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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 27 July 2013
I was deeply suspicious of all the 5* reviews especially for a first book - but it was free so ..... really what did I have to lose except 20 minutes checking it out.

I now feel guilty that I allowed my poor experiences with other 'well-reviewed' books (You know the ones where they're all from the author's friends and family) to prejudice me quite so much - because I could easily have missed this one and it is flipping brilliant. Just awesome. And I don't know the author or anything about her (or care) as long as she carries on writing.

Max, our tea-drinking heroine has a Doctorate in history when her ex-headmistress contacts her about a position at a sister establishment to her old university. Pretty much from the interview with Dr Bairstow, the head of the facility when Max thinks that "Thinking carefully is something that happened to other people" before signing her life away, I was hooked. I stayed hooked throughout the whole book which is quite unusual for me. but it's very well plotted, structured and nicely fast-paced.

It's not often that I can write that a heroine was intelligent and witty but Max genuinely is. I think she would have got on well with Dorothy Parker!
She also has a wonderful line in snark and had me actually laughing out loud so many times that my partner asked, "What on earth are you reading?"

I don't want to post plot spoilers and it is quite a complex book but I REALLY do recommend it to anyone who feels that it's been too long since they actually read 'something different'. The something different is in a very good way I'm just not quite sure how to categorise it.

Oh and finally -- As for the scene with Izzy Barker - genius - just pure genius - I read it 3 times and was still laughing at the end of the third read through.
I really want to read more from the author and am quite cross that isn't anything ... yet.
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on 21 July 2013
The story follows Dr Maxwell as she is offered the job of a lifetime at St Mary's the institute of historical research, but their research is a lot more hands on then most: Time-travel, romance, science, betrayal, friendship and fighting for survival included.

I totally and utterly loved this book. I couldn't put it down, I fell into the action packed and adventure ridden world that Jodi Taylor has envisioned.
The fast pace and the twists of the story really keep you intrigued and the sheer detail in Dr Maxwells induction into St Mary's and how the institute works was incredibly thought out and really interesting - and that's before any of the real adventures even occur!
I love how well developed the characters are, how you truly root for the heroes and are appalled at the villains.

This story is so very British, full of humour and sarcasm and many many cups of tea.
It was an absolute delight to read and I cannot wait till the next one comes out!
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on 15 July 2013
Considering Jodi is a new author, I am most impressed. The book keeps me occupied for hours at a time. It is well written and the right pace. The subject is interesting and has made me delve into history more than ithought I would.

