Thursday, October 5, 2017


Mining for Justice (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery) by Kathleen Ernst

Mining for Justice (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 8th in Series
Midnight Ink (October 8, 2017)
Paperback: 384 pages ISBN-13: 978-0738753348

Chloe Ellefson is excited to be learning about Wisconsin's Cornish immigrants and mining history while on temporary assignment at Pendarvis, a historic site in charming Mineral Point. But when her boyfriend, police officer Roelke McKenna, discovers long-buried human remains in the root cellar of an old Cornish cottage, Chloe reluctantly agrees to mine the historical record for answers.
She soon finds herself in the center of a heated and deadly controversy that threatens to close Pendarvis. While struggling to help the historic site, Chloe must unearth dark secrets, past and present . . . before a killer comes to bury her.

Mining For Justice:  A Chloe Ellefson Mystery
By Kathleen Ernst

Chloe Ellefson, Reluctant Sleuth
Let’s get one thing straight right up front:  I’m no Miss Marple, always on the lookout for suspicious behavior. I work as curator of collections at a large living history site called Old World Wisconsin. I’m happiest when I’m on the hunt of a rare artifact, or digging into obscure records in hopes of finding some hidden clue to the lives of people who died long ago.
My boyfriend, Roelke McKenna, is a cop. He’s very good at his job. I’m happy to leave all police work to him.
Unfortunately, I’ve run into more than my share of dead bodies.
Case in point: I’m currently “on loan” to Pendarvis Historic Site in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.  Many Cornish miners and their families settled here in the 1830s to dig lead. A handful of their early stone cottages have been restored at Pendarvis, and I’m eager to learn more about those early immigrants.
A friend of mine, Adam Bolitho, owns another old Cornish cottage very close to Pendarvis. Roelke and I arrived in Mineral Point a day early so we could help Adam with some restoration work. And what do we find? Human remains, buried in the root cellar.
Next thing I know Adam’s grandmother, who used to live in the cottage, is begging me to help discover what happened to that poor soul. The burial obviously happened a long time ago. The cops don’t have resources to dig into such a cold case. How can I say no to a sweet elderly lady?
Besides, I do have some experience. Not too long ago, I was asked to help a detective investigate the death of an unidentified Civil War reenactor. He was dubious about my involvement, but after I analyzed the reenactor’s belongings, the detective said, “Anyone would think you’re an experienced profiler.”
The thing is, it’s what I do every day. Artifacts are clues to the people who left them behind. When I do historical research I may begin with only the tiniest scrap of information. I have to sleuth out a sense of the person who made or used the item, and how they felt about it.
Another thing I’ve learned the hard way? Past events can reach through time and causing problems today. When that happens, the best cops and detectives out there need help and information from curators and historians. Like me.
So I have a feeling that what I expected to be a pleasurable stay in Mineral Point, learning about Cornish immigrants, is about to get a lot more complicated. And while I may be a reluctant sleuth, I’ll do whatever I can to find the truth.

Kathleen Ernst never disappoints. This is another excellent combination of mystery, murder, suspense and history. The adventure begins close to the beginning of the book with old bones being discovered during a cabin remodel. At the same time, one of the regular characters is being stalked by her ex-husband and there is scandal, gossip and intense emotions in the town our heroine Chloe is visiting for work. This is not turning out to be the welcome break and change she was hoping for.
Inserted into the story are glimpses of real life for the Cornish miners, with the story of a strong, young woman named Mary who is determined not to be a mine girl all her life. 
Multiple strong storylines running parrallell and concurrently. How will they finally merge together? Have no fear as this author weaves a masterful tale. She never drops the ball.
Being in Wisconsin I am naturally drawn to the series but anyone who appreciates history and a well writen mystery will not want to miss Kathleen's books.

About The Author
Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest. Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers. Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations. Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.

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About the author
Kathleen Ernst is a former museum curator who remains passionate about history! In addition to the Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites series, she has written many books for American Girl, including nine about the historical character she created, Caroline Abbott. The Chloe series has earned a LOVEY Award for Best Traditional Mystery, and several of her mysteries for young readers have been finalists for Edgar or Agatha awards.



  1. I like the addition of history with a murder mystery.

  2. Glad you enjoy, Jana! I have fun weaving the history and mystery together.

  3. Thanks so much for hosting me! I'm excited about Mining For Justice, and appreciate your hospitality.

  4. Hello Kathleen,
    I found your link on the Magna cum Murder page. This will be my first time attending, and I'm browsing to get acquainted in advance. (Actually, you know I'm procrastinating when I should be writing.) Very impressed with your site - you have so much going on! I'm looking forward to meeting you in person in a few weeks.

  5. It was fun to hear how Chloe describes who she is and what she does. She is one of my favorite fictional characters.


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