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Old World Murder (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery) (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Kathleen Ernst

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877138,736 (3.4)17
Member:pdgarrett48
Title:Old World Murder (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Authors:Kathleen Ernst
Info:MIDNIGHT INK (2010), Edition: Original, Paperback, 325 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Old World Murder by Kathleen Ernst (2010)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
On her first day at her new job in a historical reenactment museum, Chloe Ellefson meets an older woman looking for an artifact donated nearly 25 years earlier. When the older woman dies in a car accident immediately after the encounter, Chloe finds herself looking into the artifact more closely. The basic premise of the book was enjoyable, but parts of it could have used more editing. ( )
  4leschats | Jul 10, 2013 |
I picked this book up because I work closely with a museum, and I was intrigued to see a fictional portrayal of life inside a small museum, complete with murder and mayhem. In this way, at least, I was not disappointed. Unlike the colorful thrillers of folks like Preston and Child (ala The Relic, Cabinet of Curiosities, etc.) this was much more museum and much less thriller. The setting felt eerily familiar, as did the relationships between characters. Unfortunately, I had an extremely difficult time sympathizing with the main character. While her boss was made out to be a politically-minded bully with whom I certainly would not have gotten along in the real world myself, I wanted to take his side when Chloe decided to completely disregard her job assignments in favor of chasing what was only a mildly-intriguing mystery, at best. In the same way, I was completely on the side of the police officer/love interest who got pissed at her for chasing bad guys around.

On the other hand, I recognize all these symptoms from trying to write my own novels. I suspect the author or wanting to take a truly real-world situation and inject some excitement into it by adding mystery, by justifying her characters' actions with real-world issues like self-destructive depression. As I've mentioned so many times before, I prefer my fiction on the less-well grounded side. I'll take whimsey over caution any day.

The resolution to the mystery, at least, was satisfying enough, and the prose well-written. A quick, easy read. ( )
  Snukes | Jun 14, 2013 |
This book was heavier on the history than most mysteries I've read, and I enjoyed the changed of pace a lot. The mystery part almost took a background to the historical aspects, but it worked, especially for this first in the series. ( )
  dukefan86 | May 29, 2013 |
Another freebie for the Kindle app I had my doubts that I'd actually finish this one. It wasn't that the story wasn't interesting or the setting, but Chloe was such a shrewish little flake that I could barely stand her. I understand and empathize with the challenge to make a character interesting and not a sickly-sweet, Mary-Sue, but damn if Ms. Ernst didn't go whole-hog the other way and make Chloe almost too grating to be around. But I stuck with it because the other character, Officer Roelke McKenna was kind of worth reading about and I wanted to see if he could settle her ass down despite her thinking she was so much more worldly.

That and why the hell would anyone steal an old ale bowl no matter how nice its decorative qualities. It just seemed so strange that I wanted to know. Because Chloe isn't a detective or anything even close, the investigation, such at it was, isn't exactly organized or straightforward. She blunders into a lot of things and of course a lot of strange shit happens because of her proximity to the real mystery. This isn't a straight up clue and consequence type book though and the haphazard style fit the way Chloe barges through the world.

I don't think I'll be reading any more of these, but it was enjoyable to see Chloe kind of straighten out her life, let go of her crush on her gay friend (out in 1982? hm....?), save her job, find the ale bowl and maybe succumb to Roelke's charms. ( )
  Bookmarque | Mar 3, 2013 |
In Old World Murder, Kathleen Ernst depicts the usually-humdrum work of a museum curator and a policeman as they repeatedly encounter one another under unusual circumstances. Each carries emotional baggage and is confronted by professional problems. Each works for an institution that is underfunded and understaffed. Chloe Ellefson in addition faces professional antagonism (male) superiors Having worked in a similar position, I must say that Ernst depicts it perfectly.

Most of the novel is a mystery about a particular artifact that has vanished from the collection. Ellefson is stubbornly determined to find it and a series of out-of-the-usual events occur, raising the tension in the novel and between her and the police officer who becomes determined to keep her from danger. Questions of race and prejudice (not entirely racial) are dealt with, without preaching but significantly.

The climax is unexpectedly dramatic and is followed by a satisfying tying up of all the threads. The unexpected and sudden finale will set the reader to wondering what comes next in the characters' lives. This is a most satisfying read. ( )
1 vote pdgarrett48 | Nov 9, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0738720879, Paperback)

Trying to leave painful memories behind her, Chloe Ellefson is making a fresh start. She's the new collections curator at Old World Wisconsin, an outdoor ethnic museum showcasing 1870s settlement life. On her first day, Chloe meets with an elderly woman who begs her to find a priceless eighteenth-century Norwegian ale bowl that had been donated to the museum years ago. But before Chloe can find the heirloom and return it to her, the woman dies in a suspicious car crash.

Digging up the history and whereabouts of the rare artifact quickly turns dangerous. Chloe discovers that someone is desperately trying to cover up all traces of the bowl's existence—by any means necessary. Assisting Chloe is police officer Roelke McKenna, whose own haunting past compels him to protect her. To catch the covetous killer, Chloe must solve a decades-old puzzle . . . before she becomes a part of history herself.

Praise:

"Character-driven with mystery aplenty, Old World Murder is a sensational read."—Julia Spencer-Fleming, Anthony and Agatha Award-winning author of I Shall Not Want

"In curator Chloe Ellefson, Ernst has created a captivating character with humor, grit, and a tangled history of her own that needs unraveling. Enchanting!"—Sandi Ault, author of the WILD Mystery series and recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark Award 

 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:47 -0400)

Chloe Ellefson is making a fresh start in Wisconsin as collections curator at Old World Wisconsin, an outdoor ethnic museum showcasing 19th century settlement life. On her first day, an elderly woman begs her to find a Norwegian ale bowl that had been earlier donated to the museum. However, before Chloe can find the heirloom to return it to her, the elderly woman dies in a suspicious car crash. She soon discovers that digging up the history and location of the bowl is dangerous: someone is desperately trying to cover up the bowl's existence, by any means necessary.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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