Dr Janina Ramirez

Cultural Historian. Broadcaster. Author.

Riddle of The Runes

Riddle of The Runes

Riddle of THe RuneS:
A viking Mystery.
Book OnE.

Alva rushes through the trees in the dead of night with her sniffer wolf, Fen. Being out alone when there's a kidnapper on the loose is reckless, but if she ever wants to be an investigator like her Uncle Magnus, she'll need to be first to the crime scene. But what Alva discovers raises more questions than it answers, drawing her into a dangerous search for truth, and for treasure...

The debut children's fiction series from BBC historian Dr Janina Ramirez - illustrated by the highly acclaimed David Wyatt.

Book One, Riddle of the Runes: A Viking Mystery,  is set in the fictional Viking village of 'Kilsgard' and follows Alva, a fearless young detective and shield maiden as she unravels a series of thrilling mysteries with her Uncle Magnus.

Aimed at readers aged nine and above.


A book that every aspiring shield maiden should keep close to her heart if she wants her buckles to truly swash. A tale with a big, warm, wild heart.
— Frank Cottrell Boyce
I enjoyed the book very much. The characters were engaging and the story full of life and movement. It’s not a perios, or a place, that I know very much about, so I was pleased to find things I learn as well as enjoy.
— Philip Pullman
Steeped in Viking lore and enriched with all
the vibrant colour of Norse mythology, this is
a tale to be enjoyed by all, young or old . . .
I had the enormous pleasure of reading this saga with my own little shield maiden, my daughter, Freyja, who sat wide-eyed throughout. We loved the adventure as a Viking loves mead! More, please!
— Giles Kristian
The historical novel arrives for a new generation—Alva is a riddle-solving, crime-busting hero from the Viking Age—my 21st-century kids were entranced.
— Alice Roberts