An Argumentation of Historians

An Argumentation of Historians by Jodi Taylor is Book Nine in The Chronicles of St Mary’s, a series about time-traveling historians. I came to this book with a disadvantage, not having read any of the previous books. Luckily, Taylor kept me informed with little tidbits about what had happened previously to the protagonist Max and her colleagues. The author also graciously included a humorous list of characters, and while I soon got out of the habit of looking back for each one, it did help me to at least place them by department (i.e, Administration, History, Technical, R&D, Medical, and Security.)

But after I got my footing, it was a fun little romp. The basic plot of this installment is the attempt to lure in time-traveling criminal Ronan, whom the Time Police of the future are after. Long story short, it backfires and Max ends up in 1399.

Taylor writes in an offhand, humorous style, which I can appreciate, though I generally prefer my time travel stories of a serious nature. However, I really enjoyed the chapters devoted to 1399 because those pages contained what I believe all time travel novels should – a traveler trying to understand the time in which he or she has landed, getting into trouble, and finding a way out.

Most of the rest of the book involved Max’s relationships (with husband, bosses, subordinates), as well as increased subterfuge by the criminal Ronan.

I enjoyed the book, largely due to the flow and the characters, but also the way Taylor describes in detail the historical periods into which the characters travel. I love history and am always open to learning more. So, although I saw the humor almost as a distraction, I am tempted to pick up one or two more books in the series, if only to catch up.