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The Worst Always Happens

Plan for the Worst Book Cover Plan for the Worst
The Chronicles of St Mary's #11
Jodi Taylor
Fiction
Headline
April 14, 2020
512

The eleventh book in the bestselling Chronicles of St Mary's series. If you love Jasper Fforde, Ben Aaronovitch or Doctor Who, you won't be able to resist Jodi Taylor. I would have trusted this man with my life. Until a couple of days ago, anyway. You know what they say - hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Max is quite accustomed to everything going wrong. She's St Mary's, after all. Disaster is her default state. But with her family reunited and a jump to Bronze Age Crete in the works, life is getting back to normal. Well, normal for St Mary's. And then, following one fateful night at the Tower of London, everything Max thought she knew comes crashing down around her. Too late for plans. The worst has happened. And who can Max trust now? Readers love Jodi Taylor: 'Once in a while, I discover an author who changes everything... Jodi Taylor and her protagonista Madeleine "Max" Maxwell have seduced me' 'A great mix of British proper-ness and humour with a large dollop of historical fun' 'Addictive. I wish St Mary's was real and I was a part of it' 'Jodi Taylor has an imagination that gets me completely hooked' 'A tour de force'

So Jodi, I mentioned the yellow puddles to my husband- he wanted to know Why I was giggling_and the answer came back: Liquid dynamics;
pressure flow; pipe diameters and drips. So there you have it.
 I have read every book in this series so the beginning confused me.
I had last read of Matthew being grown, so to have him back as a child was wrong. However, I soon got back into the swing of reading, giggling, and sheer amazement at the characters' behaviour and pickles they find themselves in.
 I should point out though, that the flu pandemic mentioned about Paris, was no doubt COVIDI9.
 Just not recognized in this version of history.
 This is not the book to start the series though, and it really isn't standalone. There are too many characters who appear tangentially and too many past adventures.
 I love this series and the madcap weary disasters and  the strange romances between unusual characters. 
History is explained in a very readable form and thus the books are educational too! And very very funny, but with bathos and pathos, and sadness too.

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Marriage not a la mode

The Potential for Love Book Cover The Potential for Love
A Regency Novel
by Catherine Kullmann
Historical Fiction , Romance
Willow Books BooksGoSocial
(25 Mar. 2020)

When Arabella Malvin sees the figure of an officer silhouetted against the sun, for one interminable moment she thinks he is her brother, against all odds home from Waterloo. But it is Major Thomas Ferraunt, the rector’s son, newly returned from occupied Paris who stands in front of her. For over six years, Thomas’s thoughts have been of war. Now he must ask himself what his place is in this new world and what he wants from it. More and more, his thoughts turn to Miss Malvin, but would Lord Malvin agree to such a mismatch for his daughter, especially when she is being courted by Lord Henry Danlow? As Arabella embarks on her fourth Season, she finds herself more in demand than ever before. But she is tired of the life of a debutante, waiting in the wings for her real life to begin. She is ready to marry. But which of her suitors has the potential for love and who will agree to the type of marriage she wants? As she struggles to make her choice, she is faced with danger from an unexpected quarter while Thomas is stunned by a new challenge. Will these events bring them together or drive them apart?

This was my first novel by Catherine Kullman and although it is set in the same world as Darcy Burke’s and Erica Ridley’s books, ie the Regency period, this writer is very different in style and content.
This is a much more serious Regency romance. 
Set just after the battle of Waterloo with the regiments back in the UK on furlough as no longer on active duty. As a result the younger sons and gentlemen of the Ton were welcomed back in their best regimental finery - which of course was very dashing. Much more so than standard society dress.
However, it was not this that was to be the attraction between our two - Thomas and Bella. It was more the things that her father said were important for marriage. Friendship, companionship, similar interests and so on, and of course having compatible temperaments.  Bella’s father said love would come if the other elements were satisfactory and he should know as he was on wife 2. And again we had a number of women dying as they gave birth. 
He was also someone who believed that women could look after money and that they were sensible enough to own property.
This romance, typical of the genre has its ups and downs, with some excitement and rejected lovers etc etc and unexpected events that turn their expectations of their lives together upside down.
This novel was of a good length and thus Catherine could explore quite a number of elements of the story and make it richer and more diverse. It was also enhanced by the author’s research into the era and the incorporation into the story of true elements of history. Not just the boots described in the fashion magazine but also the way men thought about what happened when they were away in the army. According to them the Bible accepted concubines - or mistresses - and it was acceptable to find one as a companion - such as a widow to ‘provide a refuge from military life’. See also what happens when Muslims go on pilgrimage and are ‘rented’ a wife for their stay. Hey ho - the bible was written by men!
 
I thought the novel was written and thoughtful and enjoyed her take on a Regency Romance.

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Let’s View the past – in contemporary time

Doing Time Book Cover Doing Time
Chronicles of St Mary's
Jodi Taylor
contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy, time travel, steam punk
Headline
(15 Oct. 2020)
paperback

Introducing the Time Police, the brand-new series by international best-selling author Jodi Taylor - an irresistible spinoff from the much-loved Chronicles of St Mary's series. Perfect listening for fans of Doctor Who, Ben Aaronovitch and Jasper Fforde. 

A long time ago in the future, the secret of time travel became known to all. Everyone seized the opportunity - and the world nearly ended. There will always be idiots who want to change history. 

And so, the Time Police were formed. An all-powerful, international organisation tasked with keeping the timeline straight. At all costs.

Their success is legendary, and the Time Wars are over. But now the Time Police must fight to save a very different future - their own.

This is the story of Jane, Luke and Matthew - arguably the worst recruits in Time Police history. Or, very possibly, three young people who might just change everything. 

Why is Nothing ever Simple:

A special Chronicles of St Mary’s Christmas short story

It’s Christmas at St Mary’s and time for the traditional illicit jump. Except this one is perfectly legal. It’s Major Guthrie’s last jump. To the Battle of Bannockburn, no less. An important moment in History for two nations – one that warrants everyone’s full attention.

But Max soon finds herself grappling with a near-lethal game of pooh sticks, another avian incursion and two turbulent teenagers intent on piloting their own illegal jump. And that’s all before they even get near fourteenth-century Scotland.

For this is St Mary’s and nothing is ever simple .

My Review
The series continues.

10 books and some small stories, and still more in the pipeline.

It is some time since I picked up this series but found the 2019 Christmas novella and read it immediately! Bannockburn and the removal of  the King’s   head by The Bruce. But did he do it? Major Guthrie wants to know. Who exactly did remove it is part of what's explored here_ and where was Mikey going with the Teapot? And what might have happened if they did go?

I then found 2 more short stories and a complete book I had missed!

'When Did You Last See Your Father?'

'And Now for Something Completely Different?

========================================

Now for Jodi Taylor. ‘Doing Time’.

She is still working her St Mary’s series, but has branched out to take Matthew back to the Time Police, and is starting a spin-off about him and 2 unlikely colleagues becoming Time Police trainees.

As always it is full of humour as per this funny statement about the business of maintenance finding what small parts always roll around and then are lost into an alternative dimension- just like socks I think.  Speak to any woman and they will tell you about how 2 socks go into the washing machine, but when you go to pair them up, there is only l.

I cannot fault Jodi Taylor. Her ST. M. books always make me giggle.

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Where did she go?

The Vanished Bride Book Cover The Vanished Bride
Bella Ellis
Female sleuths, historical fiction, bisexual erotic fiction
Hodder & Stoughton
November 7, 2019
352

The year is 1845, and Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte are sat around the dining room table, laughing merrily as the rain of their Yorkshire summer falls outside. When their brother, Branwell, returns from The Bull Inn, he brings with him the most shocking revelation: that Elizabeth Chester, wife of Robert Chester and mistress of Chester Grange has gone missing - but the bloody scene found in her bedroom suggests she may have been murdered. The governess at Chester Grange is Matilda French, a close friend of Charlotte's, who resolves to pay her a visit the following day. At Chester Grange, the sisters make the acquaintance of Robert, a rumoured cruel man, who is suspected of having driven his first wife to suicide. Determined that he should be brought to justice, the sisters throw themselves into solving the case. As everyone knows, solving a murder requires sense, morals and a very good imagination - qualities which these sisters have more than enough of...

The idea of this book is great, but somehow, for me, the execution didn’t work. I found the Bronte girls 2 dimensional and the gypsy too stereotypical.

I didn’t manage to finish the book.

There is one good statement however, one which many of these historical genre novels emphasise, that women were considered property and thus the authorities – who were all men, and of which there few enough, were not bothered to investigate fully, if at all. Detectives were just coming in in London at this time and not further afield.

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Not so much a Rake – more a Beau

My Fake Rake Book Cover My Fake Rake
(The Union of the Rakes, Book 1)
Eva Leigh
Fiction, romance, historical
HarperCollins UK, Mills and Boon
January 31, 2020
384

Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, for once, to be noticed. Her solution: to create the perfect man, to act as her suitor, and help her catch his eye. Grace’s colleague, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway, is just the blank slate she requires.

To further his own research on English society, Sebastian agrees to let Grace transform him from a bespectacled, bookish academic into a dashing—albeit fake—rake. Between secret lessons on how to be a rogue and exaggerated public flirtations, Grace’s feelings for Sebastian grow from friendship into undeniable, inconvenient, real attraction. If only she hadn’t asked him to help her marry someone else…

Sebastian is in love with brilliant, beautiful Grace, but their bargain is complete, and she desires another. Yet when he’s faced with losing her forever, Sebastian will do whatever it takes to tell her the truth, even if it means risking his own future—and his heart.

This is a Regency Romance with a difference.
@ There is plenty of bawdy talk and swearing and sexual escapades occur.
The author does not pretend that all society young women are innocent or
inexperienced.
@ The young women are scientists.
They write papers that are published- though I am not sure how accurate
this is.
@There are mixed races married in respectable’ society. Again, I
would like some evidence.
But there are some excellent academic points made about
hypotheses. That they only stand until there is evidence that
they must change if evidence dictates it. And that our biases
influence our beliefs and how we explore the world and science.
And that people (The author says men) only value what
others possess…

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