Guest Blog Post by Kathleen Ernst
Most of us, I suspect, have confronted that question—which made it perfect to explore in my latest mystery, Tradition of Deceit. As one reviewer noted, “In Ernst’s exciting fifth Chloe Ellefson mystery... everybody has secrets.” (Publisher’s Weekly)
Chloe, my protagonist, is collections curator at a large living history site in Wisconsin. Tradition of Deceit takes her to Minneapolis to help a friend write a proposal to turn an abandoned flour mill into a museum—in the aftermath of a murder at the site. Meanwhile Chloe’s boyfriend, beat cop Roelke McKenna, is in Milwaukee struggling to solve the murder of his best friend. Distance puts a strain on their still-fragile relationship. Then personal revelations further test their faith in each other.
The dictionary defines “secret” as “something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others.” The definition of “deceit,” however, is a bit more purposeful: “the act or practice of concealing or distorting the truth for the purpose of misleading.”
Decisions about what to reveal to a new partner, and when and how to reveal it, can be sticky. Chloe and Roelke are very different people, and their relationship has had its share of challenges along the way. So if one of them hasn’t shared something important with the other, is that a secret? Or is it deceit?
Since Chloe and Roelke wrestle with that question in their personal lives, it felt natural to mirror the theme in the mystery plots as well. Friends keep secrets. Professional colleagues keep secrets. Spouses keep secrets. Secrets from the past have implications for both of the modern murders.
So…is it ever OK to keep something important secret from a loved one? There’s no simple answer, but I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I’m grateful to Melissa for letting me celebrate my new book here. And in gratitude to readers, I’m giving away six books! Leave a comment for a chance to win any one of my Chloe Ellefson mysteries: Old World Murder, The Heirloom Murders, The Light Keeper’s Legacy, Heritage of Darkness, or Tradition of Deceit.
About Kathleen: Tradition of Deceit is Kathleen Ernst’s thirtieth book. In addition to the Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites series, she has written many books for American Girl, including nine about the historical character she created, Caroline Abbott. Over 1.5 million copies of Kathleen’s titles have been sold. The Chloe series has earned a LOVEY Award for Best Traditional Mystery, and several of her mysteries for young readers have been finalists for Edgar or Agatha awards. Visit Kathleen at www.kathleenernst.com, www.facebook.com/kathleenernst.author, or www.sitesandstories.wordpress.com for more information.
Kathleen's in-house feline editor Sophie
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