One of my favourite flowers are striped tulips, which have featured in floral still life paintings since the sixteenth century, and starred in springtime garden displays around the world. I was delighted that the design team at HarperCollins Australia included these striking blooms on the cover of my book, The Engraver’s Secret.
Standing in front of the floral display is my seventeenth-century protagonist, Antonia. She stares boldly at the viewer. Close to her elbow is the quill she uses to share her story. Her hair is tightly drawn back in a no-nonsense style, so typical of Antonia, while her gown is a riot of extravagance. She looks a little unsure of its lavishness, perhaps thinking that she’d rather be wearing an art smock, getting her hands messy with ink and paint.
Antonia is hiding secrets. Her father, an engraver who works in the Antwerp studio of the famous painter Peter Paul Rubens, is also hiding a secret. Charlotte, the modern-day protagonist who arrives in Antwerp with secrets of her own, is quickly embroiled in a 400-year-old mystery. The scene is set for an art history thriller.
The Engraver’s Secret will be published on 3 April 2024. For those readers based in Australia and New Zealand, you can pre-order paperbacks and electronic books from major bookshops and online booksellers such as Booktopia, Dymocks, Readings and QBD. Ebooks are also available on Kindle. For those readers based in the UK and India, The Engraver’s Secret will be available on Kindle.