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.
The Girl in The Painting
Tea always knew one day she would write a novel. It all began with a rather risqué story in the back of an exercise book at boarding school featuring the long suffering gardener- not really the ideal romantic hero but it was before she knew any better. Life and a few real heroes showed her the error of her ways and with a husband, a baby tucked under one arm and a half built house she entered a Mills and Boon writing competition. To her earth shattering amazement she won second place - the prize was a bottle of perfume. Next time she was determined to do better.
Writing remained the stuff of fantasy. Her family, a herd of alpacas, a protea farm and a full time teaching job intervened until one day she decided it was time to do or die. No more procrastination. The characters and plots that had lived in her head for so long were clamouring to escape. In August 2011 Tea joined Romance Writers of Australia and her debut novel Tree Change was published as an ebook in November 2012. She has since written several other Australian rural stories both contemporary and historical. Her historical novels are published by Harlequin Enterprises (Australia).
Tea is also a member of Hunter Romance Writers, the Australian Romance Readers Association and Wollombi's Pencil Orchids.