eBook & Trade Paperback
Level Best Books

Now Available


Color photo of Utne Hotel founded 1722 in Utne Norway taken 2018 by Mr Ernst

Ranked in the Top 1%
of all US Print Book Sales
for 40 Days to Date
- NPD BookScan

Hardanger Norway postcard by Axel Eliassons Konstforlag in Stockholm Sweden No 5047

As Hanneke Bauer watched the Milwaukee shoreline come into focus beyond Lake Michigan’s choppy waves, she wondered if she would even recognize her husband.


Thus begins the first story in the new Hanneke Bauer series, the forty-first published book by bestselling author Kathleen Ernst.

Like Kathleen's Chloe Ellefson series, this novels combines history and mystery. They are written for adults and mature teens who enjoy reading stories without explicit sex, gratuitous violence, or gore.

This page offers a rich mix of background information about the people, places, and the past that went into making Lies of Omission.

Story Description

This book is set in Milwaukee and Watertown Wisconsin in 1855.

When Pomeranian immigrant Hanneke Bauer reaches Wisconsin, she believes her dearest dreams are coming true. After reuniting with her husband Fridolin at his farm near Watertown, she will help create a true home.

Instead, she receives the shocking news that he is dead.

Alone and destitute, Hanneke is determined to discover the details of his passing. Her efforts prompt animosity from Fridolin’s friends, anger the deputy sheriff, and entangle her in the rising tide of anti-immigrant sentiment.

Finding herself in danger, Hanneke races to learn the truth about her husband’s secrets and lies…before a killer silences her forever.

Lies Of Omission is available as a 260-page trade paperback, and for eBook apps and readers, including the Amazon Kindle, Apple Book, Barnes & Noble Nook, Rakuten Kobo, and others. 


What Others Are Saying

Photo of author Edith Maxwell. Edith Maxwell
Agatha Award Winning author
Quaker Midwife Mysteries

“This well-researched and compellingly told tale is a must-read for any fan of nineteenth-century American historical fiction and historical mystery devotees of any era.”
Photo of Terry Schoessow. Terry Schoessow
Trinity Freistadt Historical Society

"Lies are the only thing omitted in Lies of Omission, the first book of Kathleen Ernst’s new mystery series featuring Hanneke Bauer.

Set in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1855, the rich descriptive details give a glimpse into the Pomeranian immigrants’ home life and farming practices, as well as social issues of the time.

As usual for Ernst’s books, the well developed characters make the reader feel like you would recognize them if you met them on the street. Don’t begin the book unless you have time to continue, because it will be hard to put down."
Logo of the Escape With Dollycad Into A Good Book blog. Lori Caswell
Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book blog

"Kathleen Ernst is an amazing storyteller.

I am very excited about this series. The author draws from all her historical studies to write stories that stick with her readers. This one will surely stick with me until we get to visit Hanneke Bauer again.

You will definitely find Lies of Omission on my Best Reads List for 2022. I am giving it my Paradise [highest] Rating."

Photo of President Melissa Lampe of the Watertown Historical Society in Wisconsin. Melissa Lampe
Watertown Historical Society

"Lies of Omission was a wonderful read – the story is riveting and from a personal perspective, it was a wonderful trip back in time in Watertown.

From Ms. Ernst’s vivid descriptions of early settlements in Watertown, to her focus on the Rock River, to the incorporation of historical businesses that once existed in this city, the pages of this book came alive to me."


About the Author


Bestselling author Kathleen Ernst writes award-winning mysteries, historical fiction, poetry, and non-fiction books for adults and young readers.

Her work has earned numerous honors, including two lifetime writing achievement awards, an Edgar Allan Poe and multiple Agatha Christie mystery award nominations, the American Heritage Women in the Arts Recognition Award for Literature from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and an Emmy for educational television.

To date nearly 1.8 million audio, ebook, and print copies of Kathleen's forty-one published books have been purchased. more>>



Related Blog Posts

Enjoy Kathleen's insights about her stories, characters, and settings. Additional posts will be added below over time.

CDV photo of Hanneke Bauer. Meet Hanneke Bauer!

"I'm so happy to introduce you to the protagonist of my new Hanneke Bauer historical mystery! I've been getting to know her for a long time." more>>
Photo by Loyd Heath of the Pomeranian Schultz Farm at Old World Wisconsin. The Schultz Farm - Part 1

"When this post was originally published, The Hanneke Bauer Mystery series was still on the distant horizon. I featured a fictionalized version of this farm in the first volume,  LIES OF OMISSION." more>>

Photo by Loys Heath of Interpreter flaying grain in the Pomeranian Schultz Farm barn at Old World Wisconsin. The Schultz Farm - Part 2

"When this post was originally published, The Hanneke Bauer Mystery series was still on the distant horizon. I featured a fictionalized version of this farm in the first volume,  LIES OF OMISSION." more>>
Photo of the Schultz farmhouse and barn at Old World Wisconsin. Special Tour Announcement!

