Mining for Justice
Chloe Ellefson Mystery #8
In this book Chloe, Roelke, and others are forced to face the question, just how far are you willing to go to protect the people you love?
The story takes place in September 1983 in Eagle, Palmyra, and Mineral Point, Wisconsin, with an historical plotline set in Cornwall, England during the 1820s and Mineral Point in the 1830s and 1860s.
Chloe Ellefson is excited to be learning about Wisconsin's early 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 local historical records 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 stay open, Chloe must unearth dark secrets, past and present . . . before a killer comes to bury her.
Mining for Justice includes photos of historic objects and places that are mentioned in the story, plus a locations map, a cast of characters, and a glossary of Cornish words.
This story is now widely available as a 384-page trade paperback, a large print hardcover, and in Adobe EPUB3 and Kindle ebook formats.
Praise For Lies Of Omission“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.” Edith Maxwell Agatha Award Winning author Quaker Midwife Mysteries "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." Terry Schoessow Co-President Trinity Freistadt 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." Melissa Lampe President Watertown Historical Society
PeopleIn 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. 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 determination of countless women to build a new life in a new land.
PlacesMany scenes in Lies of Omission are set in real places, like Watertown, Wisconsin. This is is a 1867 birds eye view map of it.
The PastLies 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. 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 MoreThe Wisconsin State Journal published an interview about Lies Of Omission with me in its Author Q&A column. You can read it by clicking here. 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.
Discussion GuideThis is the discussion guide for Lies of Omission. Click Here
Sneak Peek: Chapter 1This is a sneak peek at the book: Lies of Omission Read Chapter 1
Many scenes in Mining for Justice are set at real places—like Mineral Point and the Pendarvis historic site—that you can visit.
Below is a custom interactive map designed to enable you to virtually visit the key locations where the story takes place.
Related Blog Posts
Why Mining For Justice?
I have more story ideas banging around in my head than I’ll ever find time to explore. My files about possible historic sites and museums to explore in a Chloe Ellefson mystery are ever-growing. So why did Pendarvis Historic Site in Mineral Point, WI, rise to the top of the list?
Many of the Chloe Ellefson mysteries, which are set in the 1980s, include a plotline set further in the past as well. The 8th adventure, Mining For Justice, features Cornish immigrants who arrived in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, in the 1830s. Most were mining families, attracted by news of lead deposits in the southwestern part of what is now the state of Wisconsin.
I love exploring traditional foodways, especially if they have an ethnic flair. Not surprisingly, the protagonist of my Chloe Ellefson Mysteries does too. The latest book in the series, Mining For Justice, is all about the Cornish miners and their families who helped turn rough mining camps in what would become southwestern Wisconsin into communities.
Pendarvis – Part 1
It’s lovely when readers tell me that after reading one of the Chloe mysteries, they toured the historic site or museum spotlighted in the book. Pendarvis, the site featured in Mining For Justice, the 8th Chloe Ellefson mystery, is a great place to visit!
The Mining Museum
The latest Chloe Ellefson mystery, Mining For Justice, features Wisconsin’s lead mining era. To learn about the miners’ work, the mining museum in Platteville, WI, is a great place to explore. Touring the 1845 Bevans Lead Mine with a knowledgeable guide is a highlight. The lead region produced over 27,000 tons of lead that year!
Digging for Information
It’s challenging to find primary-source information about Territorial Wisconsin. While researching Mining For Justice, the 8th Chloe Ellefson mystery, I was therefore delighted to learn that a few newspapers from 1837 still exist, and have been microfilmed.
Pendarvis – Part 2
The last post highlighted the three most famous historic structures at Pendarvis Historic Site, Polperro, Pendarvis, and Trelawny. All played a role in the 8th Chloe Ellefson Mystery, Mining For Justice. But there’s more to see.
The Badger Mine and Museum
If you’re exploring southwest Wisconsin’s lead mining history, be sure to include a stop at Shullsburg’s Badger Mine and Museum. Mr. Ernst and I visited while I was working on Mining For Justice, the 8th Chloe Ellefson mystery, and we’re glad we did. (I recommend both Platteville’s Mining and Rollo Jamison Museums and Shullsburg’s Badger Mine and Museum. They’re quite different.)