead, England, siblings Michael, fifteen and Elizabeth O’Cuinn, four are boarding the ship and emigrating to Australia to be reunited with their parents who have been trying to make a new and better life in the goldfields at Hill End. It’s been a few years since they have seen their parents as they’d been staying with their auntie who recently passed away. Maitland Town, Australia 1906 Elizabeth and her brother, businessman Michael Quinn have made a wonderful life in Australia and are well known in Maitland Town, they run a number of profitable businesses and own a grand two storey house, where they both live. Jane Piper is an eccentric mathematical prodigy who was generously taken in by Michael and Elizabeth Quinn when she was a young orphan at age nine, she owes them her life and calls them uncle and aunt. When Elizabeth takes a strange turn at a gallery exhibition and is found cowering in the corner, seemingly traumatised, Jane is determined to find out what happened. What did her aunt see that day in the gallery? Elizabeth has been troubled and confused since the event and everyone is concerned about her state of mind. Is Michael, Elizabeth’s brother hiding a secret from their past? While this is a work of fiction the story was cleverly based around a series of unconnected historical events. Thank you to Better Reading & HarperCollins Publishers Australia for an advanced copy of the book in return for an honest review – Gloria, SA, 4 stars

Thank you for allowing me to review this book. I did find it took a while to get going and jumping back and forth but once it got going you are in for a treat. The novel is an intriguing read with a lot of twists and turns and the lives of Michael and particularly Elizabeth is most fascinating. I think the author is a brilliant writer and this historical mystery is worth a read. – Danielle, VIC, 4 stars

Thank you Better Reading for my ARC. This is another excellent historical fiction from Cooper who effortlessly weaves an engaging story with strong female protagonists into a fascinating Australian background. It is hard to put down as pieces of the mystery of Elizabeth’s breakdown are slowly revealed. I’m choosing this for the summer read for my book club! – Pamela, QLD, 4 stars

A wonderfully written, page turning piece of historical fiction. A delightful read that kept me wanting more, until there was no more and I have to admit, I was lost when the story ended. I missed learning about and feeling part of Michael and Elizabeth’s family and their journey to Australia. – Rebecca, TAS, 5 stars

Honestly, I did not think that this book would be entertaining. How wrong I was. The Girl In The Painting had me hooked from the beginning. I fell in love with both Elizabeth and Jane and their complex stories. Elizabeth and her brother Michael Quinn emigrate to Australia to reunite with their parents for a better future. Several twists and turns later their story has them relocating from the Gold Fields to Maitland, where Jane Piper enters. Jane is an orphan taken in by the Quinn’s, eventually becoming family. This is a wonderfully written, historically interesting story that will captivate you. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. – Karen, NSW, 4 stars

In 1906 Jane Piper, 9 years 3 months 1 hour and 23 weeks old, has an interview which changes her life. It leads to her removal from the Maitland Orphanage into the nurturing care of the philanthropic Elizabeth and Michael Quinn. As Jane matures into a young woman learning accountancy under Elizabeth’s tutelage we learn more of their history. The 15 year old Michael boards a ship bound from England with little Elizabeth, following their parents to Sydney. ***Redacted due to potential spoilers** Over the years the successful Quinns become regarded by most of the townsfolk as well-loved benefactors. Some spread scurrilous rumours questioning their relationship. **Redacted due to potential spoilers** Maths prodigy Jane’s abililty to recognise patterns is instrumental in solving the mystery as Elizabeth’s sanity is held by a red thread. Tea Cooper’s ‘The Girl In The Painting’ weaves historical fact with an endearing cast of characters who are questioning the attitudes of the time to issues such racism, women’s liberation and their health. They’re up against the timeless concerns of gossip, innuendo, secrets and greed. Triggered by the Maitland flood, the power of memories and love, lost and found is celebrated in a flood of emotion. As is the power of a good Iced Vo-Vo. – Anita, QLD, 5 stars

