Heritage of DarknessHeritage of Darkness by Kathleen Ernst is the fourth book in the “Chloe Ellefson” mystery series. Publisher: Midnight Ink, October 2013

Dark Secrets Hidden in Norwegian Traditions

For curator Chloe Ellefson, a family bonding trip to Decorah, Iowa, for rosemaling classes seems like a great idea—until the drive begins. Chloe’s cop friend Roelke takes her mother’s talk of romantic customs good-naturedly, but it inflates Chloe’s emotional distress higher with each passing mile.

After finally reaching Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, Chloe’s resolve to remain positive is squashed when she and Roelke find Petra Lekstrom’s body in one of the antique immigrant trunks. Everyone is shaken by the instructor’s murder, and when Mom volunteers to take over the beginners’ class, Chloe is put in the hot seat of motherly criticism. As she investigates, Chloe uncovers dark family secrets that could be deadly for Mom . . . and even herself.

This was very enjoyable as it was fun learning about the Norwegian history and cultures as well as watch Roelke and Chloe solve a murder that hits a little too close to home. I love how the chapters flowed from the past to the present from one point of view to another without missing a step. The mystery kept me guessing and I was a bit surprised when the killer was revealed as I didn’t see that one coming. What I like best was we got to know more about Chloe, her mother and Roelke and I’m so glad it ended the way it did. Heritage of Darkness is one of the best books in this terrific series and I can’t wait to see where we are headed next in Chloe’s corner of the universe.

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