Murder comes to Norfolk Island, but is the killer after Alexandra Archer’s Tahitian black pearl or a lost illustration of the rare green parrot?

The Thorntons mount an expedition to Norfolk Island, a small island in the South Pacific, to study the green parrot and set up research programmes to help protect it and other endangered birds. As a birthday surprise, Alexandra’s father tells her she is to be their official photographer. He also gives her a black pearl brooch that Alexandra’s great-grandfather had bought off a merchant in Hong Kong in the 1850s. The pearls are Tahitian black pearls.

Before they depart Melbourne, they learn that Norfolk Island has had its first murder. It sends ripples of unease through Alexandra. She hoped she could escape murder on this small island paradise.

Alexandra is astonished to learn that the main inhabitants of Norfolk Island are descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives. Once on the island, she wonders if this is why her Tahitian black pearl brooch causes such interest.

A chain of events is set in motion, commencing with a threat on the life of one of their expedition members, followed by intrigue surrounding bird smuggling and a lost illustration of the green parrot. Then two of their team are murdered.

Alexandra is determined to find the answers and nearly loses her life in the process.


Bad characters and murder seem to follow Alexandra and her family wherever they go. Trying to help Alexandra overcome a tragedy after her last great adventure, her father helps mount an expedition to Norfolk Island, where Alexandra is assigned as their official photographer. Before they depart Melbourne, they hear alarming news. Norfolk Island has just had its first murder.

Alexandra had hoped the recent murders wouldn’t affect their own expedition, but when one of their own is attacked shortly after their arrival, she knows this won’t be the case. What she isn’t sure about is if the killer is after her Tahitian black pearl brooch or a lost illustration of the rare green parrot.

The Feathered Nest by Ellen Read is a well written, well researched historical fiction that will pull you in and make you wish you’d been born to this time. Along with favorites from the first three stories in the series, Edith, Benedict and Alexandra’s father, Ellen brings us an eclectic mix of colorful island characters. What I especially loved about these people were the nicknames they’d given each other, Scrimshaw being one of my favorites.

When another murder takes place on the island, Alexandra can’t help but put herself in the middle of things, but what price will it cost her this time? You’ll have to read for yourself to find out. If you enjoy historical fiction, or even if it’s a murder mystery you reach for, I suspect you’ll love The Feathered Nest. I can’t wait to see what Ellen comes up with next. It’s not necessary to read the first three novels to enjoy this one, but I strongly suggest you do. Each story builds on the last, making the reading of this one that much more enjoyable.


Ellen Read is the author of The Dragon Sleeps, The Inca’s Curse and The Amber Trap—historical murder mystery romance novels.

Ellen was born in Queensland, Australia.

She loves to read fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She 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.

Other interests include photography, painting, music and musical theatre, and dance. Ellen was a ballroom dancing teacher for many years and has also worked in Performing Arts administration.

Ellen would love to hear from you. If you would like to contact her, links are below:





Ellen Read Author blog



Crimson Cloak Publishing

About Denna Holm

I love reading and writing about fantasy and science fiction.

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