Following the story of Michael Quinn and his enigmatic sister Elizabeth, ‘The Girl in the Painting’ follows their journey of childhood migration from England across the ocean, into the pull of the Australian goldfields, and across to the provincial development of the Hunter Valley. The magnificent descriptions of both people and place, interwoven with the complex social themes of the time, provide an engaging and interesting reading experience. The clever convergence of Michael and Elizabeth’s past and present across the initial chapters set the scene for a dark mystery from the past to unravel. The introduction of the orphaned, clever and fiery Jane Piper, whose talent for mathematics attracts the attention of the benevolent Quinn’s, provides the platform for the mystery to unfold. The characters are engaging, their success comfortable, and the mystery while seemingly predictable at first, is like peeling back the layers on an onion. In the ‘Girl in the Painting’ Tea Cooper is a masterful storyteller of historical fiction that presents an engaging account of her characters, their lives, the landscapes they inhabit, and the dark mystery of their past. – Kylie, VIC, 4 stars

Historical fiction is a genre I either love or hate and I LOVED The Girl in the Painting. Tea Copper has written a brilliant page-turner. Set, predominantly in Maitland, The Girl in the Painting follows the story of brother and sister duo, Elizabeth and Michael Quinn and how they become to be such prominent figures in Maitland in 1913. Orphaned Jane, a lover of all things maths and numbers, finds herself being sponsored by the Quinns to study and eventually take on the Quinn family business. When unexpectedly, Elizabeth has a medical episode the mystery of Elizabeth and Michael’s past comes back to haunt them. The Girl in the Painting is a captivating read that really drawers you in. A hint of a love story, a dash of family troubles and a whole lot of mystery. 5 stars – Hannah, NT, 5 stars

I really enjoyed “The Girl in the Painting”. I found it highly readable and engaging. Cooper twines two time periods – 1862 and the early 1900’s – cleverly, using them to illuminate each other and keep us curious about what will happen to the Quinns. Both Elizabeth and Michael are strong and appealing characters; readers will empathise with them. As we read about their younger selves, we become increasingly concerned about the welfare of their adult selves. Jane, too, is a strong character, and we quickly understand that she’s driven by love as much as obligation. Despite her analytical mind, this is not just a puzzle for her; she desperately wants to ensure the welfare of those who’ve seen to hers. The historical detail is credible, and the writing evocative and emotionally engaging. I quickly became absorbed, and really cared about the answers to the questions raised at various stages. The answers – when they come – strike the right note between credibility and fictional twistiness. Cooper has pulled this off remarkably well. Overall, this is a thoroughly enjoyable novel. – Lorraine, ACT, 4 stars

Using real events from the past, Tea Cooper, had created a story full of scattered clues and a mystery that unfolds through the chapters. The characters were well created and easy to imagine, especially as the story was set in Australia, making the location easily pictured. The Girl in the Painting is a great example of historical fiction written well. – Jodie, WA, 4 stars

Before I had even finished the first page, I knew this was one book I would thoroughly enjoy. I have read a few books which switched time/year’s continually and found them quite dis-jointed……not so with this one though. The love of Michael for Elizabeth was very powerful and his protection of her was tangible. This followed through with their caring side, as a family, to those less fortunate, providing employment and care when needed. As I read towards the end of the novel, with its descriptions of NSW, I wanted to know the outcome of the mystery but at the same time, I didn’t want it to end. The main characters, Michael, Elizabeth and Jane had become so real to me and at times I was quite shocked and sad at the events that occurred. An amazing story and one I have recommended to quite a few people! – Jane, VIC, 5 stars

‘The Girl in the Painting’ was an easy, interesting and delightful read. I was fascinated by the descriptions of the gold fields and towns of Hill End and Maitland. I also enjoyed learning about the life of the Chinese in Hill End. The main characters were appealing. I particularly liked Jane – the young girl rescued from the orphanage to live with the Quinns. I was really captured by the mystery surrounding Elizabeth and Michael Quinn. The suspense drove me to read the book quickly. I failed to work out the surprising reveal. The journey of Elizabeth and Michael from young migrants to middle aged was interesting and balanced by the presence of Jane – unrelated by blood but with a gift for mathematics shared with Elizabeth and a predilection for plain speaking shared with Michael. Their lives seemed in balance and almost perfect when Elizabeth had a ‘turn’. This ‘turn’ (and the reasons behind it) precipitated a number of events which changed everything. I was satisfied with the ending. – Sandra, ACT, 5 stars

