A curator takes on a temporary assignment in a new town.
Chloe Ellefson, a curator of collections at Old World Wisconsin, and her boyfriend, Officer Roelke McKenna of the Eagle Police Department, have taken a trip to Mineral Point, Wisconsin, where Chloe’s helping out at Pendarvis, another site run by the state historical society, and they're both going to assist their friend Adam Bolitho restore an old stone house he owns. Roelke’s upset that his cousin Libby is distancing herself from Adam, who Roelke thinks would be a great partner for her after a nasty divorce. The news that Pendarvis may be closing spells trouble for Chloe with her new colleagues because Old World Wisconsin is lapping up the lion’s share of state funds. Then Adam and Roelke find human remains and artifacts in the root cellar of Adam’s cottage. Adam's grandmother, deeply upset, asks Chloe to do some research to help identify the victim, and Chloe, always a sucker for historical mysteries (A Memory of Muskets, 2016, etc.), agrees. Faced with anger and threatening notes from the staff at Pendarvis, she must count on her friend site curator Claudia Doyle for help. A much less friendly person on site is private researcher Dr. Yvonne Miller, whose snarky, superior attitude annoys everyone. When Yvonne falls dead at Chloe’s feet in Polperro House, her demise becomes just another problem for Chloe to solve. Back in Eagle, Roelke tries to figure out a way to stop his cousin’s dangerously self-satisfied ex-husband from harassing her without getting into trouble himself. All these problems turn out to be rooted in the history Chloe unearths about the Pascoe family, who moved from Cornwall, England, to Mineral Point to carve out a better life for themselves, surmounting many obstacles along the way.
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.