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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2011
Our sleuth works as a collection curator for the Old World Wisconsin museum. Her name is Chloe Ellefson and in this case she is beset by her ex-boyfriend/lover back home from Switzerland, a possible missing 15.375 carat diamond, heritage seeds that make cheese, medicines, third-world countries economy issues, and a murder plus a suicide.

Chloe just wants to surround herself with peace, histories of former occupants of the Wisconsin Nordic region, and perhaps find love, and friendship. Then came a suicide...

Ms. Ernst's talents seep through the pages as she skillfully blends history with fiction from 1876 through 1982. The book is exciting, interesting, tutorial, and even makes me want to pack and plan a trip to the various sites included that are real.

How many of us really think about Heritage vegetables? We should. The amount of varieties we have lost in the U.S.A. is immense and how narrow we have allowed our choices to become. No wonder we hear, "Food doesn't taste like it used to when I was a child." Apparently, that is a truth!

Women and Men will find this book intriguing with all the equipment discussed and the thought provoking discourse regarding feeding our country as well as the third world peoples.This book is an excellent source of economic reality through today.

As to the mysteries, well, they were fascinating and complex. I can barely wait for Ms. Ernst's next one. Please read this book, you will be amazed to find yourself educated and entertained.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2011
The Heirloom Murders star Chloe Ellefson, a much more settled character in this second murder mystery set in Wisconsin. Chloe is a collections curator for Old World Wisconsin, a living history museum. When her friend (and avid gardener) Dellyn's sister commits suicide, Chloe steps up to assist Dellyn in continuing to sort through their parents historic house. We get a peek into the past, as Ernst retells the story of a pioneer family that discovers a diamond while digging a well. This gem does become germane to the present story, as greed seems to be a problem for several characters in this mystery. I bounced around a bit in trying to figure out the who-dun-it, but enjoyed the conclusion to the story very much.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2011
Kathleen Ernst's "The Heirloom Murders" (Midnight Ink) is a cozy mystery written with flair.

A woman apparently commits suicide and Chloe befriends the deceased's sister, Dellyn. Not only shaken by her sister's violent death, Dellyn is still grieving over the recent death of their parents.

Both young women work at Old World Wisconsin, an outdoor history museum, Chloe as a curator and Dellyn as an agriculture specialist. Chloe is helping Dellyn sort through her parents' household effects, many of which are antique treasurers. Among the numerous files, they find references to the missing Eagle Diamond, a legendary gemstone unearthed in 1876.

Sparks are reignited between Chloe and cop Roelke McKenna when he investigates the alleged suicide. When an ex-boyfriend appears on the scene, Chloe is reminded of a messy and sad previous life she'd hoped to leave behind. The old boyfriend's presence leaves Roelke unsure of how to proceed with his hoped for relationship with Chloe.

A murder takes place on the museum grounds, someone breaks into Dellyn's historic house, and Chloe is attacked when she discovers someone lurking in Dellyn's barn. It becomes clear that murderous greed is behind these evil acts.

The book toggles from the present day to 1876 on Charles and Clarissa Wood's farm. Hired hand Albrecht Bachmeier is helping Charles dig a well, when Charles finds an unusual gem. Once it's washed, the pretty gem is placed on Clarissa's kitchen windowsill.

Kathleen Ernst's "The Heirloom Murders" is a great sequel to the first of the Chloe Eliffson Mystery series, "Old World Murder." The author presents a captivating story with humor and more than enough mystery to entice readers to keep turning the pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2011
SPOILER ALERT! In HEIRLOOM MURDERS (Midnight Ink) readers are delightfully reintroduced to Chloe Ellefson, collections curator and interpreter at Old World Wisconsin. Chloe works with her dear friend Dellyn who researches, cultivates, and propagates heirloom gardens for the living museum.Together they wonder about the missing Eagle Diamond, a precious gem discovered over a hundred years ago.

When Dellyn's sister Bonnie calls 9-1-1 to report her impending suicide, one of Chloe's love interests, officer Roelke, speeds off with his partner to try to save her. They're too late. Bonnie gave specific details, but her body isn't where she said it would be. Mix that with an attack on Chloe while she's in Dellyn's barn filled with valuable antiques, Chloe's entrapment in a Finnish sauna, Dellyn's viscous attack by a German shepherd, and the murder of a museum volunteer.