Mystery, history, love and romance. It makes this a very enjoyable book. Full of love and poignant moments, it occasionally brought tears to my eyes. The author, Tea Cooper, is successful in bringing the period to life and compassionately dealing with the prejudices of that time. The main characters are likeable, but still very human and realistic. I like that the two protagonists of the novel are strong, educated, intelligent females. I also like that the main male character has a tender heart and is full of love for his sister. I’d recommend this novel to all readers. I enjoyed it to the very last word. I think you’ll enjoy it too. – Alice, NSW, 3 stars

One of the book from Tea Cooper which made me hooked right from the start then to the point of “I can’t stop reading this but I don’t want it to end”. The author presents each character strongly especially Elizabeth Quinn and Jane Piper. Elizabeth and her brother, Michael immigrated to Australia in 1863 and the story continues with them taking Jane from an orphanage , offering her for further education and living with them. The mystery starts when Elizabeth found cowering in the corner of the exhibition gallery. What caused Elizabeth having this episode? One more chapter won’t be enough as the story tickles your curiousity. Thanks to Better Reading for advance copy of the book, it’s an enjoyable reading! – Vivi, NSW, 5 stars

Tea Cooper never disappoints me. I love her tales of intrepid women centred smack in the middle of Australian history so was really looking forward to reading The Girl in the Painting and she didn’t let me down! The story stretches from Liverpool in England, to the Goldfields in NSW, and eventually to Maitland in The Hunter Valley. Elizabeth was four when she migrated to Australia with her older brother Michael. After a shaky start, Michael prospers in the auction business, and they move to Maitland. Years later they become benefactors to an orphan, Jane. She has a mathematical mind and helps them in the auctioneering business. But Michael has a secret and Elizabeth is having strange turns and Jane sets out to find the truth of their past. I loved The Girl in The Painting. I’d give it a full five stars just for the character of Jane herself! I loved her mind full of patterns. A highly recommended read. – Daniella, QLD, 5 stars

Cooper has crafted a charming novel, far deeper than the cover would imply. The novel discusses migration, child welfare, inheritance, women’s rights and discrimination. The girl in the painting is a well researched mystery detailing gold mining and trade, economic decision making and the power of choice. The highlight is Jane, the Quinn’s ward, whose logical mind is able to solve a mystery effecting the Quinn family. The novel was charming, and O would like to see Jane reappear in further novels to flex her detection skills. – Naomi, NSW, 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed the read – Sally, VIC, 4 stars

Tea Cooper has produced another novel that transports to another time. The dash of mystery found me hard pressed to put the book down, wanting to unwind the storey of Elizabeth and her mysterious turns. – Rachel, QLD, 5 stars

The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper is one of those books where you find yourself saying repeatedly, “Just one more chapter!” It’s a delightful and cleverly written novel that draws you in as the story weaves it’s way through the characters present and past. She gives away just enough to make you want to keep reading but not enough to give away where the story is going. I found this book such a pleasure to read as chapter after chapter the pieces of the puzzle came together to reveal a satisfying ending. It’s a true work of art that mixes fictional characters into historical events and toys with the most bitter-sweet of emotions. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  – Belinda, VIC, 5 stars

I hadn’t heard of Tea Cooper before reading The Girl in the Painting. I will now be looking for her other titles. The story begins in England in the 1860s and concludes in Maitland, NSW, in 1913, with a detour via the gold mining settlement of Hill End. Cooper has painted an evocative picture of these locations and periods of history while constructing a satisfying mystery. Jane Piper, who was abandoned as a baby and has great Maths skills, is taken in by brother and sister Elizabeth and Michael Quinn. She receives a good education and quickly becomes invaluable in their business dealings, while occupying a comfortable place in their household – in stark contrast to her early experiences. It turns out that the Quinns also had a difficult start and there is some mystery about their past. I enjoyed all aspects of this book and can see it being read on many beaches this summer. – Penny, VIC, 5 stars

