Wednesday, the 18th of January, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature created by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. Since last week, Shelf Control has moving base here to Literary Potpourri. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, when/where you got it, why you want to read it and such. If you participate, don’t forget to share your links in the comments. I’ll check out your picks of course, and also add you to the list of participants in this post!

For today’s pick I rummaged around my stack of paperbacks (much less unruly than the virtual shelves now), and picked a book by an author I enjoy very much but which has all the same been lurking on my shelves for over a year (at least). The Summer of the Danes (1992) by Ellis Peters. English author Edith Mary Pargeter, who wrote as Ellis Peters (among other pseudonyms) is known for works of history and historical fiction including the historical mystery series set in the 12th century, the Brother Cadfael mysteries. Set during the period of the ‘contest’ between King Stephen and Empress Maud for the English throne, the series centres on a Benedictine monk, Brother Cadfael who lives in Shrewsbury Abbey and investigates and solves murders. Cadfael is a former Crusader, something explored in the books and it was in the East that he also acquired strong knowledge of herbs and medicines which he uses to help people. The books not only have good mystery plots but are rich in period detail and atmosphere.

The Summer of the Danes is one of the later books in this 21 book series, being the 18th chronicle to feature Cadfael. It is the summer of 1144 and the two royal cousins and contenders for the throne, King Stephen and Empress Maud have exhausted each other–at least for the moment. Grateful for the peace, Cadfael decides to accompany a friend to Wales. But Cadfael is captured by an army of Danish mercenaries and finds himself in the midst of a quarrel between two brothers while he and his friend Deacon Mark must also carry out the diplomatic mission to two bishops in Wales with which they have been entrusted. This is an installment in the series which has a little more of an adventure theme than usual.

I’ve read six of the books in this series so far and enjoyed all of them. The mysteries themselves are enjoyable but more than that, what I love about them is the period detail and atmosphere which makes one really feel that one is in the 12th century!

Have you read this book or any others in this series? Which ones and how did you like them? Have you seen the adaptation?

Cover image and book description via Goodreads as always; Shelf Control graphic as created by Lisa originally.

Shelf Control Participants this week

Amy @ A Novel Start: Keeper of Enchanted Rooms by Charlie N. Holmberg

Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys: The Survivors by Jane Harper


27 thoughts on “Shelf Control #211: The Summer of the Danes by Ellis Peters

  1. I’ve still only read the first Cadfael book, but I enjoyed it and will be reading more. There are so many series I’ve started but never finished – I definitely need to continue with some of them this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only read a non-Cadfael novel by Peters and that’s City of Gold and Shadows, part of a different crime series, so I can’t help you here, sorry! I did enjoy it, sort of, but not enough to deliberately search out more of her work (even though some titles are set on the Welsh borders).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read Cadfael as a teenager but I’ve been thinking I’ll pick him up again, as I’d get more from the period detail now. The tv series is very good with Derek Jacobi – I saw an episode recently and it hadn’t dated too badly at all. Hope you enjoy this when you get to it Mallika!

    Liked by 1 person

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