The Night Raven

The Night Raven

Johan Rundberg

Original Title
Natur & Kultur, 2021
Fiction 9-12
Rights Sold
English World
Film Rights
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The Night Raven

Johan Rundberg

Stockholm, 1880. It’s a merciless winter and the entrances to the inner city are blocked by the snow. It’s impossible to get in or out.

Eleven-year-old Mika is an orphan and has lived at the orphanage her whole life. She helps take care of the younger children at the orphanage and works extra in a crummy pub. To survive, Mika has developed a keen sense of detail and knows how to recognize threatening situations.

Late one night at the pub, she listens in on a conversation between two policemen. There’s been a murder, and its circumstances resemble the way the Night Raven used to operate. The Night Raven was an infamous killer that terrorized the city a few years before.

Against her will, Mika is drawn into the investigation. While working together to solve the case, Mika and police constable Valdemar Hoff develop an odd friendship. Powerful people in the city are hiding something, and Mika must put all her skills to the test to solve the mystery and save them both.


Other books in the series

Press voices

Kirkus Review Best Middle-Grade Historical Fiction of 2023

“Middle-school-age historical mystery fans will appreciate the fast-moving story and intriguing setting, as well as the splashes of humor throughout.” —Historical Novels Review

“Mika is a brave, resourceful heroine, and her warm relationships with Valdemar and her peers at the orphanage counterbalance the bleak backdrop. (...) an artfully crafted mystery” —Publishers Weekly

“This gripping, fast-paced mystery comes together well, with Mika’s deductions based firmly in logic and connections based in her own clear observations…A thrilling and thoughtful period murder mystery.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“So captivating, it is impossible to let it go. The Night Raven is not only very exciting, it is also a piece of living history. /…/ Here there is tension, the nerves and the changing of pace, but perhaps the best of all is the depiction of the environment and the zeitgeist: the class differences, how hunger feels, how rancid pork fat smells and what a rat king looks like. All that sort of things emerge from the pages with a bang.” Stina Nylén, Göteborgsposten

"an unusual and talented children's detective story /.../ It is like reading Niklas Natt och Dag for children (that is: without the nastiest elements), in a killer hunt that also builds up an image of a different and harsher society." Lotta Olsson, Dagens Nyheter

“Highly recommended for those who like historical novels, exciting life stories and detective mysteries of the slightly scarier kind. Think Sherlock Holmes for younger readers.“ - Barnens boktips

“I'm sure this will be one of this year's most talked about youth books. It is utterly impossible not to be drawn into this exciting and horrific story set in 1880s Stockholm!“ - Boktanken

“I can highly recommend Nattkorpen /.../ a mustread, a very exciting book /.../ a perfect book to read aloud, so I hope that many middle school teachers will find this gem.“ - Barnboksbloggen

‎”Some might argue that several of the more gruesome and uncomfortable details will be too much for young readers – but Rundberg never crosses the line. He could have chosen to portray an Annie-like orphanage, but it is the book’s strenght that he does ‎‎not‎‎. He chooses not to underestimate his readers.‎ (…) ‎The Night Raven is a true page-turner, and lacks nothing – except for new readers, who will be lucky enough to make their acquaintance with Mika and the rest of the characters.” – Nora Steenberg, 6/6, Bok365 (Norway)

“This 'whodunnit' mystery is fully entertaining and highly recommended.” — Midwest Book Review
Crimetime Award for best children's book 2021

“A well-written and vivid Sherlock Holmesque story about the most vulnerable, set in a poor and dirty 1880s Stockholm. A new heroine to love makes her entrance – an orphanage girl with a sharp sense of detail and an unusually strong survival instinct. This is an engaging first-rate page-turner that sparks the reader’s interest for a bygone era. We long for more adventures with Mika Moonwind and constable Hoff.” - Crimetime Award jury

Winner of the August Prize 2021

“Johan Rundberg’s historical suspense novel The Night Raven, in the series about the detective duo Moonwind & Hoff, takes the reader to a stinky, shabby Stockholm. The book plays with the elements of the detective genre, giving the exposed orphanage girl Mika freedom of movement and an eye to solve crimes just because she is a nobody. The tight composition shows a striking and touching picture of the harsh living conditions in the 1880s for vulnerable, unwanted children. The rich, bustling depictions of Stockholm bring a bygone era to life and raise poignant questions about personal responsibility and the lack of social structures.” - the August Prize jury

Winner of the Karlstad Children's Novel Award

Winner of Sølvbergets reading competition "The Book of the Year" category 9-12, Norway 2023

Prix Millepages 2023 (France)

USBBY Outstanding International Books 2024

Shortlisted - GLLI YA Book Prizefor outstanding translations in YA