Old World Murder (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery #1)
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Old World Murder (Chloe Ellefson Mystery #1)

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  470 ratings  ·  121 reviews
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...more
Paperback, 325 pages
Published October 8th 2010 by Midnight Ink (first published October 1st 2010)
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THIS is the kind of traditional mystery I love, which is so hard to find nowadays. Strong characters all down the line -- clearly drawn, believable, and people you care about. Even minor characters have a 3-D mix of attitudes and behavior that make them feel real. A steadily snowballing plot which interlaces plenty of puzzles -- some I figured out before the answers were revealed, the main one got by me completely. A wonderful sense of place -- small-town Wisconsin -- and a great behind-the-scen...more
donna recommended it

nice read, strong main characters, excitement elevates to an unexpected ending, a touch of budding romance
I just decided to "throw this in my cart" at the library, as I thought it might turn out to be good. As it turns out, I did enjoy this, overall.

I did have some problems, with the heroine, Chloe Ellefson, spending so much time away from her official duties at her new job as curator at a historic site in Wisconsin, especially after a troubled past, while she pursues the mystery of a missing Norwegian ale bowl. I guess my problem deals with my past as a goody two shoes - always following the rules...more
I should start off by saying that I won this book through Goodreads. There were times at the beginning where I would have set it aside if I hadn't felt like I needed to finish it in order to give a review, which would have been a shame, because I definitely ended up enjoying it.

The book begins by introducing the reader to Old World Wisconsin, as Chloe herself begins her first day on the job. I know next to nothing about Wisconsin, new or old, or about living history sites, but I had no trouble f...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This is a debut novel in what I hope will be a long-lived series. Our sleuth, Chloe Ellefson, has just taken a new job as a Collections Curator for a living museum, "Old World Wisconsin." Now this museum is real and can be accessed on the computer which added a surprising dimension to the book. The story/characters are fiction but several settings are real.

The setting is unique and these were historical/genealogical situations that I had never thought about in my Celtic/American upbringing. I le...more
I enjoyed this, but the author didn't pay much attention to its supposed time period. I suppose she sets it in 1982 because that's when she herself worked at the historic site featured in the book, but hell, couldn't she either have pretended that the site was just the same today or spent more time reinforcing the 1982-ness? A character cooking portobello mushrooms totally seemed anachronistic to me (dictionary says first known occurrence of the word is 1986--aha!), and I had to keep forcibly re...more
Chloe Ellefson hasw just started her job as a curator at Old World Wisconsin, a state historical site comprising about fifty restored buildings. This is her ticket away from the heartbreak and depression that have marked her recent years. But on her first, overwhelmed day, she must turn away an elderly lady who seeks her help, only to find her dead in an automobile crash shortly afterward. The still-fragile Chloe meets a young police officer, who has his own history. He gradually becomes involve...more
How could I resist this book with a title like "Old World Murder" I am a Wisconsin girl who has spent some interesting hours at the Old World Wisconsin site. I enjoyed reading about the area that I am so familiar with, however, I did not, as a whole, really love this book.
The main character drove me insane! She did incredibly stupid things and I kept thinking, "Wow, with all her supposed education, she's still so clueless!"
Also, is it too difficult for a writer to give us a good mystery without...more
I had read about this book in the newspaper and it sounded good, I especially liked that it was set in Wisconsin. I put the book on hold at the library and surprisingly got it shortly after visiting Old World Wisconsin. I really enjoyed the book and it was even better that I was able to visualize the story in the Old World setting. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series and hope there are many more!
Wonderful book! As a museum worker myself it is fun to see the backstage of others doing a job like mine. I couldn't put it down and can't eating until I can find the next in the series.
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...more
Jan 24, 2011 Katrina rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Adult Mystery Fans
Recommended to Katrina by: 2010 Literacy Awards Committee
Shelves: adult, mystery
You had me from page one. A really compelling story that kept the pages turning. The plot and setting is incredibly original (a curator of Old World Wisconsin!) I like Chloe's character and the subtle mystery of her past. She is funny, flawed, and makes you root for her the whole way. Officer McKenna is also a well written character, though he didn't help solve the mystery too much and his over-protection of Chloe started to get on my nerves. Luckily Chloe's extreme feminism helped to balance th...more
While the general story in this book was very well thought out and executed, I found the main character, Chloe Ellefson, totally unlikeable. As a general rule I don't like reading about characters with heavy depression problems. I've dealt with enough in my own life, first as a kid growing up with a mother who suffered from it terribly in a time when you just didn't talk about those things or see a psychiatrist and then developing the problem myself as a teenager. I felt the subject could have b...more
If I hadn't been working backwards in the Chloe Ellefson series, and if I hadn't been intrigued (having read the third book in the series a few weeks ago) by author Kathleen Ernst's connecting historical research to a fictional mystery in the present, I might have stopped reading this first book a few chapters in. Too much talk of Chloe's lost love and five years of her life in Switzerland, too many self pitying, late night phone calls to her college friend, Ethan, too many times that she risked...more
Former museum curator Kathleen Ernst has created a series protagonist with the same job in the same institution. Old World Murder opens with Chloe Elefson's first day on the job at Old World Wisconsin, a village style ethnic museum. Chloe is struggling to reestablish her career after a traumatic relationship breakup that left her in the grips of clinical depression, and she's determined to make this work. Much to her dismay, she gets off to a very shaky start, when an appointment with a former...more
Paul Garrett
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 myst...more
This was a freebie for Kindle and it sounded good.

Although the main character, Chloe, was a bit of a stereotyped feminist seemingly without much depth, apparently this is the first in a series so hopefully, she'll become a more well rounded character as the series progresses.

The ending was a bit.... well, not very good in my opinion but I guess the author had to leave it like that so we would read the next book in the series which I probably will do.

