Best-selling author Jodi Taylor returns with a brand-new Chronicles of St Mary's short story.
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 dispatched 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!
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Missing Zara Ramm
Not. The. Best.
Markham, but really, he's the only character.
Not really - I am used to Markham being a bit more lively.
I did, but it's so short, it would be difficult not to.
Since I have all the other St Mary's books in audible format, it was a given I was going to purchase this one too, but I have to admit to being a bit disappointed in it. Frankly, if this was my first "experience" of St Mary's, I wouldn't be looking another one.
It's not that the book or narration is bad, per se, it's just that the others are so very, very good. I can understand the selection of Piers Wehner to narrate, after all, Markham is a man and it appears the intention is Markham speaks! in his own voice!, and Mr Wehner certainly has a very nice voice ... but Zara Ramm has already given Markham a *very* distinctive voice - amusing, interesting and not the slightest bit boring. The accent she has chosen for Markham is understandable and unmistakable. Even without Max saying so, you always know when he enters the conversation.
Mr Wehner gives him little emotion, except at the end when Markham is whining, (and for goodness sake, what was *that* all about? Markham does. not. whine.) and it gets a bit droning on to be honest.
I have just now finished listening, and sadly, I can't really review the plot of this short story, because I don't remember it. It was raining, Arthur didn't burn the cakes and something about a dog in heat. (?) I think. I'm knitting a mindless project while listening, so I'm certainly not distracted, but I found myself drifting off into my own thoughts.The other books have had me laughing out loud at Markham's antics and quips, I would so love to hear what Ms Ramm would do with this. I have a feeling it could be very funny indeed.
I rated it four stars overall, so as to not "downgrade" it, but really, three stars is more in line with my opinion. It's average.
Buy the book, it's supporting a good cause, and it's not a bad book as such, just not as good as the previous ones.(And if Audible or whoever decides these things released a Zara Ramm version, I'd buy it in a heartbeat)
- Lesley G