And what is it that someone finds so precious that it's worth more than human life? You'll be amazed.

Chloe's other love interest is the energetic Markus who shares Chloe's passion for history. Chloe lived with Markus in Switzerland for five years, but after her miscarriage, he panicked and told her to pack her bags.

Markus ends up in Wisconsin and would like to resume their relationship, but Chloe doesn't fully trust him. Besides, there's the manly yet tender police officer, Roelke.

Ernst allows us peeks into another love triangle. This one dates back to 1876. Albrecht works tirelessly digging a well for the insensitve Charles, but finds it worthwhile since he can be near Charles' sweet wife, Clarissa. Albrecht carves a rose in the handle of Clarissa's cultivator. Charles finds an unusual gem which he washes and gives to his wife.

Chloe and Roelke have an innate connection. This understanding for one another leads to the mystery's solution. In the final chapter, Roelke gives Chloe a perfect stone. Not a diamond, not a topaz, but a lovingly polished stone. I was left with hope for their future.

As in the first of the series, OLD WORLD MUDER, Kathleen Ernst's writing is detailed and rich with flavor, like a Swiss cheese aged and cured to perfection. I've long admired her YA novels and now eagerly await book three of the Chloe Ellefson series.

Amy Laundrie
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 21, 2011
I loved this book. First because they were a mini trip down memory lane, but Kathleen describes the settings so well you won't have had to visit the historic site to feel like you are right there in the farmhouses, the barns, or even Chloe's trailer office. Chloe also travels around the area and the author's words take us right along with her.

I also enjoyed that Chloe really doesn't want to being the middle of any of the investigations, she would rather be doing her job as Curator of Collections, keep her boss off her back and spending time with her new friends.

The best part though are the mysteries. They are so well plotted and intelligently written, with plenty of spins and spills, twists and turns. The characters take some turns and spills themselves.

This story also educate us about the cultures of old Wisconsin in a subtle way. The back stories are as rich as the mysteries that unfold in each book. The way historical and modern times mesh together in these stories is truly delightful. You can feel Kathleen's passion for Old World Wisconsin in her words. She understands the history and the extra research she does for ideas is going to give her a wide range of things to shine a light on in future stories.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Midnight Ink. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2011
When Chloe agrees to help inventory a house full of collectibles, she learns about the history of the home and its occupants, especially about the missing Eagle Diamond. Someone wants the information contained in the collectibles and will do whatever it takes to purloin those records, including murder. What a story! This evenly-paced and action-filled tale takes place in the present with snippets from the past that lends itself in this nicely-done drama. I could not put this book down from the moment I finished the first chapter where the action was non-stop until the end. There were a lot of interwoven plots that moved the story along and kept me guessing throughout most of the book. With an intriguing plot, flashbacks to days gone by and a lovable cast of characters, this was a great and enjoyable read and I look forward to the next story in this wonderfully captivating series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2012
Chloe Ellefson is the collections curator for Old World Wisconsin, a living history exhibit. There has been a break in at one of the historical properties, and a murder as well. When Chloe's ex turns up, more complications ensue. This mystery deals with Midwestern Scandinavian heritage, so it is different from many of the familiar mystery novel settings . The interesting characters draw you in to the well-crafted plot, underscored by the unique setting and author's knowledge of its history .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2012
The apparent suicide of a co-worker's sister puts Chloe on the trail of a diamond, heirloom seeds and agribusiness. I have an interest in agriculture, heirloom varieties and living history museums, so these elements made for an interesting mystery. Chloe still seems a little strung out, especially with Roelke and her ex around, but less so than in the first book.

This was a good light mystery that I enjoyed and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2012
Katheen Ernst a wonderful mystery writer and with her museum background brings so much knowledge on things into the stories. Great to also have mystery books written about the two things I love most--Wisconsin and museums
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2013
I liked this primarily as a whodunnit but also the historical information/aspects were interesting also. I didn't rate it 5 stars as I felt it went on a bit at the end and the killer/s became a bit predictable.
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