It’s 1927 in Victoria, Australia. A hedonistic time after the Great War when young people knew they could enjoy life without the threat of war hanging over them. A time when women have more options opened to them.
There is a weekend house party at Thornton Park and Alexandra Thornton thinks it will be a good time to break the news to her father that she wants to be an antiques dealer, like him, her grandfather and great-grandfather before her.
Only a small number of people are invited. 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 found in the orchard 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 with him from Hong Kong so many years ago.
What secret has remained hidden at Thornton Park for the last eight years?