Introducing Ellen Read
Where did the idea for the story come from?
After the first two books in the series, even though they are standalone mysteries, the personal story develops with each book. For this book, I wanted to pursue Benedict’s story. After he returned from the Great War (WWI), his family rejected him, and he never understood why. He suffered nightmares. Alexandra wondered if that was only because of the war or what had happened with his family. I had already mentioned that Benedict’s family had a vineyard in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. So, Alexandra persuaded him that they should confront his family. On the mystery side of the story, I first had the idea about a stamp that might have been stolen from Europe during the war. Ideas such as the amber colour of some wines, amber resin from the Baltic, all started to merge together, and I had my mystery.
Give a quote from the books, one that says little but speaks volumes.
Alexandra Thornton and Benedict Archer have been married for one year. Benedict is estranged from his family, who own a vineyard in the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Alexandra urges him to try to heal the breach. In doing so, they discover a dark secret, that turns Alexandra and Benedict’s world upside down.
Summarise Your Book in Ten Words
“Look, look, Fraulein Thornton.” The count held the amber out to Alexandra. “Trapped for eternity. Is this not intriguing?”
Give a short summary of what the book is about.
When a dark secret of betrayal is exposed, Alexandra finds her world shattered.
Alexandra hadn’t thought of it that way before. Trapped for eternity sounded horrific.
What genre is it?
Historical fiction murder mystery (cosy style)
How many pages is it?
307 pages in the paperback
Why do you think the readers will want to read it?
I think everyone likes a mystery and a love story. The Amber Trap has both. Alexandra and Benedict have a special love.
Where are you located?
I live in South-east Queensland, Australia.
Murder on the High Seas. Thomas Thornton reads the newspaper article.
Can the murder of a young German man, fatally stabbed during a voyage out of London to Melbourne, have anything to do with the Thorntons? Alexandra’s curiosity is piqued when a Prussian Count, who travelled on the same ship, shows up at Thornton Antiques in search of a rare amber postage stamp.
Alexandra Thornton and Benedict Archer have been married for one year. Benedict is estranged from his family, who own a vineyard in the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Alexandra urges him to try to heal the breach.
Murder. A strange count searching for a rare stamp. A missing opal. A family in turmoil. How are they all connected? When a dark secret of betrayal and loss is exposed, Alexandra finds her world shattered.
Alexandra couldn’t see Benedict. He’d moved from where they had been. Although men had separated them before, she had still been able to see him. He must have gone behind the building, where that wall had taken hold.
Her towel had dried again. Before dousing it in water from the tap, Alexandra ran around to the rear of the building. If anything, the blaze had diminished. Perhaps they were at last on top of the fire.
She spotted Edward and hurried to him. Sweat poured from him and hazel eyes stared out of a blackened face.
“I can’t find Benedict,” Alexandra shouted at him. They had to move away so he could hear her. “Have you seen Benedict?” she asked.
“I haven’t been looking.” Edward wiped his face, which only smeared more ash over it. “Wait, I think I saw him over further.”
“Thanks,” Alexandra said. She ran along the lines of men but couldn’t find him.
Up until this point, Alexandra hadn’t felt overly concerned. He had to be around somewhere. However, when she’d hurried around the entire fire front and couldn’t see him, panic stabbed her as deep as any knife blade could. She came back to Edward.
Alexandra took his sleeve and dragged him away from the fire. “I can’t find Benedict anywhere.”
“He has to be somewhere.”
“Could he have gone inside the winery?”
“No one has,” Edward assured her. “He wouldn’t be so foolish.”