from the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries
by Kathleen Ernst
Some are on display in one of the restored buildings on the site.
I'll admit, when I accepted this job, I thought that dealing with collections would be easier than the educational end of museum work, which I'd done previously. Ha!
A few artifacts, like this krumkakke iron, are designated for use.
Unfortunately, things haven't worked out so well. Sometimes modern crimes---including murders---have roots in past events. Even the best cops can't solve a murder if they don't understand the motivation.
Just the other day I was asked to examine the belongings of an unidentified Civil War reenactor who died at an 1860 farm on the site. I did my best.
I explained that profiling is what I do every day. Artifacts are clues to the people who left them behind. Sometimes I have only the tiniest scrap of information, and have to dig deeper to get a sense of the person who made or used the item, and how they felt about it.
Now I have this sinking feeling that like it or not, I'll end up working with law enforcement officers again. Stay tuned...
A Memory of Muskets, the 7th Chloe Ellefson Mystery, will launch on October 8.
To learn more about this award-winning series, visit Kathleen Ernst's website.