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Old World Murder

(Chloe Ellefson Mystery #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  1,477 ratings  ·  272 reviews

Hoping to leave behind her heartbreaking past, Chloe Ellefson makes a fresh start as the new collections curator at Old World Wisconsin. This outdoor ethnic museum charms visitors with authentic historical artifacts and costumed employees who churn butter, make shoes, and reenact 1870s settlement life. But Chloe's first day on the job only brings misfortune when an elderly

Kindle Edition, 325 pages
Published (first published October 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  1,477 ratings  ·  272 reviews

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Oct 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 16, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery, audio
I love Old World Wisconsin. In high school, my friends and I would visit and wander around speaking in bad British accents. Sometimes we would stop and chat with the cute blacksmith. Sometimes we would spy on wedding parties. We were the height of cool.

I also really like the town of Eagle, a blip of a spot I spent a considerable amount of time in after I graduated college. So you would think a book set at Old World Wisconsin and Eagle with references to Madison where I spent the last three years
Honestly I thought this book would have a totally different vibe from the blurb and the person who ravingly recommended it to me. I didn't like Chloe, I didn't like the victim, and I didn't like the constant bleep-worthy language. On top of that, the narrator on my library book had a problem with pronunciations, which was exasperated when she attempted to assign accents to people who shouldn't even have accents to begin with.

I have a much later novel in the series for review, so I'll try that on
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
I'll be honest. For a challenge reader, that author's initials and title isn't something that can be abandoned. On top of that, this book is set in Wisconsin, and very few books I've read are set in that state. So, it's not as if I expected a whole lot. Even so, this was only okay. I suspect it has more to do with my audiobook reader, Elise Arsenault, whom I've taken a dislike to. There's something in the way she pronounces certain words like 'suggests' bothered me a little too much.

I've read t
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chloe works at Old World Wisconsin--an outdoor museum filled with mid 19th century buildings and artifacts of mainly Scandinavian origin. She is a curator who is struggling with her demons. A desperate old woman asks for help to find an historic ale bowl that appears to be missing. Shortly afterwards, she dies.

Roelke (RAA-kuh) is the first cop on the scene. He's attracted to Chloe. Chloe finds Roelke interesting in between trying to find the missing bowl, keeping from getting fired and staying
Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
Oct 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
donna recommended it

nice read, strong main characters, excitement elevates to an unexpected ending, a touch of budding romance
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This book was so fun! You’ll especially like this one if you love history!
Oct 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010, mystery
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
Nov 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
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
This was a good, steady paced mystery. Its characters were realistic and kept the story going. Chloe the curator is definitely not your typical cozy protagonist. So, despite me disliking her personality, it was refreshing to actually have a character with flaws. A good read for the State Challenge for Wisconsin.
Mark Baker
Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2011
The story was fine, but I found the almost all the characters hard to like.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
I really enjoyed this first in a series that features a woman who works as a curator in an outdoor historic site. The characters are very likeable, both strong and fragile, and the story kept me engaged. I look forward to the next in this series.
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. ...more
Kathleen Schilling
A really enjoyable mystery set in Wisconsin. Looking forward to book 2 of the series
Sally Beckstrom
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice story. Some twists that I did not anticipate.
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved that the book was set so close to home and in a place I have visited before.
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it and love reading about places I’ve been to.
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5* Wonderful debut of the Chloe Ellefson adult mysteries set in and around Old World Wisconsin. There were no weaknesses that I could see. The characters, setting, plotting and end of chapter hooks were terrific; as were the police procedures and amateur detecting. Humor and complication hiccups were dolloped throughout. Already reading the second in the series.
Diana Maculan
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Discovered this wonderful series and I am very happy that I did. Chloe is the new collections curator at Old World Wisconsin. Within days of starting her new job, she becomes entangled in the mystery surrounding the death of an old woman who visited her, wanting back a family heirloom she donated to the society. She dies in a car crash within minutes of leaving from meeting with Chloe. A coincidence? Chloe doesn't think so, and that is were the mystery begins. Interesting characters, setting, an ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this. The mystery was engaging, the characters were intriguing and I liked the Wisconsin setting.
Linda Smatzny
This series features Chloe Ellefson as the main character. She has just returned to her home state of Wisconsin to work at an outdoor ethnic museum. She has a terrible first day and things don't improve for awhile. Love learning all the things about the various cultures. The book was a quick easy read. ...more
I think my anticipation for a murder mystery in my home state set up for a let down. The characters and mystery development fell flat for me. Chloe seemed to be a clueless, neurotic most of the time and only half way in do you realize why.

The love/hate relationship with the local police officer seemed flat and somewhat forced at times. And at time it seems a lot of attention was given to his backstory rather than developing our main character and the story line.

The mystery did not develop until
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
Jan 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chloe Ellefson has landed a plume curatorial job at Old World Wisconsin. She has a rough start with a missing object, an accident, an upstart intern, a cranky boss and romance in the air.

The mystery of the bowl did not resolve as I would have anticipated, so that was a pleasant surprise. As a museum employee myself, I enjoyed the setting of a historic site in the 1980s, the research and the strong push for the interpretation of story above object!

Chloe's emotional journey and relationship with
Dec 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This is one of the better mysteries I read this year. Chloe begins her first day at work and everything goes wrong, including the death of the first visitor she meets in her capacity as curator at the living history site, Old World in Wisconsin. Carefully researched and with much of the author's personal experience, this book centers around a believeable mystery and character development.

This is the first of a series with a cliffhanger at the end. I'm excited for the next to come out. Kathleen
Oct 05, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cozy
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Play Book Tag: Old World Murder/Kathleen Ernst/4 stars 3 17 Mar 04, 2017 02:28PM  

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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)
  • 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)
  • Fiddling with Fate (Chloe Ellefson Mystery #10)

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