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The Dragon Sleeps

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  53 reviews
A Dragon statue. An ancient sword.

What treasure is worth killing for?

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 g
Published November 4th 2016
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Average rating 4.51  · 
Rating details
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Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
The Dragon Sleeps, written by Australian author Ellen Read, immerses us in the world of art, antiques and wealth, in the heart of the roaring twenties. It is the story of deep seated secrets, murder and intrigue. It also comes with a touch of gentle love and a glimmer of the supernatural.

Alexandra Thornton is a woman ahead of her time. She longs to work as a recognised employee in her own right for her family’s lucrative antique dealing business. Alexandra i
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ellen Read
Recommended to paulinereidbookreviewer by: Ellen Read
13 April 2021 - Audiobook Review
Alexandra and Edith are exactly how I imagined they sounded like, giving off the flavour of Upstairs Downstairs with English accents given to the era. I'm picking that's why Ellen Read wanted an English narrator to make this audiobook come alive. Congratulations to P J Roscoe who did just that. Edith, in her early 20's, gives off a concerning and worrisome nature, but bounces back with her romantic and happy self. Alexandra, the main female protagonist, also in h
Sarina Langer
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Dragon Sleeps was my first murder mystery in a long time! I used to read them all the time when I was younger, and then my paranoia won over and I had to stop because apparently everything scares me? In murder mysteries, anyway.

This book reminded me why I love this genre so much! It was the first of my four holiday reads, and it was so easy to get lost in it; perfect for my holiday!

Alexandra is the daughter of a rather wealthy antiques dealer. She's an incredibly good person, but not to the
Revised Review - 10 November 2019
The Dragon Sleeps by Ellen Read .. now available on
Book One of The Thornton Mysteries
Historical Fiction ( Australia - 1927 post or after WW1)
Cosy Mystery Murder/Romance

Thank you to Ellen Read for giving me an ARC of The Dragon Sleeps in return for an honest review.
This book has been re-published by Crimson Cloak Publishing
My view on what this book is about....
We open The Dragon Sleeps, and here we are, an invitation to a weekend
Julia Blake
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A well written, nicely paced, old-fashioned suspense story, reminiscent of Agatha Christie or Ngaio Marsh, set in the wealthy, upper classes of 1920's Melbourne. The main character, Alexandra, I liked very much, as she is brave, resourceful and independent, unusual traits for a woman of her age, but are traits that reflect the socially progressive age in which she lives.

Most of the action takes place in the salubrious Thornton Park, a real live location I believe, and it is obviously somewhere t
Becky Wright
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a treat! Alexandra is a young woman to be reckoned with, unfolding the mystery of her great-grandfather's travels and articfacts from the Orient. Ellen Read has a wonderful ability of totally submerging you into the surroundings and era. The evocative 1920s is surberbly sublime at the end of Ellen's pen - a favourite decade of mine, I was in my element as she has such an authentic touch. The Dragon Sleeps gently entices you in...with a lavish backdrop, gorgeous references to the time a simm ...more
R.K. Ryde
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a beautifully written book that took me straight into the 1920's in Australia. The language, the descriptions of the home, clothing and music all made it a magical read. With the extra touch of intrigue and mystery, this was an overall great read. ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book that I have read from this author and I look forward to more, this book has a great mystery surrounding mythical dragons and a lovely romance to go with it and the setting is so good 1927 Melbourne, fabulous fashions and a beautiful estate, I really enjoyed getting to know the Thornton family and their friends.

Thomas Thornton runs an antique store he is widowed with a beautiful twenty one year old daughter Alexandra, they are popular socialites and weekend parties are held
Kerry Lloyd
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The story is set in the 1920's in Australia. Alexandra Thornton is 21 years old and lives in Thorton Park on the family estate it also has a zoo attached to it. She lives with her father Thomas and her friend that's more like a sister Edith Blackburn

Alexandra (Lexy) loves historic objects and wants to learn about her Dads antiques business - Thortons Antiques. So she secretly requests the help of Benedict Archer...he is the manager of Thortons Antiques. Benedict who Edith claims is in love with
Theresa Smith
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aww2017
I've never read a 'cosy mystery' before, truly, not one single Agatha Christie and to ensure you believe me, I can't even list any other authors who write them! I have watched Poirot plenty of times, the Belgian detective is a bit addictive, but not Miss Marple, she's just not to my taste. I read some reviews for The Dragon Sleeps before starting it which labelled it as a 'cosy mystery', but I'm really just going to have to take their word for it! I wouldn't know either way.

