Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Old World Murder

I love a book where I can be entertained and also learn something I didn't know. Old World Murder didn't disappoint. Set in the reconstructed historic village of Old World Wisconsin, amid pioneer living history characters and less than perfect administrators, Chloe Ellefson returns to her Scandinavian roots and begins a new job as museum curator. 
On her first day an elderly woman came to see her wanting desperately to retrieve a Norwegian rosemaled (rose painting)  bowl that she had given the museum several years ago. When the woman dies under mysterious circumstances Chloe becomes intrigued by her request and begins an investigation that not only puts her in danger but other characters within the story.

Set in the rich backdrop of Scandinavian and German immigrant history the book moves rapidly through to a conclusion that leaves you wanting more. It is a book about history, mysterious deaths, prejudice and rebuilding a personal life. 
I have only two concerns with this first adult novel by Kathleen Ernst. Number one is the title, I felt it to be a little misleading but won't tell you why because I don't do 'spoilers'. The second; I know the main character, Chloe, has come through an emotional struggle but I felt she relied a little too heavily on the consumption of alcohol. Seems she always has a drink in her hand. Perhaps, Ms. Ernst has a reason for this since this is obviously a series?
At any rate it's a good read and now I know about a place I want to visit if ever in Wisconsin - and I know about the wonderful art of rosemaling. Well done, Kathleen.

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