I liked learning about Old World Wisconsin (th...more
Nov 12, 2010 Julia rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Shana
I thoroughly enjoyed this engrossing and well-written mystery. Chloe Ellefson returns home to Wisconsin and a position at Old World Wisconsin, a living history museum highlighting the area's past. An eldery woman, Mrs. Lundquist, is one of Chloe's first meetings as the new collections curator. She is looking to retreive an old family piece, a rosemaled ale bowl that she gave to the historical society years earlier. Chloe is new and faced with piles of items in storage, so she puts off Mrs. Lundq...more
I read the fourth book in this series first (a lucky find at the library), then started from the beginning. Because of that, I think I had way more patience for the main character. Other than some frustrations with the characters (remedied a bit by the last sentence!) I think the book is a solid mystery, and an easy, quick, good read. I appreciate the Scandinavian history and culture which is mixed in just right. I'll definitely be passing it along to my friends.
I won this on goodreads. It came in the mail as a signed copy and with a nice note from the author. I was pleasantly surprised to receive these nice touches on top of winning the book.

I really enjoyed this book. It is set in the late 70's at a historic site called Old World Wisconsin. The settings brought uniqueness to the story with more engaging crime solving means than mysteries set in the present. It also added an element of coziness to the story. I was charmed by the story itself and the ma...more
This book gets three stars because I love the setting in our wonderful Wisconsin historical site, Old World Wisconsin. Otherwise, I'm afraid it might have been more a two star review. The protagonist, Chloe, in her first week in a new job with a lot to prove to herself and others, is incredibly derelict in her duties and really deserves to be fired. The mystery is not terribly interesting, making the climax overly dramatic. As others have said, Chloe is not very likeable and her insistence on pu...more
Carol Surges
As a former curator at Old World Wisconsin, a living history museum, and a long time native of the state, Kathleen Ernst writes from what she knows. The details of the story ring true: the roads all connect where they should, the restaurants are still serving up their beer and fish fries and the details on Norwegian culture and artifacts come from her personal experience. Wisconsin readers will feel right at home. Any violence, and there is some, is mostly off-page although a great scene in a p...more
The setting for this book, Old World Wisconsin, is one of my favorite places to get lost in Wisconsin history which made this book so easy to get lost in. It's not often that I get so caught up in a book that I push aside everything to just sit a read -- I was glued to the pages of this one. Having a first-hand knowledge of OWW, Ernst walks you through the magic of this place through her great narration. You're there, right in the buildings and strolling the grounds; you're wearing the interpret...more
This was your typical mystery filled with characters you think might be "the one" only to discover it's the person you least expect. So from that perspective it was good, but not great. I did like the characters. Roelke is a good man at heart, protective of the women he cares about. Chloe, Libby, and Nika are all strong women struggling to overcome past hurts. They all come through stronger in the end. Most of the supporting characters are strong, and help these women on their journeys.

This is t...more
I'm missing this book now that I'm done. It reminded me a little bit of the Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn series in terms of theme and pace. Although the setting and culture are very different from Hillerman's, they take center stage, and I learned something about Wisconsin and its history without feeling like I was bashed over the head with the author's research. The pace was gentle, allowing me time to absorb the story, yet there was plenty of story to keep the pages turning. The characters were well...more
This book had some very interesting information about how historic sires are run, and how old pieces are stored, catalogued, and donated for preservation and display. Unfortunately for me, I found the characters unappealing. A bit whiny and negative . Stubbornness can be good if you're determined to accomplish something, but continued stubbornness in needlessly dangerous situations just seeped stupid in this story. Perhaps a better, more through, background story about our main character in her...more
Katie Mead
Don’t be put off by the cover of this book with the image of ax dripping blood. In fact, Kathleen Ernst has chosen a much more clever and unique focus—a Norwegian ale bowl—for her mystery, Old World Murder. With rich historical detail, Ernst brings alive the world of a collections curator at a living history site. Chloe Ellefson, a strong, independent woman (as are all the women in this book!), is battling a painful past, while trying to create a new life for herself. Having recently been hired...more
I was really impressed with this. I saw the solution coming (most of it, anyway), but I was still satisfied with the overall story, which usually wouldn't be the case. There were a few odd points with the story (view spoiler), and the story continues for a little too l...more
Lindsay IL

Holy hell, I was actually so in love with this book. I thought it moved at a good pace (except for the first fifty or so pages), the ending didn't wrap up too quickly or too easily, and I liked the tension in the "romance" as well as the flaws in the characters.

All that being said, I read this being unawares that there were two more books in the series and there was potential for an open ending. I was SO ready for a calm, happy ending but NO. I read the synopsis fo...more
A fairly traditional mystery, Old World Murder takes place mostly at an outdoor museum focused on ethnic groups in Wisconsin, following the lives of a newly hired curator. If you can set aside the notion that she spends extremely little time doing her actual brand new job to follow up on an unfortunate accident, the story is a good one, and for me, I found it educational and interesting, showing some of the "behind the scenes" type of issues that museum curators deal with, as well as learning ab...more
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I grew up in Maryland, in a house full of books! Both of my parents were avid readers, thank goodness. Before we traveled to a new area, my librarian-mom used to bring home historical novels set in that place. It was a great way to get excited about history.

I began writing stories when I was maybe 10 or 11. At 15 I wrote my first novel; I sold my first novel to a publisher 20 years later! Writing...more
More about Kathleen Ernst...
Danger at the Zoo: A Kit Mystery (American Girl Mysteries (Quality)) Meet Caroline (American Girls: Caroline, #1) Trouble at Fort Lapointe (American Girl History Mysteries, #7) Caroline's Secret Message (American Girls: Caroline, #2) Secrets in the Hills: A Josefina Mystery (American Girl Mysteries)

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