Regardless of the gen
Linda Lou
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I decided to make an impromptu visit to see the Thornton’s in Melbourne, Australia. The year was 1929. I arrived after dinner at Thornton Park and met all the dinner guests. I sat back, sipping and enjoying my after dinner tea and watched. Alex was not at all happy with four of the guests which I found extremely unusual as I have always known Alex to be very personable and accommodating towards all of her father’s guests. Something was afoot and not quite right so I decided to stay awhile to see ...more
Elise McCune
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
’The Dragon Sleeps’ by Ellen Read is a story reminiscent of Agatha Christie. I love old-fashioned suspense stories especially if they are set in Australia. This story is set in Victoria, in 1927 and is a page turner. The writing is excellent and the characters are brought to life. I loved Alexandra Thornton a young woman who wants to be an antiques dealer like her father and grandfather before her. Alexandra is an independant woman living in the new age after the Great War when women had more op ...more
Faith Rivens
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-of-2017
I don't read many mystery novels - though I delight in Agatha Christie - so I went into this book with an open mind.

I'm glad I did.

The Dragon Sleeps (and the title really is very clever once you've read it) is a fun mystery set in 1920s Australia. I enjoyed the mythological elements and the history of the antiques at the story's centre.

Alexandra made for a spunky main character looking to inherit her family's legacy. The other characters served mainly as foils for her as she sought to solve t
E.H. Alger
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my usual read - it’s a very long time since I’ve read a ‘cosy murder mystery’, but I really enjoyed this! I was up till 2:00 am to finish it!

The Dragon Sleeps is a splendid, old-fashioned mystery that transported me to the world of Victoria’s wealthy pastoralists in the 1920s. I have a great interest in that part of Victoria’s history and have visited Werribee Park (the gorgeous Italianate mansion that was the inspiration for Thornton Park in The Dragon Sleeps) several times, so it was love
Brian O'Hare
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
On my bookshelves there are, among many others, 137 full-length Agatha Christie novels. You can thus probably deduce that I am a fan. However, it is over forty years since I read any of them, even though I loved them all at the time I bought them. Actually, I had forgotten what a pleasure they were until I came across The Dragon Sleeps by Ellen Read.

In this terrific novel we experience the same old-world charm of the Christie novels, the dress, the styles, the mannerisms of lives lived by wealt
Caroline Noe
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the roaring twenties of post World War I Melbourne, the Thornton household hosts a weekend party that swiftly plunges into murder and intrigue. Reading as an Agatha Christie style cosy mystery rather than a darker thriller, the book centres on Alexandra Thornton, her antique collector father and his manager Benedict Archer, as they seek to unravel the case of the missing Chinese artifacts.
Exuding the very essence of the flapper era with it's fashion, rise of feminism, film star looks and hig
There were so many elements I enjoyed in this story; mystery, a hint of the supernatural, myth, history and a little romance, all masterfully woven together. The novel's action takes place in the 1920's on a grand estate outside Melbourne, where twenty-one year old Alexandra Thornton lives with her father. The house is full of rare antiques collected by the Thornton family over the years but when a Ming dragon statue is added to the collection, drama ensues, with tragic consequences. Alexandra d ...more
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The dragon is woken.

December 10, 2019

Format: Kindle Edition

I really enjoy a good old fashioned murder mystery.
This book the first in The Thornton series, is very good.
It was set in Australia in 1927.
A time, when every well bred young lady was expected to find herself a good clean man and produce a family.

A woman as an antique dealer, a murder at a party.
Definitely not the expected.

A very enjoyable read.

Thank you for your review.



