I hope all of you are having a great Saturday. Some of you might be lucky enough to be enjoying a three day weekend thanks to Columbus Day. My father was born on Columbus Day. He will be greatly missed this year (the first one since he passed away). Two new books came out today from Midnight Ink. They are A Memory of Muskets by Kathleen Ernst and Unlucky Charms by Linda O. Johnston (I will review tomorrow).
A Memory of Muskets by Kathleen Ernst is the seventh book in A Chloe Ellefson Mystery series. It is 1983 in Woodbury, Minnesota. Chloe Ellefson is the curator of collections at Old World Wisconsin. She is working with Byron Cooke, curator of interpretation, on a Civil War Reenactment. It will be the first Civil War event for Old World Wisconsin. They want to show what life was like during that era (for soldiers and civilians). Their boss, Ralph Petty has other ideas (he wants a mock battle to draw in the crowds). Byron and Chloe are showing Gunter Diederich, a Civil War reenactor, around the Schulz farm (one of the farms at Old World Wisconsin) when Alyssa, an interpreter, comes running over to them. Alyssa has found a person on the ground behind the barn. They hurry over to find a man dressed in a Civil War uniform dead. Roelke McKenna quickly arrives on the scene (he is also Chloe’s boyfriend). The man has no identification and everything on him is from the Civil War era (real and reproductions). He does have a handkerchief with the initial M embroidered on it. Who is this man? Was his death accidental? Chloe is packing up her belonging and getting ready to move into Roelke’s new farmhouse. It originally belonged to his ancestors. There is a small cabin on the property that Roelke would like to be Chloe’s special space. Unfortunately, Chloe cannot stand the cabin. Chloe can feel something dark in the cabin. She starts looking into Roelke’s ancestry to find out what could have caused the bad vibes. Roelke is working at German Fest (police presence) in Milwaukee. Roelke and another officer are patrolling near a mock battle. At the end of the demonstration, one shot is not in sync with everyone else’s. Then a soldier goes down. Another reenactor has been killed. Who is behind these killings? Are they all related? Will Chloe be able to rid the cabin of the evil presence? Join Chloe and Roelke in A Memory of Muskets.
A Memory of Muskets takes us back in time to tell us the story of Roelke’s ancestors. We get to see how they came to America, how his ancestors were involved in the Civil War, and what happened in the cabin. The story goes back and forth from 1983 to 1860s. I was looking forward to reading A Memory of Muskets. I have enjoyed the previous books in the series, but this one was hard for me to get through. The same information is repeated throughout the book. The evil feelings in the cabin, Petty and his attitude (behavior), the handkerchief with the letter “M” on it, Chloe’s feelings about Roelke, how she is not sure about moving in with Roelke, how Chloe needs this job, how Petty dislikes Chloe (that was mentioned at least half a dozen times), etc. (this is just a sample). We are given significant detail about Civil War reenactors, their uniforms, attention to detail, etc. That part is interesting, but it does bog down the story. Sometimes it reads more like a history book than a cozy mystery. The mystery was compelling. It was complicated and not easy to solve (that was the best part). I give A Memory of Muskets 3 out of 5 stars. The story was just not easy to read. The writing, research, and mystery are very good. The novel just needs editing to make it easier to read and enjoy.
The other novels in A Chloe Ellefson Mystery series are Old World Murder, The Heirloom Murders, The Light Keeper's Legacy, Heritage of Darkness, Tradition of Deceit, and Death on the Prairie. You can follow Kathleen Ernst on Amazon and Facebook. Thank you to Midnight Ink and NetGalley for a copy of this book.
I want to thank you for visiting! I will be back tomorrow to review Unlucky Charms by Linda O. Johnston. I am off to eat dinner, relax, and read Deader Home and Gardens by Angie Fox (comes out October 11). Have a great evening, take care, and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader