Book Two in the madcap time-travel series based at the St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research that seems to be everyone’s cup of tea.
In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas a 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.
Once again, Jodi Taylor knocked it out of the park with a witty, hysterical, and action-packed installment in her The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series.
Once again, Max races against Time (ironically enough) to finish the missions assigned to her by St. Mary’s. Without dying in the process, if she can help it. Like with the previous book, this one hops around between numerous time periods. And again, I found that I enjoyed that immensely. Visiting Victorian London in the same novel as taking a stroll through the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (well, kinda of)? The snapshots of history kept me thoroughly engaged, giving me a taste without completely submerging me into the time period. There’s something to be said about that deep immersion, but with the fast-paced, action-packed rhythm of this particular novel, the hopping around does a credit to the story-telling.
The characters were truthful to their roots, and the chaos was as charming as ever. My only problem was a teensy-tiny one. The Victorian London bit felt disjointed from the remainder of the novel. Everything else seemed to tie into the over arching plot, but the quick jaunt through the swirling London fog felt disconnected from the rest. I’m hoping it’s just groundwork being laid for subsequent novels, but I couldn’t help but feel that slight pang of dissatisfaction at reaching the conclusion with some questions left unanswered.
Still, it was a delightfully entertaining story, and I wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone looking for a quirky read. 4.5 out of 5 stars!