Story so intricately intertwined with clues. Just as soon as you think all is at rest and all is well, **redacted due to potential spoilers** overturns everything thought to be truth. It takes the strength and resilience of young Jane to finally discover the truth. Once you hit the climax of this book, it is impossible to put down. – Chloe, VIC, 4 stars

The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper, was a captivating read! I was hooked right from the start, jumping from 1860 onwards to the early 1900’s it follows Michael and Elizabeth’s story to riches. Then when Elizabeth takes a turn, the past catches up with Michael leaving you trying to guess what his secret could be, then when the secrets is revealed, trying to join all the dots together. A gripping story that had me sucked in from the start, eager to piece the puzzle together! Thank you Better Reading and Harlequin for the chance to read and review this great book! – Emma, VIC, 5 stars

This is exactly the type of book I love. I love the idea of going back into the past as well as slightly ahead in the future as this book does. The story of Michael, Elizabeth and Jane’s life in Maitland was fantastic although the story about Michael and Elizabeth was something that I guessed within the first few chapters. I would love the author to write a sequel exploring Jane’s life before coming to be with the Quinn siblings. – Kirstie, WA, 4 stars

This book was not the page turner I was hoping for. From the beginning, I just wanted to put it down and leave it there. The plot woven loosely around real events sees us starting out in England in the 1860s, where we are introduced to a young Irishman, Michael, who is taking his young sister,Elizabeth,to Australia to start a new life. Nothing memorable happens on the voyage. The story flips then between the 1860s and the 1900s. Nothing very memorable again but Michael does make his fortune. Three quarters of the way in, things heat up a bit but it all feels a bit contrived and an afterthought. It finishes as expected with a happy ending. Characters and certainly the plot didn’t sparkle for me. – Andrew, ACT, 2 stars

The girl in the painting is a story set in to different periods in history. Once through the eyes of Jane and the other through Elizabeth. Th here sorry merges when Elizabeth’s brother Michael adopts Jane. The story is set around the mystery of why Elizabeth has ‘a dilemma’ episode followed by another…. so who is Elizabeth? I thought this was a great summer read but at times the dialogue and illustration seems long winded, however overall a nice, simple read. – Katarzyna, VIC, 3 stars

Best Australian historical book I have read this year, Such strong female characters especially young Jane whose mind never stops thinking about maths and figures absolutely loved this book – Deborah, NSW, 5 stars

Captivating read. Whilst not my usual genre of book, I found myself unable to put this book down. The way the book weaves Elizabeth and Michael’s early years with their present life works so well. Each chapter build on the ever growing question about what Michael is hiding and why Elizabeth is having a dilemma. The strong females in Elizabeth and Jane are very well portrayed. The story builds slowly initially then all of a sudden things start to click and the story gets more and more intriguing. I couldn’t put the book down in the end as I just wanted to find it all out. At the same time, I didn’t want the book to end as I was so captivated by their lives. I will recommend this book to all my friends and family. – Stacie, NSW, 5 stars




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

      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
              Tea Cooper
              HQ Fiction
              Australian Fiction, Fiction, Historical Fiction
              16 December, 2019


              For readers of The True Story of Maddie BrightThe 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 is an established Australian author of 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 winner of two Daphne du Maurier Awards and the bestselling author of several novels, including The Horse Thief, The Cedar Cutter, The Currency Lass, and The Naturalist’s Daughter.

              Books by Tea Cooper


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              1. Gwen Flynn-Pye says:

                Could you please email me a copy of the bookclub questions for THE GIRL IN THE PAINTING my book did not contain them. Many thankx

              2. Gwen Flynn-pye says:

                Please send me acopy of the bookclub questions for the girl in the painting . My book does not contain them.