cover image Runemaker: A Margit Andersson Mystery

Runemaker: A Margit Andersson Mystery

Rudolf Steiner, Tiina Nunnally. Fjord Press, $12 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-940242-77-7

In this mystery whose roots go back to golden treasures cast into Danish bogs 1500 years ago, Nunnally, translator of many Scandinavian-language books, most notably Peter Hoeg's Smilla's Sense of Snow, introduces unlikely sleuth Margit Andersson, a freelance translator in Seattle. The drama begins when Andersson discovers the body--with a knife in the back--of 80-year-old Soren Rasmussen, a Danish emigre whom Andersson befriended while helping him with translations. Then Andersson receives a letter sent earlier by Rasmussen with sketches and runes that have some connection to the ""Golden Horns,"" ceremonial drinking horns, all previous examples of which were melted down. Apparently Rasmussen, who was being hounded by an unscrupulous collector. While the historic background is intriguing, unfortunately the story relies greatly on ""atmosphere'' that is ultimately bland, the point of view jumps awkwardly at times and some of the tricks intended to build tension are merely irritating, such as Andersson's habit of resolving to give up the chase just before it becomes obvious she will discover another key clue. (Oct.)