Just One Damned Thing After Another (Chronicles of St. Mary's Series #1)

Just One Damned Thing After Another (Chronicles of St. Mary's Series #1)

by Jodi Taylor


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At St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, the historians don’t just study the past, they revisit it.

Behind the strait-laced façade of a conventional academic institution, the secret of time travel is being used for ground-breaking and daring historical research taking the historians on a rollercoaster ride through history: from the destruction of Pompeii to the Normandy trenches; from the Great Fire of London to Bronze Age Troy and even to the time of the dinosaurs…

Meanwhile, within at St Mary’s itself, there are power struggles and intrigues worthy of a book in themselves.

In Book One, we follow new recruit Max as she rides the catastrophe curve from eleventh-century London to the First World War, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake ...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781910939529
Publisher: Accent Press
Publication date: 08/20/2015
Series: Chronicles of St. Mary's Series , #1
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jodi Taylor, International Woman of Mystery, spent some time working undercover forNorth Yorkshire County Library Service. Heavily disguised as the world's most incompetent Facilities Manager she shifted dead dogs, fell out of mobile libraries, and spent far too much time in the gents' toilets.

The idea to re-write history first came to her while studying history A’ level at an evening class. Just One Damned Thing After Another is her first novel and was originally self-published on ebook where it was downloaded by more than 60,000 readers on Amazon.

Read an Excerpt

There have been two moments in my life. Moments when everything changed. Moments when things could have gone either way. Moments when I had to make a choice.

The first occurred when, after another disruptive day at school, I stood in front of my head teacher, Mrs De Winter. I’d done the sullen silence thing and waited for expulsion, because I was long past three strikes and you’re out. It didn’t happen.

She said, with a strange urgency, ‘Madeleine, you cannot let your home circumstances define your entire life. You are intelligent – you have abilities of which you are not even aware. This is the only chance you will ever have. I can help you. Will you allow me to do so?’

No one had ever offered to help me before. Something flickered inside me, but distrust and suspicion die hard.

She said, softly, ‘I can help you. Last chance, Madeleine. Yes – or no?’

No words came. I was trapped in a prison of my own making.

‘Yes – or no?’

I took a huge breath and said yes.

She handed me a book, a notepad and two pens.

‘We’ll start with Ancient Egypt. Read the first two chapters and chapter Six. You must learn to assimilate, edit and present information. I want 1500 words on the precise nature of ma’at. By Friday.’

I whispered, ‘But…you know I can’t take this home.’

‘You can use the school library and leave your stuff there. Miss Hughes is expecting you.’

That was the first time.

The second time came ten years later. An email – right out of the blue.

My dear Madeleine,

I am sure you will be surprised to hear from me, but I have to say that, since you left the University of Thirsk, I have followed your career with great interest and some pride. I am writing now with details of a job opportunity I think you will find extremely interesting.

You will be aware, from your time at Thirsk, of the existence of a sister site; the St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research; an organisation I think would appeal to anyone who, like you, prefers a less structured existence. Their work inclines more towards the practical side of historical research. This is all I can say at the moment.

The Institute is located just outside Rushford, where I now reside, and interviews are on the fourth of next month. Do you think you would be interested? I feel it would be just the thing for you, so I do hope you will consider it. Your travels and archaeological experience will stand you in good stead and I really think you are exactly the type of person for whom they are looking.

The pay is terrible and the conditions are worse, but it’s a wonderful place to work – they have some talented people there. If you are interested, please click on the link below to set up a possible interview.

I’m so sorry; where are my manners? I was so anxious to let you know about this opportunity that I forgot to ask – how are you? Congratulations on your academic record at Thirsk, Doctor Maxwell! It is always gratifying to see a former pupil do so well, particularly one who laboured under so many difficulties in her early years.

Please do not reject this opportunity out of hand. I know you have always preferred to work abroad, but given the possibility that America may close its borders again and the fragmentation within the EU, perhaps now is the time to consider a slightly more settled lifestyle.

Obviously I’m very keen for you to apply, but don’t let me influence you in any way!

With best regards,

Sibyl De Winter

I always said my life began properly the day I walked through the gates of St Mary’s

