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The Solace of Stars
Hanneke Bauer Mystery #2

Four months after her turbulent arrival, Pomeranian immigrant Hanneke Bauer is still struggling to feel at home on the Wisconsin farm she inherited from her husband. She does savor a growing friendship with tinsmith Karoline Ketzler, but that solace vanishes when Karoline’s daughter Jacobine finds her father dead from a vicious attack.

 

When the deputy sheriff’s suspicions fall on Karoline, Hanneke employs her own talents to investigate the crime. The search reveals dangerous cultural rifts and astonishing family secrets. Hanneke’s tenacity and intellect help edge her closer to the truth…but will her efforts provoke the killer to strike again?

  • 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
  • People
    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. 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.
  • Places
    Many 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 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. 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 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 Guide
    This is the discussion guide for Lies of Omission. Click Here
  • Sneak Peek: Chapter 1
    This is a sneak peek at the book: Lies of Omission Read Chapter 1

Related Blog Posts

Coming Full Circle

Churning at Schultz

I worked at Old World Wisconsin for twelve years. During those years I developed my writing skills, as well.

WHS_011_567 3.jpg

Watertown, WI, is well known today for its farmers market. When I discovered that the institution’s roots stretch back to Hanneke Bauer’s time, I had to include it in a book!

Where to buy the book

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