A TROON author has published a historical crime novel set in Ayrshire.

In Search of the Vikings was written by Sandra McCallum under the pen name Margaret McGregor,

And Millport, Largs and Dundonald Castle all feature in the novel, which is set in modern times and in thirteenth century Scotland at the time of the Battle of Largs and features a Viking romance and a modern mystery.

Sandra taught English for many years at Kyle Academy and Marr College.

When the holiday of a lifetime was cancelled due to COVID, instead of crossing the Atlantic twice in the Queen Mary 2, the only overseas journey that Sandra was able to take was the short trip between Largs and Millport.

This was the inspiration for her novel, based on the Norwegian account of the Norse invasion of Scotland in 1263, culminating in the Battle of Largs.

The struggle to decide whether Haakon of Norway or Alexander IV, King of Scots rules the western islands, is shown in the story through the eyes of a thirteenth century princess and an international team of young students engaged in an archaeological dig to unearth evidence of Viking presence on Cumbrae.

A third strand is a mystery twentieth century death.

The book is available as a paperback and an ebook on Amazon Kindle.