I decided to read this after kind of inadvertently listening to one of the short stories in the series via Audible. It was inadvertent in the sense that I didn’t realize it was part of a series.
This is the first novel in the Chronicle’s of St Mary’s which is a kind of blend of Connie Willis’s Oxford Time Travel, Quantum Leap, Warehouse 13, and some romance genre blended in. Unlike Willis, Taylor is actually British, so the Britishness of this book is not forced (however much I like a lot of Willis’s books). The book is also a little looser with the time travel aspects (think: timey-wimey) because it’s a plot and character heavy book, written in a kind of thriller/mystery/adventure style that wants to get right down to it.
Our narrator finds herself a little wayward and stumbles upon job opening with a cryptic organization. She’s a PhD in archaeology with few ties to contemporary world, and looking for an adventure. Enter St Mary’s a secretive Bletchley Park kind of institution where time travelers go back to study consequential moments in history, while having a kind of prime directive set of ethics behind it. Like I said, there’s a lot more jumping and plot here than the truly immersive elements of the Connie Willis versions, so the book is more episodic (and there’s a LOT more entries in the series, which supports this reading). It’s fun, it requires overlooking any sense of time travel paradox, and it’s almost fantasy more than sci fi, but like I said, it IS fun.