The Bear at Midnight is the fourth book in the Orkneyinga Murders series. Set in Viking Scotland, this mystery centres around the appointment of a new leader. With lots at stake, everyone is using their physical strength, political power, good looks or whatever they’ve got going for them to try and secure their preferred outcome.
This is a gripping story. I could barely put it down, and only got distracted finding out if I could learn tablet weaving (not having a hole punch handy prevented me going TOO far down that rabbit hole…). I love the level of historical detail – it really brought the story to life! I have friends and family who do nålbinding so it was great to see it getting a mention!
Sigrid and Ketil make a good team, able between them to talk to most people and find out their version of events. There’s a lot to unravel, with secrets and strong feelings being harboured by many. There are plenty of other great characters too, including a troublemaking pig!
I haven’t read the earlier books in the series, and found The Bear at Midnight easy enough to follow so I would say it could work as a standalone. I am now desperate to read the other books when I get a chance, though, so why not start with book one?
This book gets five stars from me! I would recommend it to fans of historical mysteries and any Viking enthusiasts.