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The Dragon Sleeps by Ellen Read.
A Ming dragon statue. An ancient sword. What treasure is worth killing for?
Set in 1920s Australia, this is a story of murder, mystery, love and secrets.
At a weekend house party at Thornton Park, Alexandra Thornton wants to break the news to her father that she’s decided to be an antiques dealer, like him, her grandfather and great-grandfather before her.
Amongst the guests are Zhang Huo, the Chinese antiques dealer who, with his son, has brought a Ming dragon statue from China for Thomas Thornton. 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 is found and, before the weekend is over, a priceless artefact is stolen.
Alexandra is determined to discover how these things are connected to the Ming dragon and the antiques her great-grandfather brought from Hong Kong so many years ago.
As she peels away the layers of an eighty-year-old mystery, she discovers her life is in danger.