Book Review – The Lacemaker’s Secret by Kathleen Ernst

The Lacemaker's Secret

The Lacemaker’s Secret

Author: Kathleen Ernst
Series: Chloe Ellefson Mystery #9
Publication date: October 8th 2018 by Midnight Ink
Genre: Mystery / Historical Fiction

Curious to know what this book is about and what I think of it?

The Lacemaker’s Secret

Curator Chloe Ellefson needs distraction from the unsettling family secret she’s just learned. It doesn’t help that her boyfriend, Roelke McKenna, has been troubled for weeks and won’t say why. Chloe hopes a consulting job at Green Bay’s Heritage Hill Historical Park, where an old Belgian-American farmhouse is being restored, will be a relaxing escape. Instead she discovers a body in a century-old bake oven.

Chloe’s research suggests that a rare and valuable piece of lace made its way to nearby Door County, Wisconsin, with the earliest Belgian settlers. More importantly, someone is desperate to find it. Inspired by a courageous Belgian woman who survived cholera, famine, and the Great Fire, Chloe must untangle clues to reveal secrets old and new . . . before the killer strikes again.

I received an e-ARC of the book from NetGalley and Midnight Ink.

Kathleen Ernst

Kathleen began writing stories when she was just 10 years old. At 15 she wrote her first novel and she sold her first novel to a publisher 20 years later! For years she wrote while working at other day jobs. She spent 12 years working at a huge historic site, which was a perfect spot for someone interested in historical fiction. She also developed and scripted instructional videos for public television. Now she writes full-time.

The Lacemaker's Secret

A historical mystery

The Lacemaker’s Secret starts with curator Chloe Ellefson who heads to Green Bay for a consulting job at Heritage Hill Historical Park, where an old Belgian-American farmhouse is being restored. She hopes it will be a relaxing escape, because she has just discovered a unsettling family secret and her boyfriend, Roelke McKenna has been acting strange lately. She could use a distraction and is looking forward to working on the historical restoration of the Belgian farmhouse and meeting up with her old friend Elise O’Rourke. Elise is a lace scholar, who is also going to Green Bay for her job. She is looking for a rare and valuable piece of lace made by one of the earliest Belgian settlers.

What was supposed to be a delightful assignment, soon turns into a mysterious scene. When driving up to the Belgian Acres B&B, Chloe sees a century-old summer bake oven and she decided to take a look. She discovers a body in the bake oven..

The person in the bake oven is murdered and research suggests that the crime has something to do with the valuable piece of lace Elise is looking for.

The Lacemaker’s Secret is written from two perspectives. The first narrative is from Chloe. The second narrative is the story of Seraphine Morreau Lejeune, a Belgian lacemaker and early immigrant from mid-1800. Seraphine’s narrative is a story about hope, love, sisterhood, grieve and perseverance.

I adored reading the historical timeline and I really liked the mystery part of the story too. I do think I would have enjoyed the book even more if I’d read the other books in the Chloe Ellefson series too. This is the ninth novel in the series and, although you can definitely read it as a stand-alone, I do think it would give the characters more depth if you read all the books.

4 out of 5 stars.

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