Benedict Archer, who is manager of Thornton Antiques in Melbourne and who has been secretly helping Alexandra learn more about her family business, is also invited. Alexandra asks Benedict and Edith Blackburn, her friend since childhood, to be with her when she approaches her father.
When Edith claims that Benedict is in love with her, Alexandra can’t believe it. In all the time they’d been at Thornton Antiques together, he’d never said a word. Now, Alexandra looks at him differently. Can it be true?
Then a body found in the orchard and, before the weekend is over, a priceless artifact is stolen. Alexandra is determined to discover how these things are connected to the Ming dragon and the antiques her great-grandfather brought with him from Hong Kong so many years ago.
What secret has remained hidden at Thornton Park for the last eight years?
What people are saying about The Dragon Sleeps!!
“The Dragon Sleeps is a murder mystery, romance and historical fiction mixed with bits of ancient Chinese legend and mythology. Alex has astute observation skills when it comes to reading behavior and expressions. She is also intuitive in discerning what isn’t said… The characters are solidly built, however, it doesn’t take long for Alex to peel back some of the layers to reveal their true nature underneath. The romance between Alex and Benedict develops quickly under the watchful eye of Edie, Alex’s best friend. I enjoyed reading how this love story unfolded. Stardust now has a whole new meaning for me… Yes, I Googled “Stardust “!” — Linda L. Oliphant, Amazon
“Reading TDS was like stepping into the pages of an old-world Agatha Christie novel. The world Read builds brings the setting, characters, and time period roaring to brilliant life. The romance and suspense left me breathless until the very end. With amazing story, characters, and historical content, ‘The Dragon Sleeps’ is a luscious literary treat. Highly recommend!” — Kara Harte, Amazon
“Ellen Read weaves a remarkable tale of mystery and murder. Set in the 20’s the reader is whisked away to a glamorous time of dashing men and daring women. Alexandra Thorton is a women confident in herself and devoted to her family. When murder invades her world and precious family artifacts go missing she is determined to see justice. There is mystery, action and a dash of romance; a sure recipe for a great book. Ellen has a wonderfully descriptive writing style that captivates the reader. I recommend you pick up a copy today.” — Amazon reviewer
Five out of Five Stars
Wow, I felt like I’d been placed in the hands of a masterful storyteller with Ellen Read! In The Dragon Sleeps, the author gives us an expert view into 1920s Australia, which I personally found fascinating. Alexandra is the daughter of a wealthy antiques dealer. She greatly admires her father and grandfather and desires to be a part of the business—not an acceptable job for a woman during this time period. Unbeknownst to her father, Alexandra has convinced their new young employee to teach her about their antique business. Not surprisingly, there just might be a romance blooming between Alexandra and Benedict.
The story begins at the Thornton family home. They are hosting several couples who carry more than a passing interest in some of the antiques stored at their residence. It is here we are introduced to Alexandra and her best friend Edie, and we also learn Alexandra might be developing strong feelings for Benedict. But the budding romance is only a small part of this story, one full of deceit, greed and murder. The hot topic is a brass dragon an antiques dealer named Mr. Zhang sold to Thomas Thornton. When one of the Thornton’s employees is brutally murdered, claw marks visible on his body, some believe the dragon may have come to life. This is especially puzzling when they find blood on the dragon’s claws.
I quite enjoyed the mystery involved in this story, both with the antiques themselves and the murders taking place around them. The author kept me guessing as to the true murderer (and their motive) right up until the end. Never once did I question the authority about the time period Ellen Read dropped us in, nor her expert knowledge of Ming Dynasty antiques. For those who enjoy murder mystery, detective types, you can’t go wrong with The Dragon Sleeps. I’m looking forward to the next adventure in this series.
Ellen Read was born in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She has always enjoyed reading, even from a young age. Books took her into a world of wonder and enjoyment that the real world could never quite provide. She loves to read fiction, non-fiction, poetry. She particularly loves history and stories of ancient myths and legends. Authors such as Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, and Victoria Holt, the latter of whom wrote gothic mystery/romances, have influenced her own work.
In her childhood, Ellen always made up stories. At first, she wrote poetry and short stories, and then wrote her first novel at 18. After a few novels, an agent in London took her on but the agent was made redundant before she’d secured a contract with a publisher. At that time, Ellen became heavily involved in the performing arts world and found less time to write. She loved all her work and experiences there but wanted to write more and get published. When Ellen moved towns, just over three years ago, she decided that would be the start of her new writing career. She wrote a novella, Love The Gift, while moving, which she self-published. Then she started The Dragon Sleeps, the first book in The Thornton Mysteries.
Ellen’s other passion is photography. She loves to photograph flowers, landscapes and architecture. Her website features many of her photos.