Jacaranda trees bloom in October and November in Australia. The trees become laden with purple blossom. It is a sight to behold.
I love the small towns of Maleny and Montville and have often visited. They are set in beautiful countryside in South East Queensland surrounded by farms, rainforest, and waterfalls. A place where flowers thrive and people can relax and unwind.
When I first had the idea for this story, I immediately thought this would be the ideal place for a story about new beginnings.
Although Stephanie is escaping an abusive relationship, and the story is about healing and finding a new path, and not just for Stephanie.
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!
Thank you so very much. Reviews are so important to writers, even just a word or two is sufficient to raise the book through the levels to best seller lists.
It was amazing
The Dragon Sleep is set in the 1920s – Australia.
Alexandra Thornton is 21 years old and loves historic objects, because of her passion, she is interested in working in her Dads antique shop – Thornton Antiques.
Alexandra lives in Thornton Park and lives on the family estate. A zoo is also attached to the estate with kangaroos, wallabies, etc.
A mystery murder takes place in Thornton Park and Alexandra takes it upon herself to try and solve it.
I was drawn to The Dragon Sleeps because of the beauty of the building on the book cover, which is an actual building in Victoria, Australia.
Ellen Read loves architure buildings and this was quite evident in her book as she describes the home layout. Her love of flowers which she has a passion for are also a feature in her book, names like, blue salvias, pink petunias, etc.
The mystery murder I touched on very briefly because – Ellen Read Author – has just launched her own – You Tube – channel, that will give you a clue on the mystery.
Thank you Ellen Read, for such a wonderful book, beautifully written, with such amazing details which I felt lost in.
I very much appreciate your hard work that went into making such a little beauty.
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:
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.
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?