Dès les premières pages, j'étais un peu réticente... Autant dire que je me suis carrément demandé si je devais arrêter de lire ou bien continuer encore un peu. J'ai opté pour la deuxième option et, une fois que l'histoire s'est mise en place j'ai totalement accroché ! Je me suis plongée dans l'histoire et j'ai dévoré le livre en peu de temps ! Will est très attachant et l'histoire et très originale ! J'attends la suite avec hâte même si j'espère que le début sera moins long !
It's not easy being a rebel.
So many new skills to assimilate.
Never mind strategic planning, weapons expertise and the like - there's bicycle-stealing, oil-stain removal and boat steering to be mastered first.
It's the time of the Civil Uprisings and two young women set out to make a difference.
Their only problem?
They don't know where they are.
Or where they're going.
Or what to do when they get there.
Other than that ...
Fans of St Mary's will enjoy this glimpse into the past of some of their favourite characters.
January 1536 – the day of Henry VIII’s infamous jousting accident. Historians from St Mary’s are there in force, recording and documenting. And, arguing -obviously.
A chance meeting between Max and the Time Police leads to a plan of action. And, it’s one that will have very serious consequences – especially for Max. Her private life is already more than a little rocky. But with Leon recovering and Matthew safe in the future there will never be a better opportunity to bring down Clive Ronan, once and for all.
From Tudor England to the burning city of Persepolis - and from a medieval siege to a very nasty case of 19th century incarceration - Max is determined that this time, he will not escape.
Max, Leon and Matthew - together at last for Christmas at St Mary's - a time of conspicuous consumption, riotous misbehaviour and the traditional illegal Christmas jump. And this time, it's inter-generational.
Donning her unfamiliar mother hat, Max takes Matthew back to 19th century London, where they plan to deliver a parcel of Christmas cheer to his former friends, but find themselves confronting the terrifying Old Ma Scrope in the process.
'Tis the season to be jolly.
It's also the season of goodwill towards all mankind.
For Max, what starts off as a perfectly normal week is about to degenerate into a quagmire of egotistical film producers, monumental pub crawls, unsigned contracts, exploding rocks, Professor Rapson and his megaphone, the world’s biggest bacon butty – and Angus – the third component of the most notorious love triangle since Menelaus, Paris and Whatshername – the one with the face they launched ships off.
A Perfect Storm of calamity, devastation and misfortune only ever encountered at St Mary’s.
I was summoned to Dr Bairstow’s office to find Markham and Peterson already present. We looked at each other.
‘Any clues?’ I asked.
‘You can go in now,’ said Mrs Partridge, so in we went.
He looked up from his desk. ‘There you are.’
We agreed that yes, here we were.
He gestured at his briefing table on which reposed several archive boxes and a fat folder.
‘The County Archivist has been good enough to make available various documents requested by Dr Dowson. A condition was that we do not expose them to the hazards of a random delivery service.’ It was not clear whether it was the company or its delivery that was random, but we nodded anyway. ‘And so, I would like you, personally, to return these valuable documents with my compliments and thanks.’
He handed Peterson an envelope.
‘Of course, sir.’
‘This afternoon, if you please.’
Peterson glanced at his watch. ‘It’s already afternoon, sir.’
‘How quickly you grasp my meaning.’
‘I do my best, sir.’
‘I have assured the County Archivist that my best people are on the job. They being unavailable, however, I have therefore designated my Chief Operations Officer, my Head of Security and my Deputy Director to fulfil this simple task.’
‘Because, my dear Max, you dance on the edge of darkness … and I don’t think it would take very much for you to dance my way.’
When an old enemy appears out of nowhere with an astonishing proposition for Max – a proposition that could change everything – Max is tempted. Very tempted.
With an end to an old conflict finally in sight, it looks as if St Mary’s problems are over with. Can they all finally live happily ever after?
As everything hangs in the balance, Max and St Mary’s find themselves engulfed in tragedies worse than they could ever imagine.
Is this the end?
I was on my way to Peterson’s office for our Friday afternoon meeting. The one where he opens out a bottle of wine, I get out the glasses, and we both put our feet up and have a huge moan about the previous week. Sometimes the meetings are quite long.
Anyway, I was making my way around the gallery, juggling the half dozen or so files I’d brought with me as camouflage – because it doesn’t do the other ranks any good at all to see a couple of senior officers setting a bad example – although, to be fair, most people were outside watching the Security and Technical Sections eviscerate each other in the name of sport – when Professor Rapson erupted – literally – from his lab shouting, ‘Eureka!’
