Chloe Ellefson series by Kathleen Ernst from Midnight Ink.
Writing history based narrative fiction is always a tricky prospect because often, it winds up being too technical for period fiction lovers and not academically rigid enough for historians. Balancing between the needs of laymen and academics is something living history museums are well acquainted with, almost always with the added constraint of budget cuts and lack of resources.
'Fighting the good fight', to provide resources and education to the public and academics is obviously very familiar to the author of this authentically written and engaging mystery.
Set in Mineral Point, Wisconsin and environs, Chloe Ellefson is a visiting curator on loan, who's only trying to enjoy a week long sabbatical from her antagonistic, micromanaging boss. What she gets instead is murder, intrigue and a long buried skeleton in a root cellar.
The plotting is well managed between the current day and supporting flashbacks to the 1830's. The dialogue is believable and well written. The characters are well drawn (this is the 8th book in the series).
The novel functions fine as a standalone, though I found it well written enough that I intend to go pick up the other entries in the series. Chloe and company are fun and intelligent. I enjoyed the book very much. I also enjoyed the actual photographs of the site and some of the artifacts written in the book (though they're fictionalized of course).
Stats: 384 pages, available in Kindle, library binding and paperback
Published October 8, 2017
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.