OLD WORLD MURDER
CHLOE ELLEFSON MYSTERY #1
Midnight Ink Books
"Clever plot twists and credible characters make this a far from humdrum cozy."
— Publishers Weekly
Ranked in the Top 1% of US Sales
out of 8 Million Printed Books
for a Running Total of 155 Days
— Nielsen BookScan
"The engaging story of a woman devastated by a failed romantic relationship whose sleuthing helps her heal."
This is the first novel in Kathleen's award-winning Chloe Ellefon Historic Sites mystery series. The story is set in May 1982 at the Old World Wisconsin outdoor history museum and in the nearby Village of Eagle.
The Chloe series is written for adults and mature teens who enjoy traditional mysteries (i.e., without explicit sex, violence, or gore).
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 1800s 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 before Chloe can find the heirloom and return it to her, the woman dies in a suspicious car crash.
Digging up the history and whereabouts of the rare artifact quickly turns dangerous. Chloe discovers someone is desperately trying to cover up all traces of the bowl's existence—by any means necessary. Assisting Chloe is officer Roelke McKenna, whose own haunting past compels him to protect her. To catch a covetous killer, Chloe must solve a decades-old puzzle, before she becomes history herself.
This book is available as a 325-page trade paperback, and in electronic versions for the Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Sony, and other e-book readers.
What Others Are Saying
Anthony and Agatha Award-winning Author
Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries
"Character-driven, with mystery aplenty, Old World Murder is a sensational read. Think Sue Grafton meets Earlene Fowler, with a dash of Elizabeth Peters."
Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning Author
The WILD Mysteries
"In curator Chloe Ellefson, Ernst has created a captivating character with humor, grit, and a tangled history of her own that needs unraveling. Enchanting!"
Rosebud Book Reviews
"A Museum Masterpiece. The setting, characters and Midwest values are as authentic as could be... The final sentence will send you looking for the next book in this series. Guaranteed!"
About The Author
Bestselling author Kathleen Ernst writes award-winning mysteries and historical fiction for adults and young readers. Her work has earned numerous honors, including multiple Edgar and Agatha mystery award nominations, and an Emmy for educational programming.
To date, readers have purchased over one million printed, electronic, and audio copies of Kathleen's twenty-six published books. more>>
Enjoy the author's insights about the story, characters, and settings.
|About Those Trailers...
Readers sometimes wonder if I exaggerated the artifact storage conditions when I wrote Old World Murder. Well, here is one of the trailers Chloe discovers when she... more>>
|Old World Wisconsin in Chloe's Day
I sometimes forget how much Old World Wisconsin has changed in the past few decades, so I thought it would be fun to share some photos of the site in the early years. The site opened in... more>>
|Coming Full Circle
I worked at Old World Wisconsin for twelve years. During those years I developed my writing skills, as well. What better training could someone writing historical fiction ask for... more>>
|An Ale Bowl With Cow Heads
When Old World Murder was published, my husband Scott suggested that we commission a carver and painter to create the bowl described in the novel. It was a lovely idea, but.... more>>
|Rosemaling Through Time
My protagonist is a Norwegian-American museum curator named Chloe Ellefson. Chloe’s mom is an expert rosemaler. Knowing that this art will be touched on again in future books... more>>
|Ale Bowls: Migration of a Tradition
When I was developing the plot for Old World Murder, I needed a Norwegian artifact for a major plot point. I chose to feature an ale bowl. These old tankards, which are often beautifully carved and painted, have appealed to... more>>
|The Nite Cap Inn – Then and Now
Before Old World Murder was published, several people asked if writing about real places made me nervous. I have a simple rule: I only write about real places that I love... more>>
|Writers Police Academy
Old World Murder has two point-of-view characters, a museum curator and a cop. As a former curator, I had that one covered. When I started writing, though, I knew little about police.... more>>
|More Than I Was Looking For
The plot of Old World Murder revolves around an antique Norwegian ale bowl. I’ve always been intrigued by the beautifully carved and/or painted bowls. I recently went to Vesterheim... more>>
Where To Buy
Old World Murder can be ordered through local independent bookstores and from national chains. It is available as a trade paperback and in e-book versions that can be read using Amazon Kindle apps and devices, and on Apple iPads and Macs, the Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo readers, and other ePUB compatible apps and devices.
Old World Wisconsin is a real place, and one of the premier living history museums in the county. I was lucky enough to work there as an interpreter and curator. After twelve years I moved on, but found myself missing the place! So I decided to write an adult mystery that is largely set there.
As a reader, I enjoy the mystery genre—in large part because I love going on a long multi-book journey with favorite characters. Writing Old World Murder let me create my own main characters, Chloe Ellefson and Roelke McKenna, which was great fun. I’ve got lots of plans for them!
Get a sneak peak
inside this book
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Questions to spark a
discussion of this book
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Discover the places where
key scenes take place.
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|CHLOE'S MAPLE BLUEBERRY CAKE
Oh so delicious!
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Take a personal tour of Old World Wisconsin with Kathleen as she explains how this real outdoor ethnic history museum became the fictional setting for her first adult mystery novel, Old World Murder. (2 min. 59 sec.) PLAY
What's an ale bowl? Join Kathleen at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum as she researches ale bowls while writing Old World Murder. (2 min. 30 sec.) PLAY
Click to Listen
|Larry talks with Kathleen about Old World Murder, her new adult mystery set at Old World Wiconsin.
November 30, 2010.