Books and stories have always held a special place in my heart. One of my earliest memories is a birthday present from my grandfather. An illustrated copy of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales. I couldn’t read, I could hardly balance the book on my lap, but it opened a world beyond my drab existence in post war London. A world of fantasy and dreams, a world I’ve escaped to many times over the years. The stories I write always have a basis in fact. They spring from a titbit overheard, a person I met, a place I visited or they fill an unrecorded gap in history. They tell of secrets and memories, of mysteries and passions. Come, step into my world—you are most welcome.
OUT NOW THE BUTTERFLY COLLECTOR
What connects a botanical illustration of a butterfly with a missing baby and an enigma fifty years in the making? A twisty historical mystery from a bestselling Australian author.
1868 Morpeth NSW Theodora Breckenridge, still in mourning after the loss of her parents and brother at sea, is more interested in working quietly on her art at the family's country estate than she is finding a husband in Sydney society, even if her elder sister Florence has other ideas. Theodora seeks to emulate prestigious nature illustrators, the Scott sisters, who lived nearby, so she cannot believe her luck when she discovers a butterfly never before sighted in Australia. With the help of Clarrie, her maid, and her beautiful illustrations, she is poised to make a natural science discovery that will put her name on the map. Then Clarrie's new-born son goes missing and everything changes. 1922 Sydney NSW When would-be correspondent Verity Binks is sent an anonymous parcel containing a spectacular butterfly costume and an invitation to the Sydney Artists Masquerade Ball on the same day she loses her job at The Arrow, she is both baffled and determined to go. Her late grandfather Sid, an esteemed newspaperman, would expect no less of her. At the ball, she lands a juicy commission to write the history of the Treadwell Foundation - an institution that supports disgraced young women and their babies. But as she begins to dig, her investigation quickly leads her to an increasingly dark and complex mystery, a mystery fifty years in the making. Can she solve it? And will anyone believe her if she does?
'An infectious fascination with the past.' Sydney Morning Herald 'Cooper’s confident prose and deep empathy for her characters will keep readers hooked as she unspools her intrigue-filled mystery.' US Publisher's Weekly Her writing is transcendent and she brings the times, characters, locations and world to life in such a visceral way.' @littlebutfiercebookdiary ‘The narrative skill to weave multiple timelines into a satisfying whole…smartly edited, cleanly written…easy to devour.’ Sydney Morning Herald ‘Cooper is a welcome inclusion to the rising ranks of female-centred historical Australian novels.’ The Herald Sun