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And Now For Something Completely Different

(The Chronicles of St Mary's #9.7)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  776 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Here's a question for you. What's the most exciting thing ever found in a fire bucket? And don't say 'fire' because you'll be wrong.

Suppose - just suppose - it was the technology to take a pod to Mars? Yeah, now we're talking!

Every Christmas, for reasons which seem good at the time - especially after an eggnog or two - Max and the others leap into the nearest pod and ind
Kindle Edition, 73 pages
Published December 25th 2018 by Accent Press
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Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-shelf, sci-fi
Considering that historians generally equate Christmas with hijinx, this really IS a Christmas story. :)

That being said, our intrepid pee-drenched explorers head to mars against all good sensibilities, precautions, and common sense. Especially since doing so inevitably screws up... everything. History, the timeline, other expeditions... who cares! It's now all about Covering One's Ass.

Good thing we're on the historian's side... right?

Fun story!
Richard Derus
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindled
The Disaster Magnets go to Mars! The Time Police, poor lambs, are most unamused. There is no Yule tradition left that is more enjoyable than the St Mary's Christmas story. Now that charge of Doctor Who have canned the Christmas special because "they're out of ideas."

I ask you.

But no such terror besets St Mary's Disaster Magnets! Here we are all gruntled and kempt and fully Christmased.

(The missing star is docked from Author Taylor's ratings/wages for the infelicity of fl
Its Christmas Day, which can only mean one thing... a new St Mary’s novella, and we were certainly given something completely different. This year we follow some of the gang, old and new, as they explore Mars and witness the first landing of the red planet.

This was certainly a change of pace (and genre) to the typical St Mary’s novels, with Max and Peterson playing a very minimal role in a jump that takes them into the future. Not being as connected to the future director of St Mary’s, or the T
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such fun to see more of a different time period staff of St. Mary's and the Time Police. It's not confusing at all, right? :P

And MARS! Jodi, you've certainly nailed the ability to entertain. :)
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has become a tradition in recent years that Jodi Taylor releases a short story about the disaster magnets of St. Mary's institute on 25 December.

This time, it's not necessarily Christmas in the story but who cares - we're going to Mars!!!
Yep, Max, Petersen and a few other people stomp around the Red Planet to ensure the first Mars Landing will be successful.

Naturally, there is a little bit of a problem up there and a little bit of a discovery in a lava tube (or was it?).

For anyone being surpr
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full review to come!
J.A. Ironside
It's become a tradition for me to wait up after midnight on Christmas Eve to wait for delivery of the new St Mary's Christmas story to my kindle so I can start it immefiately. As the title suggest this is in a different vei than previous installments with the illicit xmas eve jump destination being Mars. It was still funny and entertaining although I would have preferred Max's pov. I'll be interested to see the author do a series on the Time Police since a) I am 90% in this for Max and the St Ma ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 52-in-2019
This was my first St. Mary's experience. I am sure I am missing something by jumping into the middle of some well-established world, but this was like listening to an awful barstool argument. Paragraphs and paragraphs to get to a point. The persistent tension drawn out for words and words.

The premise itself is clever and interesting, but the prolonging and the nattering. It's like the opposite of plot development. Going around the block slowly in a car over and over is what reading this felt lik
Jen 3_Piets
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read St Mary’s

How can I possibly describe to you The hilarity, the joy and the fun that comes from reading Jodi Taylor? You’re right. I can’t. Read them and you will see for yourself.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very clever, stand lone short story!
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This combined 2 of my favorite things (I won't tell you which, because spoilers)-but if you're a fan of St Mary's you'll definitely love this!
Karen Desmond
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Always one of my best Christmas presents ! A slight variation from the usual Christmas release but another smart, funny and entertaining story in an outstanding series. If you haven't started this series yet, what are you waiting for? There's no time like the present - or is there?
Katrine Hoyt
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing

A wonderful short story for a cozy Christmas morning! Don't skip the author's preface; Taylor gives the reader a bit of back story in her trademark humour . If course I love Max as the POV, but this was an interesting change and was, indeed, something completely different!
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A solid Christmas story, which per the forward has nothing to do with Christmas.


It's virtually impossible for me not to love a St. Mary's story. Looking back at it, the second novel length book lost a star only because the format was so different from the first book that my expectations were a bit off. The Roman vignette lost a star, but who remembers why that was, and the Markham vignette lost a star because it wasn't written from Max's perspective and I was cranky about it. "And Now F
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books-read
Actually is Something Completely Different

This is unusual in that it isn't about the regular crew at St. Mary's. Max and Peterson are involved but not the main focus. This story is about the battle of wits between the future director of St. Mary's, and the director of the Time Police. Throw in a little jaunt to Mars and what could possibly go wrong? As with all of the "Chronicles" the focus of St. Mary's and that of the Time Police are at opposite sides of the coin. It's not a Christmas story, b
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This was an enjoyable short and an interesting plot / idea (i.e., capturing those first moments on Mars). The format of telling much of the story via report to the Time Police was interesting and gave Taylor the opportunity to have some Abbott and Costello style hilarity. The story was well written and interesting.

