Kin by Snorri Kristjansson is book 1 of a new series featuring Helga Finnsdottir, a teenage female amateur detective living in 970AD Viking Sweden. The setting and heroine were drawcards I found it an immensely readable book.
To add a twist to the tale, Helga is the daughter of a farming couple, adopted after the last blood-related child had left home so while she hasn’t met most of them previously, she has heard all of the tales about them. The other four adult children are en route to the farm for a family gathering, spouses and children in tow.
The first murder occurs within the long house (a closed room murder) and it’s clear that it was committed by a family member. Helga’s birth-family background is not known but she is smart, quiet, observant and she is an unknown quantity to the rest of the family. When the second murder occurs within the farm boundaries, she doesn’t intentionally set out to solve the crimes but she does start thinking. When the family is about to blame both murders upon an innocent person, Helga steps up her investigation before the wrong person is sentenced to death.
I very much enjoyed Kin, as much for the detailed background of Viking Sweden as for the plot twists around each corner. The truth does not come out until right in final chapter.
We’ve had Scandi Noir, now we have Viking Noir. Fortunately, Helga’s tale is continued in book 2, Council,