The Butterfly Collector

by Tea Cooper

On Sale: 2023-11-28

Price: $18.99

Book Summary

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.

About the Book

A botanical illustration of a butterfly, a missing baby, and a twisty mystery fifty years in the making.

1868, Morpeth. 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 in 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. She cannot believe her luck when she discovers a butterfly never before seen in Australia. With the help of her maid Clarrie and her beautiful drawings, Theodora is poised to make a scientific discovery that will put her name on the map. Then Clarrie’s newborn son goes missing and everything changes.

1922, Sydney. When would-be journalist Verity Binks is sent an anonymous parcel containing a spectacular butterfly costume along with an invitation to the Sydney Artists Masquerade Ball the same day she loses her job at The Arrow, she is both baffled and determined to attend. 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. As she begins to dig, her research 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?

The Butterfly Collector is USA TODAY bestselling author Tea Cooper at her best.

  • Historical mystery set in Australia in the late 1800s and early 1900s
  • Stand-alone novel featuring two strong female leads
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs
  • Also by Tea Cooper: The Fossil HunterThe Cartographer’s Secret, The Girl in the Painting, and The Woman in the Green Dress


An enthralling, unforgettable story of heartbreak and hope, featuring equally compelling dual timelines, dynamic heroines, and a twisty mystery spanning generations. Tea Cooper's latest historical stunner is not to be missed.

Cooper skillfully brings these settings to life. Verity flies around Sydney on her bicycle, trying to make a place for herself in a man's world. Clarrie and Sid struggle in Morpeth, living where they work, trying to be a family when their salaries aren't enough to support a single person. Through the excursions of Theodora and Redmond, the author brings to life the natural environment of the eastern coast of Australia: the birds, water, plants, and strange arrival of the Monarch butterfly . . . The several plot threads keep your attention and weave together into an exciting conclusion.

Delightful and intriguing, this gentle story of love, loss, and betrayal set in Australia's Hunter Valley is based on real events and characters, including a major discovery.

The immersive latest from Cooper (The Fossil Hunter) interweaves two historical narratives linked by butterflies and family bonds . . . Cooper melds fictional lives, scientific history, and social issues into a compassionate story. This will please fans of historicals with smart women protagonists.

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781400245178
  • ISBN 10: 1400245176
  • Imprint: Harper Muse
  • On Sale: 2023-11-28
  • Pages: 400
  • List Price: $18.99
  • Publisher: Harper Muse
  • Publication Date: 2023-11-28
  • Category 1 : FICTION / Romance / Historical / 20th Century *
  • Category 2 : FICTION / Contemporary Women
  • Category 3 : FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Amateur Sleuth