By Carl Slaughter: Imagine Doctor Who’s companions all got together and ran off with The Tardis and he never caught up with them. That’s something close to what you will find in The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. Jodi Taylor self-published the first book, One Damned Thing After Another, and it was so popular it received 600 5-star reviews on Amazon. The seventh novel in the series, Lies, Damned Lies, and History, came out in May. Novel #8 is set for 2017. There are also several short stories. For those in the UK, listen to a live podcast of Taylor at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford on October 20th and catch up with her at the Cardiff Comic Con October 29th and 30th.
ONE DAMNED THING AFTER ANOTHER
“History is just one damned thing after another.” —Arnold Toynbee
Behind the seemingly innocuous facade of St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, a different kind of academic work is taking place. Just don’t call it “time travel”—these historians “investigate major historical events in contemporary time.” And they aren’t your harmless eccentrics either; a more accurate description, as they ricochet around history, might be unintentional disaster-magnets.
The first thing you learn on the job at St. Mary’s is that one wrong move and history will fight back—sometimes in particularly nasty ways. But, as new recruit Madeleine Maxwell soon discovers, it’s not only history they’re often fighting.
The Chronicles of St. Mary’s tells the chaotic adventures of Max and her compatriots—Director Bairstow, Chief Leon Farrell, Mr. Markham, and many more—as they travel through time, saving St. Mary’s (too often by the very seat of their pants) and thwarting time-travelling terrorists, all the while leaving plenty of time for tea.
From eleventh-century London to World War I, from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria, one thing is for sure: wherever the historians at St. Mary’s go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake.
A SYMPHONY OF ECHOES
In the sequel to Just One Damned Thing After Another, Max and company visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches. But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St. Mary’s—an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy history itself to do it.
A SECOND CHANCE
In A Second Chance, it seems nothing can go right for Max and her fellow historians. The team confronts a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton and later witnesses how the ancient and bizarre cheese-rolling ceremony in Gloucester can result in CBC: Concussion By Cheese.
Finally, Max makes her long-awaited jump to Bronze Age Troy, only for it to end in personal catastrophe. And just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse, it’s back to the Cretaceous Period to confront an old enemy who has nothing to lose.
A TRAIL THROUGH TIME
In A Trail Through Time, Max and Leon are reunited and looking forward to a peaceful lifetime together. Sadly, that doesn’t even last until lunchtime.
The action races from seventeenth-century London to Ancient Egypt and from Pompeii to fourteenth-century Southwark as the historians are pursued up and down the timeline, playing a perilous game of hide-and-seek before seeking refuge at St. Mary’s—where new dangers await them. Overwhelmed, outnumbered, and with the building crashing down around them, will this spell the end of St. Mary’s?
NO TIME LIKE THE PAST
Jodi Taylor’s best-selling series The Chronicles of St Mary is back with a bang…St Mary’s has been rebuilt and it’s business as usual for the History department. But first, there’s the little matter of a seventeenth-century ghost that only Mr Markham can see. Not to mention the minor inconvenience of being trapped in the Great Fire of London…and an unfortunately-timed comfort break at Thermopylae leaving the fate of the western world hanging in the balance..
WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG
Max is back! New husband, new job, and a training regime that cannot fail – to go wrong! Take one interim Chief Training Officer, add five recruits, mix with Joan of Arc, a baby mammoth, a duplicitous Father of History, a bombed rat, Stone Age hunters, a couple of passing policemen who should have better things to do, and Dick the Turd. Stir well, bring to the boil – and wait for the bang!
LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND HISTORY
“I’ve done some stupid things in my time. I’ve been reckless. I’ve broken a few rules. But never before have I ruined so many lives or left such a trail of destruction behind me.”
As Max would be the first to admit, she’s never been one for rules. But in Lies, Damned Lies, and History, she’s gone too far and now everyone is paying the price. Grounded until the end of time, how can she ever put things right?
AND THE REST IS HISTORY
You think you’re having a bad day? Max is trapped in the same deadly sandstorm that buried the fifty thousand-strong army of the Pharaoh Cambyses II, and she’s sharing the only available shelter for miles around with the murdering psychopath who recently kidnapped her and left her adrift in time.
She’s no safer at St. Mary’s. Tragedy strikes—not once, but several times—and with no Leon, no Markham, and no Peterson at her side, Max’s personal life slowly begins to unravel. From the Egyptian desert to the Battle of Hastings, and from Bayeux Cathedral to the Sack of Constantinople, Max must race through time to save the ones she loves.
SHORT STORIES IN THE CHRONICLES OF ST. MARY’S SERIES
- “When A Child is Born”
- “Roman Holiday”
- “Christmas Present”
- “Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings”
- “The Very First Damned Thing”