In the days when we could travel, a new book by Jodi Taylor was a real treat and the perfect fun holiday reading. I clutch it in Departures, ,start it on the plane and savour it. This is the 12th Book in her Chronicles of St Mary’s series, which follows the adventures of the historical researchers of St Mary’s, (who are actually -whisper it- time travellers.) Taylors writing style is great fun, silly, stuffed full of factually curious historical information and sometime just plain daft. The narrative tension is taught, the books draw you in, have their own internal logic and take place in a world not so very different from our own. A great read if you like soft sci-fi in the style of Jasper Fordd or Douglas Adams.
The books follow the people who work in St Marys, a pseudo government research institiue, imagine a cross between Emmerdale and Dr Who with some James Bond, Mary Beard and Mrs Danvers thrown in, it’s wonderful fun. In her latest book we find ourselves thrown in to Babylon at its height and the mischief that a new face at St Marys causes. Taylors books excel in giving us real emotional connections with her wide cast of characters and it’s not all laughter and fun, there’s some hard lessons from life in these books. She writes excellent narratives, which pound along with a serious tension, wrapped in personal insights and intimate connections with her characters, who just happen to bounce around history observing some really interesting events in real contemporary time, trying not to mess things up and desperately having to deal with more nefarious unscrupulous agents who intend to change history for their own ends.
Reading Another Time, Another Place in my unexotic garden was strange, but the book managed to take me far away and give me a thrill of the exotic.
Out now £8.99
For the full series of The Chronicles of St Marys books, see Taylors website here
For more info or to order the book see the publisher’s website here