Previous reviews of this British author’s Chronicles of St Mary’s series have recommended her works to those readers who adore the mayhem of St Trinians, Time Team, Monty Python and Fawlty Towers (all co-incidentally of British origin. It must be something in the tea). This installment, the 13th involving the madcap travails of authorised historians charging up and down the time line in search of the Truth surrounding historical events, faultlessly carries on where the previous books left off.
Dr Maxwell (wife, mother, doctorate of history, scourge of the Time Police) and her best friend Markham have taken shelter with well-funded bounty hunters, whose job it is to apprehend miscreants of the law who think to hide in the past. Using small pods (time traveling vehicles, nowhere near as roomy as Dr Who’s Tardis) they leap about Time pursuing (or being pursued by) the Bad Guys. This novel covers the Magna Carta event, the Gunpowder plot and Guy Fawkes. Max also gets the cushy office job she thinks she’s always dreamed of and, horrifyingly, uncovers a sinister organisation hellbent on changing History.
The author’s deadpan, dry, British wit and ability to keep the action galloping along out of control is a hallmark of this series. Nothing is too crazy, yet based around actual historical events.
The SMSA Library Acquisition Team must have travelled forward in time to acquire its copy as, at time of this review, Australian bookshops had yet to receive their own copies for retail sale. Hmmm.
Reviewed by Belinda Coombs
Murder and Crime Reading Group