I am linking up with Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach who hosts a meme every Tuesday to share the First Chapter First Paragraph or two of the book you are currently reading or plan to read soon.
I've had a signed copy of the book I'm featuring today for several years. It's been on my shelf, unread as yet, while the author has continued the series and will be coming out with the 10th book in early fall. I've also been doing another round of 'weeding my shelves' and will be showing up at our mystery group meeting next week with several books to pass along. As I was considering which ones could go, I pick up this one and began reading:
by Kathleen Ernst
As Chloe Ellefson walked from 1982 into 1870s Wisconsin, a white frame church emerged from the trees, prettily framed against a cloud-studded blue sky. The view alone was enough to make most visitors pause, appreciate the simple elegance of the restored church, perhaps even wonder about the lives of those women and men and children who had first worshiped within its walls.
For Chloe, the historic site's newest employee, the scene represented a fresh start.
A cadence in her mind kept time with her steps: Must - make - this - work. Must - make - this - work. Dr. Eberhardt could no doubt have written a thesis about that obsessive little drone...but Dr. Eberhardt was still in North Dakota with his white pills and his spiral notebook and his guttural grunts that had reminded her all too often of Markus' father. Visiting a psychiatrist who reminded her of the people she was trying to escape seemed counter-productive, but Solomon, North Dakota--population 793 on a good day--hadn't offered many options in low-cost mental health care.
Anyway, Chloe had come to Wisconsin to stand on her own two feet. Although, she thought as she reached the church gate, it would be more accurate to say she'd come home to Wisconsin. The last thing she'd ever expected to do. But she was here now. A new job. A new life. And she was determined to make it work.
After all, her chosen field was all about facades. Curators at living history sites presented impressions of the past. The bustles and bonnets (or braces and boots) that interpreters wore hid more than modern clothes and hairstyles. Well, she thought, nothing wrong with a good facade. In fact, a huge historic site intended to create and present illusions wasn't a bad choice for someone wanting to rewrite her own history.
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 1870s 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 that someone is desperately trying to cover up all traces of the bowl's existence—by any means necessary. Assisting Chloe is police officer Roelke McKenna, whose own haunting past compels him to protect her. To catch the covetous killer, Chloe must solve a decades-old puzzle . . . before she becomes a part of history herself.
What do you think? Would you keep reading? Our area has a living history museum that many of the local schools visit for field trips. There are also classes and demonstrations and festivals. I haven't been for long time, since our daughter was in elementary school, but I remember it was a lot of fun. The author, Kathleen Ernst, has an advanced degree in historical education and has been a curator for a living history museum in Wisconsin. I'm sure that has provided great material for her books.