The Weaver's Revenge Book with Rag Rugs

Examples from MSU Museum’s large collection of Finnish American rag rugs are featured in a new museum murder mystery, The Weaver’s Revenge, by Kathleen Ernst (HenschelHAUS Publishing, 2021).

This is the eleventh book in the Chloe Ellefson Mystery series created by Ernst. Chloe is a Norwegian-American curator who works at Old World Wisconsin open-air museum near Eagle, Wisconsin in the 1980s. She studies the material culture and traditions of immigrant communities of the upper Midwest, and each book in the series finds her working as a consultant at a different (real) museum or historical site in the region. The Weaver’s Revenge takes Chloe to The Hanka Homestead in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, near Chassel in the Keweenaw Peninsula to assist with the development of the historic site and to learn about Finnish rag rug weaving. Mystery and murder ensue!

Each of Ernst’s museum mysteries revolve around objects of special meaning to an immigrant community. The Weaver’s Revenge features a rag rug with a traditional weave pattern with a wave design found in Finland and brought to the U.S. These examples of rag rugs from the MSU Museum are used as illustrations in the book.


Book cover with text "The Weaver's Revenge" and basket with fibers

Cover image used with permission from Kathleen Ernst

Multi-colored rag rug

Big Lake Wave, made by Edith Hakamaa, Ironwood, Michigan, ca. 1990

Irene Vourenmaa holding blue and white rag rug

Over the Waves, made by Irene Vourenmaa (pictured), Ironwood, Michigan, 2004

If you love museums, murder mysteries, learning about regional history, and are looking for a good summer beach read, check out the Chloe Ellefson Mystery Series. Start with Book 1, Old World Murder.

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