C.N. Jannain
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Dragon Sleeps by Ellen Read took me by surprise. How you ask, in a beautiful intriguing way. I don’t read many mysteries, and this one was done so elegantly. The twists and turns throughout kept me guessing. At times I had suspicions on the culprit but never guessed. I didn’t expect to be drawn into the story so quickly, and get so invested in the characters. I could easily envision the surroundings of the The Dragon Sleeps. This story held my attention from page 1. Loved it.

Karen Mossman
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book. First time I have read this author.

Set in the swinging twenties with all the polite decorum of society. Sevents, afternoon tea, luncheon, and music. All set with within an exciting storyline that leads up to great climax with all the intrigue, baddies, murders and romance to complete a fine storyline.

Highly recommended!
Louise Reynolds
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Synopsis :

A Dragon statue. An ancient sword.

What treasure is worth killing for?

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 Thronton Park and Alexandra Thronton thinks it will be a good time to break the news to her father that she wants to be an antique dealer, like him, her grandfather and great
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I recieved a copy through voracious readers in exchange for a free review.

I love mystery novels. This is a 'Cozy Mystery' like Agartha Christy. 

It takes you back into 1920's Australia. It is a very well written book.

It has mystery and suspense that will keep you gripped from start till finish.
Allyson G
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ellen Read weaves a remarkable tale of mystery and murder. Set in the 20's the reader is whisked away to a glamorous time of dashing men and daring women. Alexandra Thorton is a women confident in herself and devoted to her family. When murder invades her world and precious family artifacts go missing she is determined to see justice. There is mystery, action and a dash of romance; a sure recipe for a great book. Ellen has a wonderfully descriptive writing style that captivates the reader. I rec ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The dragon sleeps" takes us to Melbourne, Australia in the year of 1927. Over a weekend during a house party at the country estate of Thornton Park murder and theft happen, secrets are uncovered and romance blossoms. We meet mysterious Chinese antique dealers, shifty social climbers, smart detectives, charming gentlemen, a damsel in distress and a courageous and clever heroine. What more do you need for an exciting and fun read!?
Highly recommended if you like some history with your cozy crime.
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ellen Read
Recommended to paulinereidbookreviewer by: Ellen Read
21 June 2020 .......Although I have read this book many, many times. I am copying and pasting the review from the ARC that I was given. This time I read the Ebook that I bought myself.

Newly added is the book review - Podcast

And the book review - You Tube

The Dragon Sleeps by Ellen Read
Book One of The Thornton Mysteries
Historical Fiction ( Australia - 1927 post or after WW1)
Cosy Mystery Murder/Romance

Thank you
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A family with a number of Antique and collectible stores. Ancestors who have lingering presence in their home.

This historical adventure has mystery, relic thefts, mild paranormal and romantic elements and strong, daring women un afraid to fight.

Awesome historical adventure and romance

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Derek van Schayk
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A well-written, thoughtful book that had a real 1920s feel throughout. Great plot that kept me guessing, with well-woven sub-plots, and interesting, 3-dimensional characters that kept me engaged throughout.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I felt like I’d been placed in the hands of a masterful storyteller with Ellen Read! In The Dragon Sleeps, the author gives us an expert view into 1920s Australia, which I personally found fascinating. Alexandra is the daughter of a wealthy antiques dealer. She greatly admires her father and grandfather and desires to be a part of the business—not an acceptable job for a woman during this time period. Unbeknownst to her father, Alexandra has convinced their new young employee to teach her a ...more
Steve Griffin
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful mystery novel that transports you effortlessly into a different era. Alexandra is the daughter of a wealthy magnate who owns Thornton Park, a grand house near Melbourne. But Alexandra doesn't want to live the typical passive daughter's role and aspires to more. As the story develops around a house party at which several guests appear to covet rare antiques in the house, Alexandra's aspirations and horizons grow, from wanting to work in the shop where her father trades antiques, to de ...more
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Ellen Read is the author of The Dragon Sleeps, The Inca's Curse and The Amber Trap - historical mystery romance novels, and Love The Gift - an eBook Novella, a time slip romance, a story to heal grief. Also When Jacarandas Bloom, a novella, a romance with a twist.

Ellen was born in Townsville, Queensland in Australia. She has always enjoyed reading, even from a young age. Books took her into a wor

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