Hanneke’s new home is a fictionalized version of a real historic building once occupied by the Schulz family. The house, which has been restored at Old World Wisconsin, is a rare and..." more>>

Author's Note

In 1982, I accepted an interpretive job at Old World Wisconsin, an outdoor ethnic museum with a living history program. My first assignment was in the German area, which included two farms originally owned by Pomeranian immigrants.

My favorite was the Schulz Farm, a fascinating remnant of European architecture. The farmhouse was built in 1856 by Charles and Auguste Schulz in Dodge County, Wisconsin. In the 1970s it was carefully transported to Old World and lovingly restored to its 1860 appearance.

Photo of bestselling author Kathleen Ernst at the Schultz Pomeranian German farmhouse at Old World Wisconsin.

I spent a lot of time in that house, working through seasonal domestic chores and thinking about the first farmwife, Auguste. More than once I almost glimpsed her skirt hem as she slipped into the next room.

Even then, I wanted to write a novel about a Pomeranian immigrant. Forty years later I'm under contract to write three of them. I hope you enjoy getting to know Hanneke as much as I did.

                       Kathleen Ernst's signature graphic

Book discussion logo. DISCUSSION GUIDE
Questions to help spark
a group conversation.


In the 19th century, German-speakers were the largest ethnic group to immigrate to the United States and to the state of Wisconsin. The first large wave of settlers arrived between 1846 and 1854.

Upon arriving in Wisconsin in 1855, Hanneke finds a well-established and thriving German community in Watertown.

Carte de Visite formal photo of a German women by an unknown artist.

Only recently married, she is relieved to have left behind the company of relatives who criticized her for “thinking too much.” Joining her forward-thinking new husband at his farm will, she believes, improve life immeasurably.

In the 19th century, it was not unusual for even newly-wed couples like Hanneke and Fridolin to separate for months or even years to accomplish the daunting task of immigrating to far off America.

As a capable and intelligent woman willing to confront obstacles, Hanneke is a reflection of determintonn of countless women to build a new life in a new land.


Many scenes in Lies of Omission are set in real places, like Watertown, Wisconsin. Below is a 1867 birds eye view map of it.

Birdseye view of Watertown Wisconsin 1867 publisher unknown.

The Past

Lies of Omission takes place during the height of the Nativist movement in Wisconsin. Its members were mostly well-established native-born Protestants who did not welcome the growing population of German Catholic immigrants.

Originally organized in secret as the Order of the Star Spangled Banner, adherents often denied their involvement with the group by claiming to “know nothing” of it.

The patriotic period print below is entitled Uncle Sam's Youngest Son and depicts a prosperous Know Nothing Citizen.

Carte de Visite image labeled Uncle Sam's Youngest Son shows a well-dressed Know Nothing citizen.

The Know Nothings were populists—well known for giving fiery speeches and holding torchlit parades that sometimes whipped their supporters into violence.

The movement's political wing was founded in 1844 and briefly became a national political force as the American Party in the mid-1850s.

Electoral failures and divisions over slavery caused the party to dissolve in 1860. Many Know Nothings in the northern states then switched over to the new Republican Party.

And More

 The Wisconsin State Journal published an interview about Lies Of Omission with me in its Author Q&A column. You can read it by clicking on the image below.

Gena Kittner
Wisconsin State Journal interview
December 12, 2021

And thanks to the magic of digital media, you can eavesdrop on me discussing Lies Of Omission (and other books) with Larry Meiller and his listeners on his popular midday Wisconsin Public Radio show.

A recording of the program has been posted online for you to listen to over the internet or download a copy as a podcast. Click on the WPR logo below to choose.

Larry Meiller Show logo. Larry Meiller
Wisconsin Public Radio
36 Min. 48 Sec.
November 30, 2021

Where To Buy This Book

You can order Lies Of Omission in trade paperback and eBook formats from indie bookstores and large booksellers.

Author signed and personalized trade paperback copies can be also requested directly from me by clicking HERE.

Buy from Indiebound Books TRADE PAPERBACK
Apple Books logo. APPLE eBOOK
Buy from Barnes & Noble NOOK eBOOK
Books A Million bookstores logo. TRADE PAPERBACK
Rakuten Kobo logo. KOBO eBOOK