One Family’s Secrets May Put Them in Peril in Tea Cooper’s ‘The Cartographer’s Secret’ [REVIEW]

Map of Australia over the red earth of the outback
A map connects one family to its deepest secrets in Tea Cooper’s The Cartographer’s Secret. (Image courtesy Canva)

Two women separated by time, but bound by blood. One set out on an adventure determined to win a prize. The other must solve a decades old puzzle to find redemption for her family. Will either of them truly get what they want? Find out in Tea Cooper’s spellbinding new historical novel set against the majestic Australian landscape, The Cartographer’s Secret.

Harper Muse

In 1880, Evie Ludgrove has a seemingly peculiar hobby for a young woman: making maps of the land around her home. She comes by her insatiable curiosity honestly, however. After all, her father was practically obsessed with the great Aussie explorer, Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt. So when she comes across an ad offering 1000 pounds to anyone who can offer proof of what became of Leighhardt, she digs into her father’s papers to find the answer. Yet before she can earn the reward, Evie vanishes without a trace.

Fast forward 30 years to 1911 where we meet Letitia Rawlings, Evie’s niece. She’s the type of young woman who causes a stir simply by showing up. In this case, she arrives at the family estate to deliver shocking news to her great aunt Olivia. Reeling from the loss of her brother, irritated by her mother’s machinations and unhappy about her own lot in life, she needs an outlet for her frustrations. When she finds a gorgeous map that may hold the answer to Evie’s disappearance, she dives headfirst into the family mystery. But unlocking the family enigma comes with a price. Are Letitia and her family prepared to pay the cost?

From the very first page, Cooper catapults us across time and space to turn of the century Australia, where the sights and smells of the era seem to emanate from the pages until they overpower our senses. A gifted storyteller, Cooper has a flair for immersing readers inside her story, lending this saga a cinematic feel reminiscent of being inside one of Disneyland’s old Circle-Vision 360 attractions.

Thoroughly engaging and utterly captivating, this is a book which tangles us securely within its silken threads until we are powerless to escape, not to say that we want to. Her characters almost seem to lift their skirts and step into our own world, enchanting us with their dogged determination, fierce loyalty, and mischievous wit. I simply loved them and didn’t want to see the novel end. Hopefully someone in the movie industry reads this book and translates it to the big screen, because with the right cast, this would make a tremendous film. Anyone have Baz Luhrmann on speed dial?

If you enjoy epic adventures with strong female leads, you won’t want to miss The Cartographer’s Secret. Tea Cooper doesn’t disappoint!

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Tea Cooper


Tea Cooper is an award-winning, bestselling author of Australian historical country. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist, and a farmer.

These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling.

Visit her online at, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram and Pinterest.

By Tea Cooper
402 pp. Harper Muse. $17.99

Purchase The Cartographer’s Secret direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, or Walmart.

The Cartographer’s Secret is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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