However, the characters that are known and loved by readers are tangential and only involved in a small percentage of the story. It was an enjoyable read, but it wasn’t necessarily wh
Brenda Springall
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Completely different

Yes this story was completely different but still a stonking great story from Ms Taylor. I read it in a couple of hours as once started, I just had to find out what happened. Always an adventure when Max and Peterson are involved and the reaction from the Time Policeman was superb. And I just wonder who actually helped Officer Lewis out of the lava hole before it collapsed? I will sit and ponder this question for a while whilst still asking myself the question "is this really
Tina Miles
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love Jodi Taylor's books. It's probably not fair for me to only give this 4 stars just because it doesn't have the usual cast of characters I know and love even though the writing and story are excellent. It's a great story, it still has Max in it and it offers some more detail on a few peripheral characters that I also enjoy. A terrific tale and well worth the time and money.
Just call me greedy... For now, I just want Max, Leon, Markham, Peterson, etc until Jodi's run out of every possible s
I have read every single book published by Jodi Taylor and loved them all. This one takes place at the Time Police offices after a particular unauthorized jump to Mars. Yes, to Mars. Maxwell and Peterson play a role but most of the short story is spent with Commander Hay of the Time Police and Director Pinkerton of St. Mary’s arguing about the questionable jump to Mars. I was glad it only lasted less than 2 hours. Sorry to say it was not of the caliber I expect of St. Mary’s author. Pre-ordered ...more
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
St Mary's Traditional Secret Jump

St Mary's at Christmas, time for eating, drinking, being merry and... secret jumps.

This year it's a different St Mary's, a very different jump, and a very angry Chief of Time Police... and some of our favourite characters too... and the usual mayhem which follows a bright idea by St Mary's.

Setting the stage for (hopefully) a new series featuring the Time Police, this is a St Mary's jump as never before (or is it?). Perfect Christmas afternoon reading, thanks Jodi
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A St Mary’s Christmas short story with a difference

Previous Christmas shorts had more of a Christmas theme, this story is completely different. Though it still has the traditional Christmas, illicit jump this tale is told more from the view of the Time Police and a future St Mary’s rather than that of Max & company. It is fast paced, amusing and is a great edition to the St Mary’s saga.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A pleasant variation

I am a St Mary’s addict. I enjoy the characters, humor, and storylines. I was concerned when I realized my many favorite St Mary’s would not crucially participate in this story.
I needn’t have worried. As usual Jodi Taylor did a fantastic job of entangling me in the storyline with laughs, gasps, and witty banter. A jump to Mars? Who would’ve even considered but hey, not all things historical are solely left on Earth now are they?
Sian Bradshaw
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Christmas story is something of an annual tradition for the St Mary's series. It fills in gaps between the next main instalment coming out.

Whilst this story is a little different to the others, it is still as good and perhaps signals a different track as the Time Police are about to get their own series I understand.

It's a nice little story that won't tax you much over Christmas and it's just lovely, even with the urine.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
As the title says, this is something very different. Not so much an historical assignment and not told by Max or any of the usual crew. That said I really enjoyed the story. Pinky is a great character and anyone who can infuriate the Time Police that much is OK by me. However, I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss Markham from the customary illicit Christmas jump.
Sandra Agus
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Totally different from the regular Christmas story. This one was more than just time travel, but also space travel. I like a bit of light science fiction. Meeting up with old friends from St. Mary’s, and from the future and a few new ones. Had me laughing out loud! Not much of history. But this was something different. Time police will be an interesting change. Enjoyable as always.
Fern Adams
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“When you’re at St. Mary’s it’s always Christmas somewhere” is yet another reason added to my (very long)list of factors as to why my new ambition in life is to become a historian there. In the latest of the St. Mary’s stories members of the current and future St. Mary’s and the Time Police become involved in a trip to Mars because well... why not! As hilarious as usual this is not one to miss!
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jodi Taylor has yet to fail me. I thought at first that this one would flop with me, is it was based on a trip to Mars. Not so! Not only did Jodi Taylor weave an interesting plot with her own brand of prose, but she made solid statements on things that affect current social issues. Her work is quote-worthy.
And Now For Something Completely Different - Taylor
Audio performance by Zara Ramm
2.5 stars

This is a short story from Taylor’s ongoing time travel series. A very short story. Listening time came in just under 2 hours. Of the two hours, possibly 30 minutes held new material. I didn’t object when the author rehashed background from previous books in her preface, but when characters in the story reiterate exactly the same material, this was obviously padding to meet a required word count.
The actua
Emma W
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's Christmas so St Mary's are off on their annual illegal jump.

This time it's different as it's not "our" St Mary's

This time it's different as it's not history as we know it.

But still chaotic, fun and out there... way out there...

Great read and I love Jodi's notes at the front, a perfect Christmas read.
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Jodi Taylor is, and always has been, a complete history nut. It takes vast amounts of chocolate to get her out of bed for anything after 1485. And if it's raining, there's no chance.

Habitually tongue-tied when asked to talk about herself, she gets round this by describing herself as tall, incredibly beautiful, witty and technically proficient.

The Chronicles of St Mary's -

Just One Damned Thing Aft

Other books in the series

The Chronicles of St Mary's (10 books)
  • Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #1)
  • A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #2)
  • A Second Chance (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #3)
  • A Trail Through Time (The Chronicles of St. Mary's #4)
  • No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #5)
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #6)
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and History (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #7)
  • And the Rest is History (The Chronicles of St Mary’s, #8)
  • An Argumentation of Historians (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #9)
  • Hope for the Best (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #10)
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