Thornton Park is the Thornton family home and is where the mystery takes place in my book The Dragon Sleeps.
It’s a murder mystery set in the late 1920s.
A Dragon statue. An ancient sword. What treasure is worth killing for?
Alexandra Thornton is determined to discover how these things are connected to the antiques her great-grandfather brought with him from Hong Kong so many years ago. What secret has remained hidden for the last eighty years?
Top left is the main hall, the others are of the drawing room. Far right is my book.
These photos are of the real house that inspired me – Werribee Mansion in Victoria.
You can go through the mansion if you’re visiting Melbourne or Victoria. It’s definitely a worthwhile day.
I was so thrilled to receive this fantastic 5 Star Review on Amazon from Charlie Edwards.
Thank you so much.
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a huge fan of Agatha Christie and the other masters of crime I went into this book with high expectations and I’m happy to say that those expectations were exceeded! Set in the grandiose estate of Thornton House and taking place in the heart of the antiques trade of the 1920s, The Dragon Sleeps is a clever little novel that keeps you guessing throughout and which is equal parts murder mystery as it is a charming look into the past.
One of the aspects that really stood out for me was Read’s use of music and other well researched parts of the history that brought the 20s setting to life. I found myself googling various pieces of music she mentioned, letting them play as I read the book so that I could fully plunge myself into the story and experience what her characters were enjoying at the same time, an interesting experience which really added to the charm of the book as a whole.
The characters are full of vitality and believable, and the relationship between Lexy and Edie in particular was really charming to experience, not to mention the smooth suave of the ever charming Benedict whom I’m sure is the sort of man that no woman could find fault with.
The mystery itself is well researched and cleverly put together, and of course I won’t spoil it but the solution is not as straightforward as you would initially presume – the twists and turns keep the novel going exactly as a murder mystery should.
An enchanting and engaging novel that sets the stage for murder and intrigue with aplomb, I can’t wait to read more of what Ellen Read has to offer – here’s hoping she is writing more!
I recently interviewed Queensland author, Ellen Read about writing, self-publishing, and what it’s like to undertake research for historical fiction… NLK: How did you first begin writing fiction? ER: I began with reading books. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading and living in a story. As a child I made up fictional […]
My new novel The Dragon Sleeps is set in Victoria, Australia in the 1920s. I recently did a post on women’s fashion from that era.
Men’s fashion was equally as stylish. It was influenced by the new heart-throbs of the silent films, although the term ‘silent films’ wasn’t used during that era. They were called ‘the flicks’ or ‘the pictures’.
Rudolph Valentino liked to set a style.
John Gilbert wears the pencil-style moustache that was popular during the 1920s and 1930s. He was known as The Great Lover of the Silver Screen. The Merry Widow launched him to fame in 1925, and by 1928 he was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.
Benedict Archer in The Dragon Sleeps looks like John Gilbert, or so Edith claims.
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Men in the 1920s wore suits and, at least the highly fashionable ones, wore many accessories. There were so many types of hats (here we see fedoras, straw boaters, and Newsboy hats).
Below shows the Porkpie hat that Sergeant Smith wears when he accompanies Alexandra and Edith to the Victorian State Library.
Canes were popular accessories as well as small rings, tie pins, and collar pins. Three-piece suits were also worn – one for every occassion.
Shoes were very stylish, with examples here of brogues, two-tones, white tennis shoes and the exquisite art deco shoes.
Even the working man and boy liked to don hats, ties and jackets.
The Parry and Brady men in The Dragon Sleeps would have worn similar outfits.
I hope you enjoyed looking at male attire in the 1920s.
The Dragon Sleepsis available in paperback or as an e-book on:
I’m excited to be working on research for book two of The Thornton Mysteries. Next week I’m heading down to Victoria to do research for the location/setting of the story. Thornton Park, as the family home, will still feature but some of the story will be in Daylesford, a beautiful village in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range.
It was originally my intention to have my newly released novel The Dragon Sleeps as a stand-alone book. As I drew close to the ending, I started to think that I should write a second book. Through all the editing, proof-reading and finally the publishing, I still hadn’t made up my mind. I had another novel I was working on and I really wanted to finish it.
I had no sooner given approval for the printing of The Dragon Sleeps, than I thought, of course I must write a second book!
Since then I’ve decided to write at least two more books. They will be under the series title of The Thornton Mysteries. Each book will have a separate title, with it’s own mystery. The thread linking them will be Alexandra’s personal story.
Thornton Park will remain the focal point of the lives of Alexandra, Benedict, Edith and Thomas, Alexandra’s father. However, the second book will also be in Daylesford, Victoria. Daylesford is a beautiful town located in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, approximately 115 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. It’s principally known for it’s spas, and it has many antique stores and art galleries.
The scenery in the district is pure postcard stuff!
I am going to love writing about this beautiful place. My story will be still set in the 1920s and I can’t wait to bring Daylesford to life in this exciting era. To make certain that I achieve this, in January, I’m going to Victoria and will stay at Daylesford to do some research.
I’ll be taking heaps of photos and I will feature some of them here, on Instagram and Facebook.
I hope you’ll follow me on my journey to create the second Thornton Mystery.