Sunday, August 3, 2014

Oathbreaker (Kong Knud #2 or in English King Cnut #2) by Martin Jensen – Tara Chace (Translation)

Historical Mystery

From Goodreads:

Halfdan and his master, Winston the Illuminator, are guests in a monastery when they’re awakened in the middle of the night and asked to solve a crime. A monk praying in the church has been brutally murdered, and his severed hand offers the first clue of a motive. As they investigate who could have committed such a heinous atrocity—and why—Halfdan and Winston must negotiate bitter rivalries within the monastery’s hierarchy, a sensitive class structure, and the tension between the new laws King Cnut has sworn to uphold and the codes of honor that precede them. With peace in England on shaky ground and the king’s favor of paramount importance, Halfdan and Winston follow a precarious path toward answers that no one is sure they want.

Martin Jenson has chosen a time period I knew little about as the setting for his historical mystery series.  Oathbreaker is a translation from the Danish and Jenson uses 1018, a time when the Danes ruled England, as the setting for his mystery.  I do not know much about this time so as well as being a great mystery story it is also a history lesson. 

The story is based on an actual incident Jensen found when on a research trip to England.  From there he uses several historical sites.  Once again Halfdan and Winston are on a mission for King Cnut.  He needs to know if one of his men is really loyal.  On the journey they have to solve the murder of one of the monks in the church where they are staying.  That murder leads back to a broken oath, thus the title.

Oathbreaker has some interesting new characters that add to the spice in the story.  Once again Halfdan is at the center of everything and Winston helps guide the investigation. 

I really like this series.  Tara Chance did a great job with the translation and the story moves very smoothly.  I loved how actual history and places are shown.  It gives a very real feeling to both the characters and the setting. 

Amazon Crossing published Oathbreaker by Martin Jensen in 2014.

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