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A map into the past. A long-lost young woman. And a thirty-year family mystery.
The Hunter Valley, 1880—Evie Ludgrove loves to chart the landscape around her home—hardly surprising since she grew up in the shadow of her father’s obsession with the great Australian explorer Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt. So when an advertisement appears in The Bulletin magazine offering a thousand-pound reward for proof of where Leichhardt met his fate, Evie is determined to use her father’s papers to unravel the secret. But when Evie sets out to prove her theory, she vanishes without a trace, leaving behind a mystery that haunts her family for thirty years.
1911—Letitia Rawlings arrives at the family estate in her Ford Model T to inform her great-aunt Olivia of a loss in their family. But Letitia is also escaping her own problems—her brother’s sudden death, her mother’s scheming, and her dissatisfaction with the life planned out for her. So when Letitia discovers a beautifully illustrated map that might hold a clue to the fate of her missing aunt, Evie Ludgrove, she sets out to discover the truth. But all is not as it seems, and Letitia begins to realize that solving the mystery of her family’s past could offer as much peril as redemption.
A gripping historical mystery for fans of Kate Morton and Natasha Lester’s The Paris Seamstress, The Cartographer’s Secret follows a young woman’s quest to heal a family rift as she becomes entangled in one of Australia’s greatest historical puzzles.
“The Cartographer’s Secret is a galvanizing, immersive adventure following a family’s entanglement with a vanished Australian explorer through the lush Hunter Valley at the turn of the twentieth century, forcing the characters to reckon with the choice found at the crux of passion and loyalty and the power of shared blood that can either destroy or heal.” —Joy Callaway, international bestselling author of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society and The Greenbrier ResortDaphne du Maurier Award Winner, 2021Historical story with both romance and mysteryFull-length, stand-alone novel (c. 104,000 words)Includes discussion questions for book clubs