Author : Ellen Read
Publisher : Epic Reads Publishing
Publication date : 30 Oct, 2016
Book length : 252 pages
Language : English
Genre : Fiction
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-grandfather before her.
Only a small number of people are invited. Amongst the guests are Zhang Bio, the Chinese antiques dealer who, with his son, has brought a Ming dragon statue from China for Thomas Thronton.
Benedict Archer, who is manager of Thronton 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 Thronton 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 Thronton Park for the last eight years?
Rating : 4½/5
Ellen Read is one of the first authors I came to know after joining the book community on Instagram. I say she has a heart of gold. And I find myself rather lucky to have got the chance to read her book.
The first word I would like to provide as the very first compliment for this book – thrilling!
The story revolves around Alexandra Thronton, the daughter of Mr. Thronton, who like her father and forefathers shares the deep interest in artifacts.
Then comes the importance of another man, Benedict Archer, the manager of Thronton Antiques in Melbourne who is secretly helping Alexandra learn more about the family business.
Edith Blackburn is Alexandra’s sister, who after her parents’death has been adopted into the family. She as well is the culprit behind pointing out Benedict’s love for Alexandra to her.
Zhang Hou, the Chinese antiques dealer and his son Zhang Lei are throughout the book can be found to be the least favourite characters. They try to force Mr. Thronton into giving up his possession on Ming artifacts and hand them over to the father-son pair. However, their proposal or forceful act, whatever way one wishes to express it, aren’t successful as Mr.Thronton doesn’t give them up.
Mr. & Mrs. Buckley, the ignorant couple, who always seem unnaturally interested in everyone else’s business, here specifically that of the Ming artifacts. Mr. Thronton not having the habit of telling upon anyone always tries not to notice Buckley couples aukward behaviour.
And last but not the least, Mr. & Mrs. Campbell, who love Alexandra and Edith too much to not being loved back by the girls as well.
These characters as described had been present in the weekend house party at Thronton Park where Zhang Hou had walked in caring an expensive artifact – the Dragon statue. The party leads to all being shown the Ming artifact collection of the Throntons. Which mostly attracts Zhang Boy’s eyes if the ancient sword his he urged into being put in to display. All was well until the day a body is found in the orchard. All hells break loose when every soul in the house is in fear of being the next to be killed.
The story tells the tale of how, standing in the time where women are not expected to take the lead, Alexandra plays the most important role in solving the mystery of the murder and the reason of the murder.
What attracted me very much about the book is the character of Mr.Thronton, a father with absolute faith in his daughter. The time in which the story is set, to agree in letting your girl choose her love and as well allow her to start working in the family business, is the sign of a wide-minded, caring heart. A man who though objects at first, doesn’t cruelty point out the difference of men and women in the society.
Another thing that touched my heart is Alexandra and Benedict’s love story. It is too pure and beautiful to not be dreamt of.
Now, to the main point, the story line has been deeply thought of and the details provided on Ming artifacts makes me certainly think that the author has done a large part of her work in researching about it all. The plot and the situation arrangements are clearly described and the whole of it has the beautiful skill of providing a visualisation of the happenings in front a reader’s eyes.
I hope more and more people get the chance to read these book. It’s very much informative and interesting.