‘Just One Damned Thing After Another’ by Jodi Taylor

My Review (3 stars out of 5)

Recruited to the mysterious St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, Dr Madeleine Maxwell finds that some historians don’t just sit on their thumbs and read about history, but actually go there. But History has rules and trying to outdo it can incur a serious risk to health and even death. And that’s not the only thing to worry about…

This is the first book in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series and is an absolute cracker. Aside from the magnificent heroine (Ms Maxwell), there are loads of interesting and quirky characters that keep the action moving along. The premise of being able to go back in history and observe what actually happened is great, and the dinosaur adventure is an absolute hoot (apart from all the bad things that happen). Although there are some quite long passages where nothing much happens, the attention to detail, in terms of historical facts, gives the story plenty to make it seem totally realistic (in a completely unrealistic sort of way).

So why only three stars? Bearing in mind that the ebook version was first published in 2019 by Headline Publishing Group, having been first published by Accent Press Ltd in 2013, I found the appalling state of the punctuation hard to believe. If this book really has been seen by an editor (and accepting the involvement of at least two companies you’d think that would be a given), that person must have been having a really bad day. As well as that, the author’s talent for not telling us who is speaking is a little hard to believe. Admittedly, we can work it out some of the time but a least one very long conversation takes place with the other person only referred to as ‘he’.

If I hadn’t enjoyed the damned thing so much, I wouldn’t even bother reviewing it.

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