Here on the island, my day begins with sound. Sometimes I wake to the blare of a freighter’s horn as it passes through the narrow Rock Island passage below Pottawatomie Lighthouse. Sometimes I wake to the chorus of a thousand birds, reminding me that humans are the visitors here.
But lately, the faint echo of children’s laughter has nudged me from sleep.
I didn’t expect that last one. When I was invited to spend a week on Rock Island, in Lake Michigan off the tip of Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula, I expected to find peace and quiet. The past few months have been tumultuous—a new job with a boss who really doesn’t like me, a new man in my life who’s really got me confused about romance, and unwanted involvement in a couple of murder cases.
So when I was offered a consultant gig at Pottawatomie Lighthouse, I happily took leave from the historic site where I work as a curator, and settled in. Volunteers and park staff are doing a magnificent job of restoring the remote lighthouse to its former glory. I’m going to research and write a furnishings plan for the structure.
My week of longed-for solitude got off to an unexpected start, however, when I found a body on the beach below the lighthouse. I also got a strange vibe from an old photograph of a woman who once lived at Pottawatomie with her family. I’ve always been able to perceive strong emotions that occasionally linger in old structures. This is the first time I’ve had a similar sensation from a photograph. Evidently my perceptive ability is developing, which I’m not altogether thrilled about.
And if that wasn’t enough to make me a bit uneasy, I’ve been hearing the sound of laughing children in the dark. OK, I told myself. If you’re going to have auditory reactions to this old building, isn’t it nice that happy children left this lingering energy? Nothing spooky there, right?
Then I stumbled into a bit of very different energy, at the nearby site of a long-abandoned fishing village—very dark, very intense. Something bad happened there. And I suspect that whatever tragedy happened on this island a century ago is affecting the present.
The deputy sheriff scoffed at my ideas. Well, he can do his own kind of investigation—very official, very proper. What I need to do is keep learning all I can about the women who once lived here…before someone else dies on Rock Island.
You can read more about Chloe in THE LIGHT KEEPER’S LEGACY, the third book in the “Chloe Ellefson” mystery series. The first book in the series is Old World Murder.
** Kathleen is giving away one (1) copy of any book from her Chloe Ellefson series, your choice. Contest open to US residents only. Contest ends October 26. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **
Meet the author
The Light Keeper’s Legacy is Kathleen’s twenty-fourth published book. In addition to the Chloe Ellefson series, she has written many books for American Girl, including the six-book series about the newest historical character, Caroline Abbott. Several of her mysteries for young readers have been finalists for Edgar or Agatha awards. Kathleen, a social historian and former museum curator, lives in Wisconsin with her business partner/husband and their cat.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.