A Day In The Life with Chloe Ellefson by Kathleen Ernst

A Memory of MusketsAll I wanted to do was host a good special event at Old World Wisconsin, the big historic site where I work as a curator. A Civil War reenactment, to be exact. Nothing hokey, just some top-notch reenactors spending the weekend helping visitors understand how the war impacted people in Wisconsin—especially newly-arrived German immigrants. Enlistment rallies, a recreated draft, war relief efforts, things like that.

Preparations are not progressing smoothly.

My maniac boss decided that visitors won’t respond positively to anything except a big battle reenactment. He sort of threatened to fire me if the Civil War event did not go well. And just for good measure he dumped a big make-work project on me.

Then a reenactor was found dead at our restored 1860 German farm. He wasn’t carrying ID, and so far, no one has been able to identify the man. The cops aren’t sure if his death was accidental. . .or a case of murder.

I’d like to report that I’m finding comfort and solace at my new home, but that’s become a source of anxiety too. My boyfriend, Roelke McKenna, recently purchased the old farm that his ancestors established in the 1850s. I love everything about the farm except the bad vibes lingering in the original cabin, which Roelke wants to fix up for me. It would be great to have my own private space, but honestly, the sense of hopelessness I feel in the cabin is so strong that I can’t bring myself to step inside.

I began researching Roelke’s family, hoping to discover the source of the bad energy, and. . .well, let’s just say I found something disturbing. Evidently Roelke’s great-grandmother Rosina, who came to America from Germany at the tender age of sixteen, faced some challenges of her own during the Civil War.

I love being in a relationship with Roelke. I’m committed to learning as much as I can about Rosina. I just hope my research doesn’t ruin my personal life.

I also love being a curator, and I’m committed to seeing this Civil War reenactment through. I just hope that when the reenactors fall in, there isn’t a killer isn’t in the ranks.


A Memory of Muskets is the seventh book in the Chloe Ellefson mystery series, published by Midnight Ink, October 2016.

Curator Chloe Ellefson is happily planning to spotlight home-front challenges and German immigrants at Old World Wisconsin’s first Civil War reenactment―but her overbearing boss scorns her ideas and proposes staging a mock battle. And when a reenactor is found dead at one of the historic site’s German farms, Chloe’s boyfriend, cop Roelke McKenna, suspects murder.

The more Roelke learns about reenacting, the more he fears that a killer will join the ranks at Chloe’s special event. Then Chloe discovers a disturbing secret about Roelke’s Civil War-era ancestors. Together they struggle to solve crimes past and present . . . before Chloe loses her job and another reenactor loses his life.

# # # # # # # # # # #

About the author
Kathleen Ernst is a former museum curator who remains passionate about history! In addition to the Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites series, she has written many books for American Girl, including nine about the historical character she created, Caroline Abbott. Over 1.7 million copies of Kathleen’s 34 titles have been sold. The Chloe series has earned a LOVEY Award for Best Traditional Mystery, and several of her mysteries for young readers have been finalists for Edgar or Agatha awards. Connect with Kathleen at www.kathleenernst.com, Sites and Stories blog, and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a signed and personalized print copy of A Memory of Muskets. The giveaway ends October 12, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck!

65 responses to “A Day In The Life with Chloe Ellefson by Kathleen Ernst

  1. This book sounds really good. I love museum mysteries!

  2. I have read previous Chloe Ellefson historical sites mysteries and have enjoyed them very much. Look forward to reading the newest in the series.

  3. New to me author. Sounds real good.

  4. Great to hear from Chloe! This is a fantastic series and I am looking forward do do reading more about the Civil War years in Wisconsin. Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. New author for me. Would love to see a re-enactment some day.

  6. These historical mysteries are so interesting. The civil war reenactment should prove to be good setting for a murder. Thanks for the contest.
    suefrrell.farrell@gmail.com

  7. Barb Bristol Wiesmann

    I always learn something new! <bobwiesmann@gmail.com

  8. This historical sounds fascinating. Thanks.

  9. Somehow I have managed to miss this series. I love historical mysteries, and this reenactment sounds great. Thank you for the chance to win.

  10. elainehroberson

    Sounds interesting. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  11. I have just started reading this author & series. Thanks for the chance to win.

