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  • The Butterfly Collector

  • By: Tea Cooper
  • Narrated by: Emily Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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The Butterfly Collector

By: Tea Cooper
Narrated by: Emily Barrett
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Publisher's 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.

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 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 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?

©2022 Tea Cooper (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Butterfly Collector

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Keep me entertained

I enjoyed the simultaneous stories (past and "present").

Interesting plot about a topic that isn't particularly well known.

I would describe it as a light read, in that the plot was fairly obvious, although it threw up a few surprises.

The narration was pretty good, except she mispronounced a few words: gunwales and wizened, that I can remember.

I'm pretty picky about that sort of things, also the use of modern phrases, such as Americanisms like "blind sided" that have recently made their way into Australian English but wouldn't have been heard of in 1920's Australia (not that that is the narrators fault-I blame the editor for not weeding out speech that is obviously not 1800's and 1920's).

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful telling of a horrible time

A really lovely story set over 2 time periods.
Well written and spoken beautifully - such a horrible time to be a woman.

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