Sunday, September 17, 2017

Not A Good Start

by Chloe Ellefson, living history museum curator

of the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries

by Kathleen Ernst

All I wanted was a pleasant week away. Was that really so much to ask?

I work at a huge living history site called Old World Wisconsin. I love the museum. I love my job. My boss, not so much. He excels at making life miserable.

So I was pleased to be "loaned" out to a sister site called Pendarvis, in Mineral Point, southwest Wisconsin. Many Cornish immigrants arrived in the 1830s to mine lead. They didn't leave many artifacts or written records behind, but a handful of original log or stone cottages have been preserved.

Two Cornish homes preserved at Pendarvis Historic Site.

Pendarvis is comprised of some great old structures. I'm eager to learn more about the Cornish families who made Mineral Point their home.

Equally exciting, my friend Adam Bolitho owns a fantastic old stone cottage that dates back to the 1830s. He recently inherited it from his grandmother, and he's doing a major restoration. How cool is that?

My boyfriend, cop Roelke McKenna, drove me to Mineral Point for my week of guest curator duty.  We came a day early so we could see Adam's place, and give him a hand with the restoration work. He helped us fix up Roelke's old family farmhouse, so we're definitely in his debt.

But things got into a bad start almost as soon as Adam took me and Roelke inside. The ground floor is a single room, with a root cellar dug into the hillside behind it.

An example of a Cornish home in Mineral Point built right into the hillside.
I took one step into that cellar, and--wham. I'm sensitive to strong emotions that linger in some old buildings. Let me tell you, something evil left a powerful layer behind in that cellar.

It didn't take long to get a clue. After I beat a speedy retreat, Roelke settled in to help Adam shovel away a layer of dirt and sand that had, over time, filtered into the cellar. Suddenly I heard Adam exclaim in obvious horror.

I darted to the doorway and found Roelke crouching in a back corner, gently brushing sand away from something.  "What's wrong?"

Adam pointed.  "We were just going along, and then we found..."

"Found what?" I demanded.  I couldn't see.

Roelke stood up slowly.  "And then we found human remains."

* * *
To learn more about the award-winning Chloe Ellefson series, see Kathleen's website or follow her on her Facebook Author Page.


  1. Gah! You've got me hooked! I might never go into a basement again, but it sounds like a great story, and I can't wait to stock it on the shelves at Yon Bonnie Books.

    1. Hi Janet - I would be thrilled to get Chloe on the shelves at Yon Bonnie Books! ;>)

  2. Great teaser! this is one of my all time favorite series. Can't wait to read this latest addition to the series!

  3. Kim, sorry I didn't see this earlier. I'm delighted to know that the series is a favorite!