He was fully clothed. Trust me – it was the first thing I checked.
I said, ‘Good afternoon professor,’ because that’s how Markham would do it. Apparently now he’s Head of Security, standards must be maintained. What sort of standards of course, he never says.
‘Ah Max. Good news. I’ve done it.’
‘So I gathered, professor. Jolly well done.’
‘Thank you,’ he said. ‘I know it’s been a while but we got there in the end.’
‘Excellent news, professor’ I said, trying to ignore the glass of wine shaped hole in my life and failing dismally. ‘I look forward to reading your report.’
‘No, no, you don’t understand, Max. I’ve really done it.’
I stopped thinking about wine and concentrated. This was Professor Rapson after all. I asked the question I should have led with.
‘Exactly what have you done professor?’
‘Well, as you know Max, water is very heavy.’
I stared at him. He looked comparatively normal. His hair was standing on end. He had a huge acid burn on one sleeve of his lab coat of which he appeared
completely oblivious and was wearing one brown and one black shoe, so as I said – normal.
He was, however, waving around a beaker of clear fluid. I stepped back because it could be anything. The Elixir of Life. Cerebral brain fluid – although if it was his it would probably be a little murkier. An untraceable deadly poison that would kill us all in seconds. Anything, really.
He raised the beaker to his lips and drank deeply. I braced myself but nothing dreadful seemed to happen to him.
‘Water, Max. Water. I’ve done it.’ He raised the empty beaker. I half expected a flash of lightning and shouts of ‘It’s alive! It’s alive!’ but that usually relates to Markham.
‘What were you expecting, professor?’
‘Well, water, obviously, Max.’
Never had a glass of wine seemed so far away.
‘Professor, please tell me – what is the project you’ve been working on?’
‘Oh yes, of course. Well, as I said, Max, water is heavy. Leon’s always complaining about the weight of the tanks and how that messes up his calculations and he’s right so I thought I’d have a go.’
‘At what, professor?’
Oh God ...
‘Desiccated water, Max. Powdered water. The answer to all our problems. We reduce water down to a fine powder, bag it up in plastic and hey presto, portable water. No more tanks, no more heavy water bottles – just stick a couple of packs in you supplies and away you go. Small packs for your pocket. Something larger if you want a bath. Simple. Quick. Easy. Convenient.’
‘Wow,’ I said. ‘That’s brilliant professor. Well done.’
‘Thank you,’ he said modestly.’ I’m just off to show Chief Farrell.’
‘He’ll be thrilled,’ I said, happily sacrificing Leon’s Friday afternoon, but wine deprivation can do that to a girl. ‘You must give him a complete demonstration. Several, in fact.’
‘I will,’ he said, hair standing even more on end as he prepared to depart at top speed.
‘Just one question, professor.’
‘How do you reconstitute the powder?’
‘The powder. How exactly do you reconstitute desiccated water?’
Like a smaller and much scruffier Greta Garbo – finally – Markham speaks!
It’s Christmas and time for the first (and almost certainly last) St Mary’s Annual Children’s Christmas Party – attendance compulsory, by order of Dr Bairstow. Discovered practising his illegal reindeer dance and poo-dropping routine, our hero, along with fellow disaster-magnets Peterson and Maxwell, is despatched to Anglo-Saxon England to discover the truth about Alfred and the cakes.
In his own words, our hero reveals Major Guthrie’s six-point guide to a successful assignment and the Security Section’s true opinion of the History Department. And of historians in general. And of one historian in particular.
And, just to be clear, it is time travel, for God’s sake. Forget all that pretentious ‘investigating major historical events in contemporary time’ rubbish.
This is history without the capital ‘H’. Because this is the way the Security Section rolls!
Astonishingly, Dr Bairstow has declared a holiday. Even more astonishingly - he's paying for it.
Needless to say, there are strings attached. They have to record the 1601 performance of Hamlet, with Shakespeare himself in the role of the Ghost.
It doesn't go well, of course. With Dr Bairstow and Mrs Mack turning a simple visit to a street market into a public brawl, Professor Rapson inadvertently stowing away on a vessel bound for the New World, and Shakespeare himself going up in flames, it would seem that Max, of all people, is the only one actually completing the assignment.