Genre Mysteries/Women Sleuths
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.
It was as if the room had wrapped its shadowy folds about her and shut out the world. As a child, she may have been afraid but now, she felt comforted, as if the room welcomed her. It was also the smell … that wonderful bouquet of aged paper, ancient artifacts and dust.
It called to something in her blood, perhaps the same call that had taken the first Thomas Thornton to Hong Kong, the same surge of excitement and wonder that ran through the veins of her grandfather and father.
It was the reverence of something old, the veneration of an ancient past and all the wonderful discoveries that lay somewhere waiting to be found. It was the wonder of holding a relic in one’s hand, lightly tracing a pattern or shape that a man, one thousand years ago, two thousand years ago, had laboured over and loved.
While she had taken for granted every Ming vase and plate, and every Chippendale chair in her home, and while she knew she wanted to learn more about antiques, it had taken the sleepy wonders of a dark, dank, locked room to awaken in her the legacy of her ancestors.
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