The past often impact on the present in Kathleen Ernst’s Choe Ellefson mysteries. A MEMORY OF MUSKETS (Midnight Ink, 2016,$14.99) has Chole embroiled in a battle over the part played by German immigrants in the Civil War. She’s all for highlighting the home front, but her boss wants a battle, even though there never was one in Wisconsin! At the same time, her fiance, Roelke McKenna, is having disturbing feelings about one of the buildings on the Old World Wisconsisn Museum’s property. A hidden diary flashes us back to the tumultuous 1860’s, and the tortured soul of a young German girl, promised to one man but in love with another. Both stories collide when one of the Civil War buffs who portray soldiers in the mock battle is found dead on the grounds of the museum. What’s worse, valuable antiques are missing from the museum’s back storage rooms, and someone is using the re-enactment as a venue for peddling fake photographs. Between them, Chole and Roelke sort out who is who, what is real, and how to leave the past in the past, and go forward into a brighter future. Photographs a the end of the book show some of the artifacts mentioned, and the author’s acknowledgments give more information about Civil War events.
Review provided by Roberta Rogow