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 others are saying about The Dragon Sleeps

“The Dragon Sleeps is reminiscent of Agatha Christie as others have mentioned; but it was more than that for me. What came to my mind was Nancy Drew which I devoured growing up. Both Alex and Nancy are young women on the cusp; although in two different eras and places, their best friends are very similar and both have a knack for mysteries. Perhaps, I’m reading too much into the similarities. It doesn’t really matter, though. I was hooked. The Inca’s Curse is next…!!!” –Linda L. Oliphant (Amazon Reviewer)

“MC Alexandra was such a joy to follow. Alexandra is very untraditional for her time period, which I absolutely loved. She’s smart as a whip and brave, and determined to carve her own path in life. She’s the kind of character you can root for. I live for strong female characters, and Ellen Read doesn’t disappoint on that account. The author’s love for her homeland, history, architecture, and flowers is displayed with beautiful passion in these pages, and the passion became contagious!

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With amazing story, characters, and historical content, ‘The Dragon Sleeps’ is a luscious literary treat.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 Reviewer)

“The Dragon Sleeps by Ellen Read took me by surprise. How you ask, in a beautiful intriguing way. I don’t read many mysteries, and this one was done so elegantly. The twists and turns throughout kept me guessing. At times I had suspicions on the culprit but never guessed. I didn’t expect to be drawn into the story so quickly, and get so invested in the characters. I could easily envision the surroundings of the The Dragon Sleeps. This story held my attention from page 1. Loved it.” — Amazon Reviewer

My Review:

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 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.

Don’t miss out on getting a free copy of this excellent book HERE!

Ellen Read was born in Queensland, Australia. She has always enjoyed reading, even from a young age. As an only child, she made up stories about fairies and little people in other worlds. When she was eighteen, she started writing her first book. Several novels followed, which are now in the proverbial bottom drawer, and Ellen says will probably never see the light of day. She loves to read fiction, non-fiction and poetry and particularly loves history and stories of ancient myths and legends. Authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, and Victoria Holt, the latter of whom wrote gothic mystery/romances, have influenced her own work. Ellen’s other passion is photography. She loves to photograph flowers, landscapes and architecture. Her website features many of her photos. Other interests include music and musical theatre, and dance. Ellen was a ballroom dancing teacher for many years and has also worked in Performing Arts administration.



Set in 1928 in Victoria, Australia. The Thornton family made its money in the goldfields during the 1850s and the antiques trade. Thornton Park is their lavish mansion close to Melbourne. They also own a home and a goldmine in Daylesford, in the heart of Victoria, where their close friends, the Bassetti family, are part of a thriving Swiss-Italian community.

Alexandra Thornton has married Benedict Archer. On their honeymoon in Daylesford, Alexandra’s pearls are stolen and within days there are two murders.

Back at Thornton Park, Alexandra discovers a secret compartment in a desk. Inside is a gold and diamond necklace and a letter written by her grandfather, James Thornton. It’s a love letter, Alexandra assumes written to his wife after her death. He claims the necklace is cursed.

About Denna Holm

I love reading and writing about fantasy and science fiction.

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