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Just One Damned Thing After Another 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good read I hope the story continues. I was never sure what was going to happen next. Just the right amount of sarcastic humor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a hard to categorize book. It's entertaining, engaging, laugh out loud funny, full of action adventure and mystery, all tossed about with time travel and history thrown in. I literally couldn't put it down and bought the next two in the series. The characters are imaginative and they create a world of brilliant academia at Saint Mary's where they try to find the real answers to some of history's greatest moments...not always successfully. This first book sat on my nook shelf for months, wish I'd given it a go sooner. What a wild ride. Jp
Bubwolf More than 1 year ago
A good mystery with time travel with characters that are likeable. A enjoyable read.
rees More than 1 year ago
Absolutely LOVED this book! What a fun story, great characters, and an Author with a way with words. I do hope she comes out with a sequel soon.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Great characters and a great story the time traveling is a bonus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Fun, fast paced, and very entertaining! Can’t wait to read the rest in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A thrill ride of a story. I could barely put it down to eat. Lead character, Mary, is kind of a female combination of Han Solo & Indiana Jones. Terrific historical scenes. Loved it & am eager to devour the book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It combines history, adventure, friendship, and romance at a great pace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the plot, characters, and historical details... a trifecta for me!
TheLiteraryPhoenix More than 1 year ago
St. Mary’s is a historical research facility attached to Thurst college. It’s a small institution, remaining under the radar. The application process is quite rigorous. The training doubly so. These historians aren’t studying archaeological evidence. At least, not in the traditional way. St. Mary’s is in possession of six time machines, and it is the job of the historians to go back in time and observe history, then report their findings back to Thurst in the form of extraordinary presentations supported with technical evidence. History occasionally disapproves of this process, of course, and there is the odd casualty. Erm. Okay, the very common fatality. But the historians know what they’re getting into from day one. This novel absolutely captured my imagination. There’s not many people captivated by history, but those of us who are, are very passionate. Max is a new trainee with St. Mary’s, but she is by no means a green student. She has a doctorate in history with a focus in Ancient Cultures (have I mentioned I love Max? I love Max.) She is a bit of a loner, but not a Rebel Without A Cause. She gets in so many scrapes and tumbles throughout the novel that I spent a lot of time in high angst, scratching my head and wondering how the bloody hell she was going to get out of this one. She’s smart, but horribly unlucky. She trusts too easily and acts a bit rashly. Have I mentioned the dinosaurs? There are dinosaurs in this book. I won’t discuss that more, because I was *delighted* when I discovered there would be dinosaurs and I don’t want to give too much away. Think all the best of Michael Crichton’s imagination with the charm and spark of a witty British heroine. One of Jodi Taylor’s strengths is that she follows through on her choices. As a writer, I appreciate the fine line between dictating the direction of your story letting the pieces fall in place. As I listened to this audiobook (small aside, excellent narration on this one), I felt like Max kept leading the story herself and I would imagine Miss Taylor in front of her computer downing glass after glass of robust red wine and violently cursing her headstrong characters as she struggled to make them follow her outline. I *adore* books like that. You feel an internal struggle, and since this book has comedic elements, it was perfect. Along with that, the writing was shocking and funny. There were moments of great stress, but there were also moments that made me laugh out loud. Which wasn’t awkward at *all* on a bus filled with edgy Americans en route to Paris.... I loved it, even if I felt a bit foolish. Just One Damned Thing After Another falls within the range of New Adult. Max is just post-doctorate, but the tone is light (a la Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams) and doesn’t feel properly like an adult book. It has a few mature themes - there’s a brief, tasteful sex scene - but nothing too gruesome or graphic for the YA audience. For what it’s worth, I loved this book. I’m so glad there’s 8 more in the series so far (not including short stories). Also, I’d like to be Max when I grow up. That is all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast paced and fun
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written, love the authors sense of humor .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'd rate this higher but although I'm rooting for the romance the love interest makes some choices that I don't think I can forgive. Which makes it unsatisfying. And I might not continue the series because of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good friend recommended I read this series and I really appreciated the suggestion. So much so that I bought the whole series as gifts for family members so they can enjoy it too. Funny, sarcastic, touching, interesting, these books have it all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stumbled upon this book as a sale ebook. To my delighted surprise it encompassed my two reading passions; Scifi and History. Never expected to get caught up in this series but if the second book is like the first, I'm going to have to finish all of them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great characters and a well put together plotline. Thoroughly enjoyable!
JaniceSmith More than 1 year ago
This book is so much fun! I love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How have I not heard about this series before? Great fun. Will be buying the lot. If you loved Harry Potter, I promise you will be a fan of the St. Mary's crew.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
A fabulous twist on time travel. Here is an institute that travel in time to clarify what happened in historic events. They are very particular to not interfere in any way for fear of changing history. And History does not take kindly to anyone possible messing about with it. The premise is great and the challenges add to it all. But then there is the problem of others who have total disregard to leave History alone. They want to capitalize on it make make tons of money, no matter what the repercussions. Great stuff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So entertaining - full of action & suspence! History has never been so much fun!
TRFeller More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in a series about time traveling historians called The Chronicles of St. Mary, which is a reference to the university that supports the time travelers, and it is the author’s first novel. The premise is similar to Connie Willis’s Oxford Time Travel series, but the emphasis is on the conflicts between two competing groups of time travelers, and there is more action. The two series are also similar in that there is an additional premise that History resists change. The main character is Madeleine Maxwell, a historian who is recruited to become a time traveler. The story follows her during her orientation, training, and first several trips back in time. I found it quite readable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I read the first book, I had to get the rest of the books in the series. They are fantastic! I hope Jodi Taylor continues to write more Chronicles of St. Mary!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The travails and pratfalls of St. Mary's historians are lovingly scattered through an entertaining adventure through time and life. Loved it! Can't wait to read the rest of the series.