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Author Q&A ft Kathleen Ernst | MINING FOR JUSTICE | GREAT ESCAPES BOOK TOURS Cozy Mystery

Mining for Justice (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery) is on virtual book tour and stops here today. Be sure to check out my interview with  Kathlee...

Mining for Justice (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery) is on virtual book tour and stops here today. Be sure to check out my interview with Kathleen Ernst below.

Mining for Justice (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery) 

by Kathleen Ernst

Cozy Mystery 8th in Series 
Midnight Ink (October 8, 2017) 
Paperback: 384 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-0738753348 

Chloe Ellefson is excited to be learning about Wisconsin's Cornish immigrants and mining history while on temporary assignment at Pendarvis, a historic site in charming Mineral Point. But when her boyfriend, police officer Roelke McKenna, discovers long-buried human remains in the root cellar of an old Cornish cottage, Chloe reluctantly agrees to mine the historical record for answers.

She soon finds herself in the center of a heated and deadly controversy that threatens to close Pendarvis. While struggling to help the historic site, Chloe must unearth dark secrets, past and present . . . before a killer comes to bury her.


Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

The Chloe Ellefson Mysteries are aimed at readers who like traditional mysteries with complex characters and a strong sense of place.  Chloe is a curator at a living history museum, and all of the books take place at historic sites or museums, so readers who enjoy history will especially like the series.  No explicit gore or sex.

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

Actually, my editor suggested Mining For Justice, and I liked it better than anything I’d come up with!  The book is set in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, which was settled in the 1830s by Cornish miners and their families.  A plotline featuring a young Cornish woman who confronts evil is woven with the contemporary plotline, in which Chloe and her boyfriend Roelke each struggle to solve crimes.  In each case, past and present, justice is hard to find.  I loved the analogy!

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
I’m of course quite fond of my two recurring characters, Chloe Ellefson and cop/boyfriend Roelke McKenna.  But in Mining for Justice, my favorite character is Mary Pascoe.  We meet her as a child in Cornwall, where she is already laboring at a mine site.  She immigrates to Wisconsin with two brothers, hoping for better opportunities.  Despite many hardships she takes great risks to help others in need. I created Mary in honor of all the forgotten women who did what needed to be done, and helped create a sense of community in what had once been a hardscrabble mining region.

How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?
I have two.  My least favorite character in the historical plotline is a hard, cruel man.  I think he’s reflective of the time and place.  Some of the men who are remembered as great leaders owned slaves or employed child workers or tried to exterminate all Native Americans.

In Chloe’s timeline, my least favorite character is a woman who believes there is only one correct way to interpret the past—her way.  As someone who’s worked in the history field for decades, I’ve met a few people like that!

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series.

Chloe Ellefson is a curator at a real outdoor museum, Old World Wisconsin, where I once worked as curator of interpretation and collections.  Each book is set in a real place.  Nothing makes me happier than hearing from readers who were inspired to visit the site!

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
I often feature food traditions and folk arts in the Chloe mysteries, and I love to try my hand at all of them.  I had a lot of experience with historical foodways while working at the historic site, and I still enjoy experimenting in the kitchen.  Many of the Chloe mysteries feature a particular ethnic group, which makes baking even more fun.  I’ve also learned Norwegian rosemaling (decorative painting), Danish hedebo (a type of needle lace), Polish papercutting, and other handicrafts as part of writing the series.  It’s great fun!

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
My website,, is loaded with features:  background information about the stories and themes, photographs of key artifacts and buildings featured in the books, maps for those who want to visit, recipes, discussion questions, and more.  I’m also active on Facebook,; and my blog,

What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m working on the 9th Chloe Ellefson mystery, featuring a new ethnic group and historic site, due out in 2018.  And I’m already planning the 10th!

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
I’m always enormously grateful when readers take the time to write an online review, or recommend my books to their library or a friend.  I’m not sure if everyone realizes what a difference those things can make to a writer’s career!

About The Author

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest. Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers. Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations. Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.

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