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The Dragon Sleeps (The Thornton Mysteries #1)

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  40 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
ebook, 246 pages
Published November 10th 2019 by Crimson Cloak Publishing
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Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
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
The Dragon Sleeps is book 1 of The Thornton Mysteries. 4 books the series. Ellen Read just announced recently the book title for the second in the series is,
The Inca's Curse.

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
Sarina Langer
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Julia Blake
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Becky Wright
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
R.K. Ryde
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ellen Read
Recommended to paulinereidbookreviewer by: Ellen Read
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
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Linda Lou
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
’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 ...more
Faith Rivens
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Brian O'Hare
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Caroline Noe
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 ...more
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.



Louise Reynolds
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Allyson Grove
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 ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Steve Griffin
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Heather Wamboldt
The Dragon Sleeps is the first book in The Thornton Mysteries series. I loved this book and cannot wait for the next one in the series!

The author has obviously done her research into the 1920s era in Australia and the descriptions are wonderfully evocative. The characters are well developed, intelligent, and likable. The storyline is well written and captured my attention from the beginning, with murder, art, antiquities, a Ming dragon, suspense, intrigue, and some romance.

I received a free copy
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-reviews
It's the 1920s and Thomas Thornton, antiques dealer, is hosting a weekend party at his home, Thornton Park, near Melbourne, with his twenty-one year old daughter, Alexandra, as hostess. But the atmosphere seems strained even while the guests view the priceless artefacts on display in the house, and heighten when a body is discovered in the orchard. Theft and threats continue, but will more bodies be discovered.
An entertaining historical cozy mystery with just the right amount of romance. A
Jane Finch
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This author has a lovely writing style. Grab this book, put your feet up, and get lost in a great story. The characters and the setting are spot on, and the pace will keep you turning those pages.
Author Dawnette Brenner
The Dragon Sleeps is a wonderfully written novel about romance/mystery. I used to read murder mysteries and suspense novels and reading this story reminded me why.
From Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie, the glorious, old-fashioned crime scene unravels, as Alexandra and her admirer team up to discover the truth behind the murders hiding in Thornton Park.
Alexandra, an independent heroine explores not only clues toward the truth, but also her feelings about Benedict Archer!
But wait, any novel
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author via Voracious Readers Only. I really enjoyed this book. Literally stayed up to finish it because I couldn’t put it down. Great job of unexpected twists and action. Rather predictable romance but like able characters so it would have been sad if it hadn’t worked out. Cute historical mystery.
Kara Harte
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘The Dragon Sleeps’ takes place in 1927, and follows young Alexandra Thornton, an aspiring antiques dealer whose yet to tell her father she wants to join the family business.

That’s how Alexandra finds herself back home at Thornton Park for a weekend party, the manager of Thornton Antiques and dear friend, Benedict, by her side for moral support. No Thornton woman has ever been in the family’s antiques business before. But, brilliant and independent Alexandra is anything but traditional.

Abigail Shepherd
This is a great story! It was quite gentle in the beginning, then surprised me about a third of the way through by becoming a proper page turner that I couldn't put down.
At first, my one complaint was that the heroine, Alexandra, was too perfect and too calm. However, in the last third of the book I realised that this was a deliberate ploy of the author's as we see how her character is changed by the violent events around her. She becomes much more gutsy and passionate, even confrontational,
Emily Pennington
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Alexandra Thornton comes from a successful family who deals in antiques. Women hadn’t been given many opportunities previously in this period of time, but Alexandra is smart and determined that she wants to actually work in her family’s antique business. The Manager of their Thornton Antiques business, Benedict Archer, has been secretly teaching her everything she needs to know. She finally decides that she will break the news to her father, at the planned weekend house party at Thornton Park, ...more
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Ellen Read is the author of The Dragon Sleeps - an historical mystery romance novel, and Love The Gift - an eBook Novella, a time slip romance, a story to heal grief.

Ellen was born in Townsville, Queensland in Australia. She has always enjoyed reading, even from a young age. Books took her into a world of wonder and enjoyment that the real world could never quite provide. When she was eighteen,
“Time meant nothing.
She loved him in an instant.
She would love him forever.”
“There is always stardust in my eyes when I look at you, my love.” 7 likes
More quotes…