I'm buying the next one when it comes out.
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VINE VOICEon 29 July 2015
I can't believe I have only just discovered Jodi Taylor! This is a great book with an interesting concept behind it of St Mary's and quirky British humour and time travel. The character of Max is very good; she is likeable and eccentric, with an intriguing back story which is only partly revealed. The other characters at St Mary's are well drawn, with a mixture of goodies and baddies and some in that grey area in the middle. There are some great scenes which had me laughing out loud and I know this will be a book to reread. I love the way that a cup of tea seems to solve everything even the very alarming death toll! I didn't go back and work out exactly how many people died in this book but rather more than in most books I read. There is something about this book which makes you desperate to carry on reading - I lost an evening to this book because I just had to finish it and a colleague I recommended it too complained that she couldn't concentrate at work because she wanted to get back to it! The only reason I have not given this 5 stars is the confusing time line; its not really clear how much time is passing as everything seems to be happening so fast and yet suddenly Max mentions it has been 4 years which didn't seem right. It seems like a small thing but spoiled my enjoyment of the story. However, I have already bought book 2 and am looking forward to getting back to Max and St Mary's.
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on 30 June 2013
A very enjoyable read. Humorous and exciting it romps along at a great pace.
with cups of tea to sustain the team on their way. Where will the St Mary's team jump to next? Can't wait to read the next book.
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on 26 July 2013
History, time travel, bad guys, mayhem and lots and lots of tea!
This was a brilliant, enjoyable read, about a historical research society who have some very powerful technology - time travel, to be exact - which helps them to ensure accuracy when recording events.
However, someone wants to destroy what St Mary's stands for - someone who has access to the same technology as the historians, and who is willing to do whatever it takes to stop them - even murder.
There were lots of things which made this book enjoyable for me - such as the researchers having no eyebrows, the Chief's ongoing battle to have them leave the batteries in the fire alarms, the regular blasts that rocked the building, the battles in the bar, and the fact that Madeleine 'Max' Maxwell seems to be a complete disaster magnet all added to the charm of the story.
Yes, there are probably anomalies relating to the time travel element, but they didn't spoil the story for me. Yes, she probably brushed over some points in order to keep the story moving. But I didn't care. This was a wonderfully crazily insane story, and I loved it. And even though I am not a Beatles fan, I loved the fact that, once Max got her head back together, stole a pod and went on her rescue mission back to the Cretaceous period, she blasted 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' out of the pod speakers to let them know she was there to rescue them. And her termination with extreme prejudice of Izzie Barclay was wonderful!
Another thing that I really liked about this book was the fact that, although there was some childhood trauma in her past, it was hardly touched on, instead concentrating on the Chief, possibly because it doesn't have any relevance to the story...at least not yet.
I can't wait for the next Chronicle of St Mary's - I want to know what happens next, before they change history again!
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on 26 July 2013
Loved this funny witty written story. Kept you reading from start to finish. Some very strong and lovable characters ( and some not so nice ) made this a readable tale of make believe time travel with lots of hidden adventures and troubles along the way. With plenty of tea drinking along the way . If all fails put the kettle on. A book after my own heart totally agree "a cup tea is the answer to every thing" Enjoyed the slow growing relationships that developed through the book with lots of twists and turns as the love / hate jealousy/ admiration grew.
Look forwarded to reading the next book.
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on 21 June 2016
I've bought all 6 books having read this one, it reminded me somewhat of the television series Primeval. It isn't ,as someone wrote ,the next "Sir Terry". This isn't a 5 star read but certainly good enough to keep the pages turning and desire to read the next book. It has a very British essence, I'm not entirely certain of the elements that convey that essence , maybe they just resonate if you happen to be British, the dry humour and underplaying of drama while dramatising the ordinary. I want St Marys to be a real place, in the same way the Tardis should actually exist and Oberon, Titania and Puck et al are living in ancient forestland( possibly in contact with Torchwood). If you enjoy weird and wonderful fiction, as I do, you should enjoy The Chronicles Of St Mary's with it's historians adventures through time. Someone complained that the characters are one dimensional , I chose to view the characters as people I'm meeting for the first time, I don't want to immediately be overwhelmed by their personal complexities as well as their activities, that would make them characters to avoid in future, I'm happy to learn about those further dimensions as the series progresses, I found them at least 2 dimensional by the end of this book. Absolutely no plot spoilers ensuring you know the the tale without reading it , you need to make up your own minds.
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on 13 August 2013
This book should not be free!! Jodi, pls start charging!!! Its absolutely brilliant, in a separate class of its own. I would gladly donate/buy it again when you start charging
Well done!!!! I hope to read more from you
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on 16 August 2013
Great read, hooked from the first page, so much going on. Can't believe that this was a free book. This was so well written, simply rolled from page to page. I read the reviews before I downloaded and was a bit skeptical but have to say the reviewers were right. The twists and turns of the story mean that its difficult (who am I kidding I didn't see most of it coming!) to predict what will come next. Its almost like there are three stories entwined together, the mystery, the history and the romance. I have to say the romance is a very minor part of the story, the history is a medium part and the advenure/action is another chunk. My main concern when I downloaded was that there were so many comments about the history. Well its not boring and its essential to the story. The whole thing is very well balanced. Loved the descriptions of the preparation for the various trips, the destinations, the humour and the heroine who just doesn't get that she is just that. I could go on all day - best book I have read in years, can't wait for the next one.
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