OLD WORLD MURDER – “Museum Masterpiece”

September 26, 2010

Old World Murder

by Kathleen Ernst

Midnight Inc, $14.95, 326 pages 

This is a masterly presented mystery of seemingly unconnected elements. Chloe Ellefson, a woman trying to leave painful memories behind, her begins work as collections curator at an ethnic museum. An elderly lady begs her to find an item the she has donated 20 years earlier but before the heirloom can be returned the lady dies suspiciously. That’s when guilt, suspicion and surprising revelations begin.

This book entices the reader into some unexpected depths, and it is these complications rather than the answer to a “who done it” plot that is so memorable. What is Chloe’s past? Why does the lady need to have her artifact back?  How are we shaped by the choices we make? The setting, characters and Midwest values are as authentic as could be (author Kathleen Ernst, herself, worked as a curator at Old Wisconsin). Our expectations are high, but she delivers. 

I love the stuff about new job anxiety, relationships, parents, and even the mention of a bakery down the road from where I live. Like other treasures—Chinatown, The Long Good-bye, The Maltese Falcon—we are in the dark most of the journey. The dénouement of the last fifty pages drags on a bit, but the final sentence will send you looking for the next book in this series. Guaranteed! I don’t know about Chloe Ellefson’s tenure, but mystery writer Kathleen Ernst is here to stay.


– John Lehman, Rosebud Book Reviews


To purchase this book directly from amazon for  $10.76 click: Old World Murder (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)


  1. Thank you so much for the review! Writing the book let me revisit a time and place I loved. It also gave me a chance to share Old World Wisconsin with readers. I’m having great fun, and book 2 is in the works!

    • I loved it though I have never been to Old World Wisconsin (now I want to go). I do read many classic mystery/detective novels and feel you compete with them on the highest level.

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