Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Death Stalks a Civil War Reenactment

Old World Wisconsin is a living history site devoted to telling the story of the German Immigrants to Wisconsin. The site is beautifully designed with farms showing how the settlers lived from the earliest immigrants to those after the Civil War.

Chloe Ellefson is a Curator at Old World Wisconsin and very proud of the living history museum. She is planning a major event about the Civil War and wants to highlight the lives of the individuals, but her boss has different ideas. He wants to stage a reenactment of a Civil War battle. Chloe is against it, but he insists believing it will bring more visitors. However, when a reenactor's body turns up on one of the farms and Roelke, a policeman and Chloe's boyfriend, suspects murder, the celebration becomes more complicated.

The story takes place on two levels. One is the present day celebration; the other is a tale of tho early settlers Klaus and Rosina, who are Roethe's forebears. The book follows both stories weaving the plots together with the historic site.

The author knows a great deal about the technical aspects of reenactments. I found it fascinating. The historical detail is also well done. The story of Klaus and Rosina has a tragic aspect that highlights the reality of the settler's lives where marriage was often a matter of convenience rather than love.

I did feel that the search for the murderer contained too much redundant information. It seemed that the characters kept repeating the same information over and over. However, the inclusion of the Civil War love story keeps the tension high.

If you enjoy a good mystery with a historical context, you may enjoy this one.

I received the book from Net Galley and Midnight Ink for this review.