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The Chronicles of St Mary’s Series Guide

Don’t know where to start with Jodi Taylor’s CHRONICLES OF ST MARY’S series? Never fear! We know timelines are a tricky business, so we’ve created a go-to guide to help you navigate the series and make the most of your adventure with the tea-soaked disaster magnets of St Mary’s as they hurtle their way around History.

 

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘I never meant to write a bestseller. I just wanted to see if I had the mental discipline to write a book. I have to say no one was more surprised than me that the answer was yes. The only thing that surprised me more was that it did so well. I’m continually amazed that historians and physicists don’t spit on me in the streets. Although give them time.’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘This is the Jack the Ripper story! I frightened myself to death over this one. And it’s got dodos as well.’

 

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘Christmas was coming and the decree came down from above. “It’s Christmas, Taylor – we need a short story. Don’t just sit there.” So I didn’t. I think my publishers would like me to point out I’m not usually so obedient. Not unless electrodes are involved.’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘This one was fun. I really enjoyed writing this one. St Mary’s really goes through it. Heh heh heh.’

 

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘This is the embarrassing one. I wrote it because I couldn’t work out how to operate the door in my offspring’s flat, so I was trapped. All day. I wrote almost the whole story in one day. Ten thousand words, people! And everyone laughed at my predicament because children today have no respect for their elders.’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘I really didn’t think people would like this one but it’s turned out to be many people’s favourite so, like Jon Snow – I know nothing.’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘I was a bit worried because this story was supposed to be a Christmas story and it was all about Boudicca sacking Colchester, so I tried to keep the nasty bits to a minimum. It’s the one where Bashford waves to Boudicca because, well – why wouldn’t you?’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘I wanted St Mary’s to have an open day. The phrase “A Fete worse than death” shot into my head – trust me, there’s plenty of room – and I just had to write it.’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘I think I’d written more than four or five books before I wrote this prequel. I don’t know why I was suddenly overwhelmed by a need to go back to the beginning but I did. Normally my overwhelming needs involve chocolate. I always say to people – don’t read this one first. Get a couple of books under your belt first otherwise some of it might not make sense. Which assumes the rest of it does…’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘My personal favourite. I’ve been a training officer. I’ve been in that particular hell. I’ve questioned my life choices, my sanity and the intelligence of trainees. On the other hand, there was the episode of the bombed rat.’

 

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘This is what happened when I was bored and there wasn’t anything on TV and I was reduced to reading the small print on a can of WD40.’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘I wrote this one to avenge myself on my brother who abandoned me on top of Doward Hill because there was a cow on the horizon. It was the size of a dachshund but apparently had a nasty look in its eye. He said. I didn’t get time to argue because he was off. Normally I’d let him go but he had the car keys.’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

‘I challenged myself to get the words “Dr Bairstow” and “selfie” in the same sentence. Challenge accepted!’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘This is the one told by Markham himself. I wanted to give a tiny but tantalising glimpse of his background.’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘Ah! The dramatic one. Probably best if I don’t say any more.’

 

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘Oh yes. Calvin Cutter – bless him. His one-sided telephone call to Marge, his PA, as she’s trying to have her baby in peace was so much fun to write.’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

‘The one where Matthew and Max take their first steps towards an understanding. The king-sized picnic they take to the starving boys was personally researched by me. I don’t think anyone realises quite how many sausages authors must force down for the sake of verisimilitude. A little more sympathy, please.’

 

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘Well, obviously, once I discovered the collective noun for a group of historians was an argumentation, there was no holding me back. