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Fiddling with Fate

(Chloe Ellefson Mystery #10)

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  42 reviews

Chloe has a devil of a time unraveling the mysteries of Norway's fiddle and dance traditions

After her mother's unexpected death, curator Chloe Ellefson discovers hidden antiques that hint at family secrets. Determined to find answers, Chloe accepts a consultant job in Norway, her ancestors' homeland. She's thrilled with the opportunity to explore Hardanger fiddle and

Kindle Edition, 360 pages
Published September 8th 2019 by Midnight Ink (first published 2019)
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Average rating 4.45  · 
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Jun 14, 2019 rated it liked it
After her mother dies, Chloe and her fiance travel to Norway to try and unearth some mysteries about her family history. There's a lot of interesting information about folk traditions in Norway, but I thought the plot seemed kind of contrived. I had difficulty accepting the idea that someone was harassing and trying (multiple times) to kill a nice young American couple, ending in what ultimately seemed kind of an unbelievable scenario. I did enjoy learning about Norway's Hardanger region and its ...more
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Chloe was dealing with some information she found out about her mother when her mother unexpectedly passed away. While going through her mother’s belongings she finds some unique heirlooms hidden away. These objects raise more questions than providing answers. Her mother was getting ready to travel to Norway to study Hardanger fiddle and dance traditions. With her death, Chloe is given the opportunity to take her place and her fiancé Roelke McKenna agrees to go along.

When Chloe is asked to take her mother's place on a consulting job in Norway, she and Roelke make the trip, hoping to combine the consulting job with more research into Chloe's family history. She finds a family tree full of strong women, traditional dances – and fiddles, which many Norwegians considered "the devil's instrument." There are a lot of family secrets to uncover, but it seems that someone in the present day doesn't want those secrets to come to light.

This is book #10 of this
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series improves with each instalment and this one was no exception.
I appreciated the descriptions of the setting, the cast of characters and the plot which is engrossing and entertaining.
The mystery was good and it kept me guessing.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What do you get when you create a medley of history, culture, and murder?You get the musical mystery novel Fiddling with Fate -a charming cozy set in a small Norwegian village. It will warm your heart, appease your puzzle-solving brain, and make you want to dance a Halling.

What I liked

The exquisite detail used when discussing Norwegian cultural items.The fiddles, embroidery, and doilies are described to the smallest detail.You can see the object in your mind as clearly as if there had been a
It can be difficult to read the latest book in a series when you have not read any of the others. Not so with Fiddling with Fate. Ernst grounds the reader in Stoughton, Wisconsin, where Chloe Ellefson works at a museum dedicated to the Norwegian arts, crafts, music, and heritage that link many of the townspeople. Ernst introduces us to Chloe, her fiance Roelke McKenna, her mother's friend Hilda, and others who will play a role in the story to come.

In the case of Hilda, not only does she play a
Denise Zendel
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While going through her mother’s things in an effort to help her father clear up the estate, Chloe Ellefson, a curator for Old World Wisconsin, finds some unexpected family heirlooms that set her off on a trip to Norway and a life-changing event.

I so love this series. It’s the only one where I’ve willingly paid paperback prices for e-books. The author’s story-telling skill, character development, plotting, dialogue, and scene setting suck me in every time. The fact that the stories are set in
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After Chloe's mother dies, she discovers more unanswered questions about her life. She learns of the money that her mother had been saving to take her to Norway with her and embarks on a journey across to land so close to Marit's heart. She and Roelke learn more about her and themselves in the process; their relationship strengthens and they recognize that in spite of their differences, love prevails. Ernst paints a picture of rolling hills, waterfalls, color and authenticity that lives in the ...more
Beth E
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This is a lovely book.
Jane Kirkpatrick
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This is one of Kathleen’s best —as if they could get any better. Rich images of Wisconsin and Norway and a mystery across the years and miles. Chloe and Roelke come alive by nearly dying. Holy toboggan I love this book!
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-2020
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
joyce w. laudon
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been following Chloe since the first book in this series,, Old World Murder, was published back in 2010. Chloe is an historical interpreter who works on various museum sites such as Old World Wisconsin. In each book, in addition to a good mystery, the reader learns about Wisconsin's settlers and immigrants. Often the history has to do with Norway, as is the case in Fiddling with Fate.

In this entry in the excellent series, the history is personal. No spoilers from early books so I will
Coralee Hicks
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense, historical
A mystery series needs a good hook. Kathleen Ernst found one when she created the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries. Ernst combines her knowledge as an educator, social activist, and historian to create a series character who is thoroughly grounded in the life of a collections curator living in the Midwest in the 1980's.

The book opens with the memorial service for her mother, a staunch lover of all thing Norwegian. The tribute includes a haunting melody played on a Hardanger fiddle. This instrument,
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is the 10th installment in a stellar series and does not disappoint! Chloe and Roelke embark on a trip to Norway following the sudden death of Chloe’s mother. This book continues Chloe’s desire to know more about her heritage and her mother’s possible adoption that was first introduced in The Lace Maker’s Secret and advances the development of the couple’s relationship as they become a crime-solving duo. As with each of the books in the series, the modern-day mystery is accompanied by ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After reading this, the tenth of the series, I want to take a trip to Norway. Past and present come together when Chloe and her fiance, Roelke, travel to Norway after her mother dies. Her mother was going to go to Norway to study the history of the Hardanger fiddle and to find out about her own past. Chloe takes her place and things become dangerous as soon as they arrive - somebody tries to steal her backpack. What could possibly be that important? When there are secrets, both past and present ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and Midnight Ink.
Fiddling with Fate is my favorite Chloe Ellefson Mystery yet! The story was super engaging, the mystery was extremely well written, and Chloe and Roelke's relationship grew in amazing ways.
The book starts on a sad note with Chloe and Roelke at Chloe's mom's funeral. At the funeral, Chloe was presented with an opportunity to go to Norway to complete work that her mother had earned a grant for. Through a bequest from her mom, both
Kathleen Gray
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I confess up front that I'm a fan of this series which features Chloe, a curator and her law enforcement love interest Roelke, because I always learn something. If you haven't read it, don't worry- you'll be fine and rewarded with a new author to look for. This time out Chloe is mourning the death of her mother and decides to take a quick job in Norway. Told in sort of dual time line, this is as much about the Hardanger region, its history and traditions, as it is about Chloe and Roelke. In ...more
Claudia Cheyne
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chloe's mother died unexpectedly from a heart attack. Marit was scheduled to travel to a folk museum in Norway on a study grant. Chloe is able to go instead and Roelke can make the trip with her thanks to money Marit had been saving to take Chloe along. She had not even been aware of the plans until her father handed her the envelope full of cash.
I think this might be the best book in this great series. As soon as the two weary travelers arrive in the Bergen airport they are the victims of a
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: we geek history, live in Wisconsin, still have family in Norway, have some pieces of Hardanger and Rosemaling, and love fiddle music (think Greig).
At her mother's funeral Chloe is given some information and resources to go back to Norway to fulfill a directive from her mother. Once in Norway Chloe and her beloved become involved in episodes of murder, attempted murder, theft, and some rather frightening psychic episodes in addition to enjoying the beautiful land of the Norse. Of
Jane Irish Nelson
This is my favorite in this series — perhaps because of the genealogical content, since I am an amateur genealogist. There are two timelines involved: the more contemporary one, set in 1984, which tells the story Chloe's research into both the fiddling tradition of the Hardanger region of Norwary, and also into her own family history. Little does she suspect the danger she may be facing. Other chapters introduce readers to Chloe's strong female ancestors, beginning with her ...more
Janilyn Kocher
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fiddling with Fate is a rather melancholy. It opens with Chloe's mother's death. She and Roelke travel to Norway to study the culture, but Chloe is determined to investigate her mother's adoption. The story shares the history of the matrilineal line of Chloe's ancestry, which is well written. Chloe and Roelke find plenty of trouble with a murder, two trips to the hospital, and stolen heirlooms. Ultimately, they decide to take their relationship to the next level. This is a comfortable series to ...more
Cynthia Moore
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book begins with Chloe attending her mother;s funeral. Afterward, she finds some interesting articles in her mother's things. When she is providently given the opportunity to go to Norway for work, she decides to do some research about those articles of embroidery that she found. They lead to some secrets about her mother's origin that was unknown. Along the way, someone tries to interfere with what Chloe is doing. I found it a vivid story, with interesting facts thrown in about Norway and ...more
Merrill Medansky
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
The tenth volume in the Chloe Ellefson mystery series is set in Norway, where Chloe's official assignment involves tracing the roots of traditional Norwegian folk songs and instruments (fiddles). Unofficially, she is also searching for the biological roots of her mother whom, in the previous book, she discovered was adopted. As her mother died unexpectedly, Chloe must rely on her historic research skills to tie loose ends together.
This is a wonderful series, well written and full of descriptive
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another solid entry in the Chloe Ellefson mystery series. Once again, Ernst knows how to weave a tale, two tales, really. I always enjoy the history lessons that are woven through the story. My only complaint is that the use of Norweigan words is so frequent, it would be good to have an index at the back. Ernst explains what the words mean at the beginning of the story, but she uses so many of them and so often, I get confused and halfway through the book I'm guessing at what she's talking ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chloe's mother passes away unexpectedly leaving her with an unsolved riddle. After her the funeral, she finds a box of treasures hidden in her mom's closest. It leads her on a search to find her roots and solve the mystery of her mom's adoption. Her journey leads her from her home in Norwegian Wisconsin to Norway. Of course, when your path is littered with theft, assault, and murder, it's helpful to have a police detective by your side. Can Cloe and Roelke find the solution before one or the ...more
Debi Emerson
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I fell in love with Chloe Ellefson in Kathleen Ernst's very first book. One of the best things about this series, in addition to enjoying a well written and excellently plotted mystery, is that I always learn a lot about very interesting and very varied subjects. Because of "Heritage of Darkness", I was inspired to learn more about my own Norwegian roots. In this book, I got to travel with Chloe to Norway, to the very region from which my own great-grandparents came. It was a wonderful trip and ...more
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Saddened by her mother's untimely death and fully aware of the less-than-close relationship she had with her, Chloe Ellfeson is determined to learn about her mother's adoption and her true heritage. In Fiddling With Fate by Kathleen Ernst Chloe discovers some antique embroidery pieces hidden in her mother's closet. This leads her to Norway to discover the meaning behind the embroidery and find her mother's roots. An excellent addition to this wonderful series.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it

After the unexpected death of her mother, Chloe finds herself traveling to Norway trying to trace her family history. But someone does not want her to succeed and is willing to do anything to stop her.
Love this series, especially because of how the author combines two stories into one, both the United States-especially Wisconsin, and the lives of people and their culture who immigrated to America, all combined into a murder mystery series that also acknowledges the personal side of a story.
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fiddling with Fate, in my opinion, is the best book in the series by Kathleen Ernst so far. It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the novel. The generations of women described in the novel truly come to life as they all try to provide a better life for their children. A wonderful read from start to finish!
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was a fun read. I wanted to find out more about hardanger fiddle traditions and I think I did. It was well structured; could have done with an editor for the cliche and Americanisms (bollix! As a verb!); I guess it is an American mystery series so I wasn’t expecting literary writing. I like the way it was constructed around actual material objects from a museum.
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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

Other books in the series

Chloe Ellefson Mystery (10 books)
  • Old World Murder (Chloe Ellefson Mystery #1)
  • The Heirloom Murders (Chloe Ellefson Mystery #2)
  • The Light Keeper's Legacy (Chloe Ellefson Mystery #3)
  • Heritage of Darkness (Chloe Ellefson Mystery #4)
  • Tradition of Deceit (Chloe Ellefson Mystery #5)
  • Death on the Prairie (Chloe Ellefson Mystery, #6)
  • A Memory of Muskets (Chloe Ellefson Mystery #7)
  • Mining for Justice (Chloe Ellefson Mystery #8)
  • The Lacemaker's Secret (Chloe Ellefson Mystery #9)