  12. I’m not familiar with this series–can’t believe I’ve missed it. This installment sounds great–I’ll have to go back and start with the first one and work my way up to this.

    • Hi – there is an arc to the series, so although you don’t have to read the books in order, it’s best to start with number one (Old World Murder) if you want to follow the main characters as they grow and change.

  13. I’ve heard such good things about this series. Those who have discovered it seem to really rave and anxiously await the next. It’s definitely in my TBR pile. Maybe I should move it up a notch or two. Thanks for the chance to win. So many great books… So little time! Thanks Dru!

  14. Thanks for the giveaway.

  15. I am fascinated with books that include historical information. It is most appreciative to have had this book and author included on your blog. My to be read list has grown by one.

  16. A Memory of Muskets sounds wonderful, and I would love to find out why Chloe is getting such bad vibes from the cabin. Thanks for sharing a Day in the Life with Chloe with Dru and with us, and for the giveaway!

  17. I have read all the prior Chloe books and can’t wait to get my hands on this one 🙂

  18. I love modern day mysteries that deal with history, especially early American. Can’t wait to try this author!!

  19. Alison Brenna

    John and I are looking forward to another Chloe mystery. This one sounds as awesome as the previous ones.

  20. I just loved this book! I love the mix of history, reenacting and life in general. Petty, oooooo, I was so hoping he had something to do with it!!! There are not many book characters I cannot stand, but he is definitely one of them!!!! Mostly because he goes out of his way to make life a living…well, you know. Cannot wait for the next!

    • Thanks so much, Michelle. You just brightened my day! Petty is the character that everyone loves to hate. :>) Sooner or later he’ll get his due! And–I’m well into the next book.

  21. Sounds good! Thanks for the chance to win this!

  22. Another good one by this author

  23. I really like Civil War reenactments, it’s interesting to see how the Civil War was fought on the battlefield. Would love to read “A Memory of Muskets”, it sounds like a great historical fiction story.

  24. I’m a big museum fan too. Whenever I visit a new place the museums and the bookstores are my first stops. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book.

  25. Sounds like a good one.

  26. Vicki Highley

    My mom is from Wisconsin. This is a series I know she would like, Hopefully, I can win to introduce her to the series, By, the way I want to read this series also and have added it to my TBR list.

    • Hi Vicki – I hope that people who don’t know Wisconsin will enjoy the introduction to special places through the books; and that people like your mom will enjoy reading about familiar terrain!

  27. I can’t wait to read this book. History and mysteries are two of my favorite things. Thank you for the chance to win.

  28. I have read the other books in the series and they are great! Can’t wait for this one!

  29. Pauline Barlow

    I saw several Civil War Reenactments back East. The mid-west point of view of the Great War would be very interesting, I’ve never heard of the series but would like the opportunity to try. Or should I try the series with the first?

    • Hi Pauline – all the books in the series work as standalones, so you won’t have any trouble following along if you want to start with A Memory of Muskets. That said, there is an arc to the series, so if you like to follow character development, you might prefer to start with the first (Old World Murder).

      I grew up on the east coast, with Civil War battlefields all around. It was interested to learn about the Wisconsin experience after moving here. Lots of great stories!

  30. I love all 6 of the previous Chloe books and am looking forward to reading this one soon. It sure would be great to have an autographed copy!

  31. I so need to start this series………..
    thank you for the giveaway…………

  32. Della Williamson

    It is always so exciting to meet a new author and/or series. This one is on a time period really interested in that era. Remember learning how many animals died as casualties. And how some went to great length to hide prized stallions because the armies were confiscating and killing so many. Over a million horses died. It is sad to loose any one or any animal to war. I really feel for Chloe. Bosses like that do a business more harm than good. I really want to see how this all plays out. Reenactments can be fun, or dangerous. Perfect setting for a murder or two. Thank you for the intro to a new author and series. So hope this will be an early start.

    • Thanks for your comments, Della. And you’re right – countless animals suffered and died during the war. In doing research for my first nonfiction book (Too Afraid To Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign) I found some horrific accounts. You’re entered in the giveaway – good luck!

  33. Love this series! Looking forward to many more of Chloe’s adventures.