Reviews and Quotes

Reviews for “The Dragon Sleeps”

5 Star Review

What a treat! Alexandra is a young woman to be reckoned with, unfolding the mystery of her great-grandfather’s travels and artefacts 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 The Dragon Sleeps gently entices you in…with a lavish backdrop, gorgeous references to the time a simmering romance with a stunning leading man…then she hits you with murder, intrigue, mystery. A real feast of a read! Absolutely LOVED it.

5 Star Review

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.

5 Star Review

‘The Dragon Sleeps’ is a story reminiscent of Agatha Christie. 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.

Here are some comments I have received for The Dragon Sleeps:

“Atmospheric and as good as any Christie”.

“Read perfectly captures the spirit of the age in this tale, transporting us to high society period Melbourne, and the opulent Thornton Estate, in a world of society, art, music and antiques, and of course murder”.

“Refined and elegant, and clearly researched with love and keen attention, we are immersed in a world of parties, dashing and debonair protagonists and a sense of brooding danger, and I loved every minute of it. Definitely up there in my evaluation with any of the ‘classic’ period whodunnits”.

“I recommend this book to Agatha Christie fans and watchers of the tv series like Father Brown, Downton Abbey, and Midsommer Murders”.

“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!”

Quotes from “The Dragon Sleeps”

“When I look at you, my love, there is always stardust in my eyes.”

Time meant nothing. She loved him in an instant. She would love him forever.

The spicy sweet fragrance of the large full blooms, which rambled over the side and top of an arched metal framework, welcomed them as they walked beneath them. Shafts of sunlight pierced the canopy, dust motes floating languorously in the golden beams that spotlighted clumps of wayward snowdrops growing in the lawn.


I am extremely interested in conversational dialogue in general, so I was pleasantly surprised that I got just that in The Inca’s Curse. Questions and answers leaded to more intriguing scenarios, problems and then solutions. Ellen Read is a dab hand at creating and writing a scene in this way. A very “dialogue” driven book.

This is an extremely facinating, interesting and intriguing book, that has a very involved storyline, with lots of plot twists, its chockablock full. Apart from the mystery aspect, there is a newly wedded couple, so there is love. There is alot of references to antiques with the Thorntons being in the antique business and because Ellen Read herself, loves flowers and nature, we have the countryside of Daylesford with Wombat Hill, where there are black ducks, willy-the-wagtails, Asters, bluebells, daffodils, lillypilly and a whole range of flowers that are all wrapped up like a bouquet, not forgetting the scrumptious food mentioned, this time, there is an element of Italian, with the occasional mention of scrambled eggs and Maderia cake on the side, with copious amounts of tea drinking. I learnt quite alot of Italian dishes, plus the heritage of the Swiss-Italians. Plus I learnt about the family tree and who is related to who. We have references of books, more in depth this time is the book, Pride and Prejudice that Edith models herself on and Ellen Read executes the storyline superbly well into HER story, and lastly, because this is a historical fiction I must add that the information on the history of Daylesford, plus the gold mines is very educational which I was extremely interested in. The story-line and plotting, again, faultless and delivered to perfection.

It was a great honour to be able to delve into such a book with such a vast lot of information, inspiration and hard work that Ellen Read put into this. Ellen Read is definitely a mastermind of her own craft.

Give this a go, you won’t be disappointed, as it will captivate you and hold your attention till the end.

5 star rating.

The Inca’s Curse comes highly recommended by me and will suit anyone who is interested in Italian cooking and heritage. For Historical Fiction lovers. Definately worth reading if you are into romance books. For antique lovers. For anyone interested in the fashion of the 1920s, especially music and clothes. Lastly for all readers who like flowers mentioned in their books.


She turned and saw a painting of a man, but not just any man. This man sat on a golden throne. Wide golden wristbands, large circular earrings and a golden circlet adorned him, as did an elaborate cloak with a golden clasp at the base of his throat. He held a staff that rested back over his shoulder. It had a golden sun at its end that looked as if it was shining down on him.

Alejandro Moreno came to stand next to her. He looked up at the painting with reverence.

“He is Atahualpa,” he said. “The last Inca Emperor.”

 “You are a part of my soul, part of my every thought, my every action. I breathe for you. I exist for you.”

At the same moment, the thief stepped closer to the lake’s edge. Without any hesitation, he dropped the girl’s body into the cold, dark water.

Benedict managed to drag himself out of the water. Alexandra flung herself at him and he wrapped wet arms about her. She didn’t care that he was dripping water. She held him and didn’t want to let go. Never did she want to see him disappearing from her like that ever again.

“You know, the stardust will always be ours. Our constant, like our love. No matter where we are.”

“So!” Alexandra felt a spark of inspiration as a new thought formed. “Mary’s killer has been killed. He was only a lackey. Someone else masterminded this.”

“I don’t think he wanted to hide the body. This man wanted to make a statement. He wanted the body to be found. Perhaps as a warning that he means business.

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