Friday, October 14, 2016

Review + GIVEAWAY: A Memory of Muskets

A Memory of Muskets
By Kathleen Ernst
A Chloe Ellefson Mystery #7
Midnight Ink, 2016


Curator Chloe Ellefson is happily planning to spotlight home-front challenges and German immigrants at Old World Wisconsin’s first Civil War reenactment―but her overbearing boss scorns her ideas and proposes staging a mock battle. And when a reenactor is found dead at one of the historic site’s German farms, Chloe’s boyfriend, cop Roelke McKenna, suspects murder.

The more Roelke learns about reenacting, the more he fears that a killer will join the ranks at Chloe’s special event. Then Chloe discovers a disturbing secret about Roelke’s Civil War-era ancestors. Together they struggle to solve crimes past and present . . . before Chloe loses her job and another reenactor loses his life.

My thoughts

A Memory of Muskets is an engrossing historical mystery that captured my attention from the very beginning and never let go. Although this is #7 in the Chloe Ellefson series, it can stand alone. The writing flows easily, the mystery is well plotted, and the living history museum of Old World Wisconsin becomes a major character. For a murder mystery, it’s very character driven, which greatly contributed to my fascination with the story.

Old World Wisconsin
Chloe and her romantic interest, Roelke, are strong, appealing characters who care about each other. The dual storyline combining contemporary setting (1983) with Roelke’s immigrant ancestors during the Civil War is compelling.

I enjoy historical novels and I’d have to say that A Memory of Muskets is one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever read. While looking at the “why” of reenactment, modern-day Civil War reenactment is sharply contrasted with Wisconsin’s German immigrants in the 1860s as they struggled to make a life for themselves while being confronted with America’s war. Opinions differed, but in the words of one immigrant … “America is a democracy, and the land of the free. America has opened its shores to us. I will fight to defend it.”

A Memory of Muskets is a moving story rich in historical detail, and I’m eager to delve into the whole series. It’s a clean read with no graphic scenes, the only negative being that I hated the use of mild profanity throughout – so unnecessary and detracted from an otherwise excellent mystery.


I received this book free of charge from Great Escapes Tours.


Kathleen Ernst is a former museum curator who remains passionate about history! In addition to the Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites series, she has written many books for American Girl, including nine about the historical character she created, Caroline Abbott. Over 1.5 million copies of Kathleen’s 33 titles have been sold. The Chloe series has earned a LOVEY Award for Best Traditional Mystery, and several of her mysteries for young readers have been finalists for Edgar or Agatha awards.


Purchase Links:
AmazonB&NIndie Bound



To enter the drawing for a print copy of A Memory of Muskets, please click on this link and share my Facebook post, then leave a comment here.

BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Tuesday, October 25. Winner will be chosen by and contacted by e-mail.

Eligibility: US residents


  1. Liked and shared on Facebook. I really like reading historical mysteries and I like that this features a Civil War reenactment.

  2. We enjpy this writer's style. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  3. I liked and shared on facebook as Suzan Morrow Farrell. Thanks for the contest.

  4. I shared on my FB page. Sounds interesting. I lived in WI for 20 years. TY

  5. Liked and shared on FB. I love historical fiction.

  6. Liked and shared on FB. This is a favorite series of mine! Would love to win.

  7. Liked and shared on FB. Appreciate the chance to win.

  8. Oops. Forgot to leave email in note above!

  9. Oops. Forgot to leave email in note above!

  10. can't wait to read! Thanks so much.

  11. Shared! I like historical fiction especially those set in United States. jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

  12. Yay! I shared and want to read your book!

  13. Liked and shared on Facebook. Thank you for the chance to win. Dmskrug3 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  14. Liked and shared on Facebook. Thank you for including this book on your blog and also for providing a chance to win a copy of the book.

  15. Enjoyed your blog on this wonderful book. Thanks for offering a chance to win. I have shared your post. chettysmom(at)yahoo(dot)com

  16. Thanks for the chance to win. Really enjoyed your blog. Shared on facebook from your link. kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

  17. Liked and shared on Facebook. I've never read any of Kathleen's books, but this one sounds fascinating! Both my husband and I descend from German immigrants, and I'm fascinated by their contributions to US history. mylittlebirdie (at) yahoo (dot) com

  18. i'd love to win this but will look for an audiobook version too. this interests me a lot as my hubby's family has German, Wisconsin and Civil War participation in its history. :D gotta go find your FB post...
    suseadoodle at google dot com Thanks for chance to win :D

  19. would love to win. jenljbear at gmail dot com