Books by Kathleen Ernst

THE LACEMAKER'S SECRET  by Kathleen Ernst
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2018

"In this heartfelt tale of labor and love, Ernst (Mining for Justice, 2017, etc.) produces one of her most winning combinations of historical evocation and clever mystery."
Lace is the fabric that holds together past and present. Read full book review >
MINING FOR JUSTICE  by Kathleen Ernst
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2017

"The eighth in the series contrasts the difficult life of Wisconsin's Cornish miners with the heroine's burgeoning romance, highlighting both her researching skills and her unusual feel for the past."
A curator takes on a temporary assignment in a new town. Read full book review >
A MEMORY OF MUSKETS by Kathleen Ernst
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2016

"Veteran Ernst (Death on the Prairie, 2015, etc.) provides a new perspective on the Civil War woven together with a compelling mystery."
The strange atmosphere in an old cabin almost ruins a relationship. Read full book review >
DEATH ON THE PRAIRIE by Kathleen Ernst
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2015

"This sixth adventure for Chloe (Tradition of Deceit, 2014, etc.) is a real treat for Little House fans, a fine mystery supplemented by fascinating information on the life and times of Laura Ingalls Wilder."
Two sisters take a road trip that will change their lives. Read full book review >
TRADITION OF DECEIT by Kathleen Ernst
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 8, 2014

"The latest case for Chloe (Heritage of Darkness, 2013, etc.) provides informative historical facts, two good mysteries, and the trials and tribulations of a difficult relationship."
A police officer and a museum curator each try to solve a separate murder case while maintaining their romantic relationship. Read full book review >
HERITAGE OF DARKNESS by Kathleen Ernst
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 8, 2013

"Chloe's fourth (The Light Keeper's Legacy, 2012, etc.) provides a little mystery, a little romance and a little more information about Norwegian folk art and tales."
Murder is the latest exhibit in a Norwegian folk-art museum. Read full book review >
THE LIGHT KEEPER'S LEGACY by Kathleen Ernst
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 8, 2012

"Chloe's third (The Heirloom Murders, 2011, etc.) combines a good mystery with some interesting historical information on a niche subject."
A curator is happy to be loaned out to investigate an old lighthouse, until her trip turns from a treat into a nightmare. Read full book review >
THE HEIRLOOM MURDERS by Kathleen Ernst
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"Complex characterization and a stronger mystery make Ernst's second more likely to appeal to a broader audience than her debut, which got by largely on interesting historical tidbits still happily in evidence here."
A curator and a cop team up to solve a murder. Read full book review >
OLD WORLD MURDER by Kathleen Ernst
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

"A gentle puzzler best appreciated by amateur genealogists and folk artists. The slow pace will bore most others."
Ernst, a veteran of YA fiction, introduces her first adult heroine in this cozy, small-town mystery. Read full book review >
HEARTS OF STONE by Kathleen Ernst
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Before he leaves to join the Union army, Hannah Cameron's father tells her, "You may look like a girl, but I know you too well. You're stubborn as a mule. You'll help see things through." And 15-year-old Hattie does, even after Pa's death in the war, her mother's death after an attack by bushwhackers and her journey with her siblings to Nashville, now controlled by the Yankees. Hard times continue in Nashville, a city of congested streets, stinking alleys and refugee camps overcrowded with hollow-eyed women and starving children. Ernst's memorable tale demonstrates in vivid detail how wars affect women and children, and Hattie's stubbornness does indeed help to keep her family together and her dream of returning to Cumberland Mountain alive. The prose is lively, the action dramatic. Historical details never overwhelm the story, and readers will be hooked from the start. (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
HIGHLAND FLING by Kathleen Ernst
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2006

Tanya MacDonald Zeshonski is 15, and divorce has led her mom to move to North Carolina from the Wisconsin Tanya loved. Tanya's sister Nan, like her mother, is seriously into their Scottish heritage: The girls do traditional dancing and the whole family attends the Highland Games. Tanya fights fiercely against the whole heritage idea, bitter about her dad's remarriage and taking refuge in her vision of herself as a documentary filmmaker. At the Games she runs into Miguel, who despite having very little Scots ancestry loves the bagpipes and is learning to play. There are a lot of strands here and Ernst balances them nicely for the most part: divorce, recovery and anger; what it takes to make a documentary, do a Scots dance or play the pipes; the haunting nature of history, culture and racial memory. Meanwhile, prickly, over-organized Tanya discovers the wild, strong women in her past. Readers will wish that she and Miguel had at least gotten to the kissing part, however. (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
BETRAYAL AT CROSS CREEK by Kathleen Ernst
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 2004

The American Revolution smolders in the North Carolina hills in 1775; for the thousands of recently immigrated Scots settlers, choosing sides is very difficult. Most of them are still reeling from the long-reaching effects of their own failed rebellion against the British 30 years ago. Twelve-year-old Elspeth, whose grandparents bear physical and emotional scars from that long-ago war, wants nothing more than to fit in to her new life as a weaver's apprentice to an English woman. When Patriots begin to threaten her family, she's not sure what to do. Strong writing brings the setting to life; when Grandda roars, "I fought at Culloden, ye numpty gowks!" readers may not know "Culloden," "numpty," or "gowks," but will understand the overall meaning just fine. Complex emotions are as balanced as the light and dark threads in the overshot patterns Elspeth loves to weave, and Elspeth, trying desperately to find her own balance, is appealing and brave. Only the focus on the requisite mystery seems a touch off, a constraint forced upon the book by its inclusion in the "History Mysteries" series. Still, a grand read and an important addition for this age group about the Revolutionary War. (Historical fiction. 8-14)Read full book review >