Accent Press. 2013
Dr Madeleine Maxwell, known as Max to all,
is an historian recruited by St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research.
St Mary’s have some time travel machines,
allowing the historians to go back and observe historically significant events as they happen.
This requires nerve, and training.
Max has the former in spades; St Mary’s provide the latter.
But there’s more at stake than Max realises.
This is a mish-mash of genres, involving history, time-travel,
boot-camp training, romance, intrigue, tragedy, and more.
It is a mish-mash in a good way,
as Max, nobody’s fool and nobody’s patsy,
powers her way through increasingly bizarre and traumatic incidents,
including serving in a WWI battlefield hospital, dodging dinosaurs and more in the Cretaceous,
and visiting the Libray of Alexandria under somewhat trying conditions.
Everyone at St Mary’s is eccentric and weird, but also competent, which is always good to see:
competence makes eccentricity funny, rather than annoying.
St Mary’s does seem to have a rather small staff for what it does
(although significantly more than the Gerry Anderson school of staffing levels).
And I never fully understood its original business model:
the time travel is a secret, so how do the historians’ observations of past events contribute to currrent knowledge?
No matter; by the end Max has come up with a new business model which is much more effective.
If the villains let them pursue it.
Which of course they won’t.
I initially dipped my toe in this series, buying only the first entry.
But before I was half-way through this compulsively readable book, I ordered the next three.
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