I have vented here before about some of the strange things authors do. Well, I stumbled across another howler last night. I was reading a murder mystery, Boundary Waters, by William Kent Krueger. It's part of a series set in the mythical Minnesota community of Aurora, a town that appears to be somewhere in the general vicinity of the real community of Ely, Minnesota (close to the top of the state and to the east of US-53 in the map provided below). The fictional town is close to the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area and has, like much of northern Minnesota, become popular with tourists, especially since the local Ojibwe opened a casino. There's a lot to like about the Krueger's books: they're fast paced, well-written, and have sufficient plot twists to keep a reader guessing.
Boundary Waters does have a real blooper in it, but it's one of those things most people won't notice or care about. The main character's ex-wife is described as being a military brat, the daughter of a woman who was single and a captain. Well, the book is set in the late 1990s, the ex-wife is somewhere around 40, so it would be impossible for her to have a mother who was career military. Getting pregnant used to be an automatic out regardless of rank or marital status. Up until the late 1970s, women could get married and stay in, but they couldn't have kids. Krueger tosses in the supposed military background as part of fleshing out the ex-wife's backstory. It would probably bother me more if I thought the ex-wife's background was going to turn into a major plot element in the series, but given that the sample chapter of the next book implied he's killing the wife off soon -- it looks like she's going to die in a plane crash -- I figure it's irrelevant. Just another small example of no matter how much research authors do, there's always going to be something they screw up.