1018AD. King Cnut of Denmark (aka Canute) has recently conquered England, and now must broker peace between the Saxons and the Danes at Oxford. Also in Oxford are Winston, a talented illuminator of manuscripts, and Halfdan, a roguish half-Danish half-Saxon landless noble. A prominent Saxon has been murdered and Cnut commands Winston and Halfdan to investigate.
While the mystery was reasonably while done, I found the anachronistic speech patterns quite jarring. The book is translated from Danish; I presume this is also true in the original.