From Publishers Weekly
Ernst, the author of Clues in the Shadows and other YA American Girl novels, shows her ease in mining historical periods in her adult debut, set in Wisconsin in 1982. On Chloe Ellefson's first day as the new curator of collections at Old World Wisconsin, an outdoor museum that recreates the 1870s, elderly Berget Lundquist asks Chloe for the return of a family heirloom, a hand-painted Norwegian ale bowl that Berget donated to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in 1962. Within minutes of Chloe promising to locate the bowl, Berget dies after driving her car off the road into a tree. The fatal bludgeoning of Berget's aged neighbor, Bill Solberg, by a person hunting for the elusive bowl leads Chloe to suspect the item has some special value. While details of the Old World museum can overwhelm at times, clever plot twists and credible characters make this a far from humdrum cozy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chloe Ellefson, coming off a bout of clinical depression, has just started her new job as curator of collections at Old World Wisconsin, an outdoor historical museum, when Berget Lundquist asks her to return a hand-painted Norwegian ale bowl she donated more than 20 years ago. Chloe brushes Lundquist off, promising to locate the bowl, but when the woman dies in an auto accident, Chloe feels she must keep her word. However, the bowl seems to be missing, so Chloe delves into the museum’s acquisition documents, the state historical society’s records, and Mrs. Lundquist’s motivation for the return of the bowl, all of which lands her in the middle of a potentially deadly situation. Information on how to conduct historical research, background on Norwegian culture, and details about running an outdoor museum frame the engaging story of a woman devastated by a failed romantic relationship whose sleuthing helps her heal. --Sue O'Brien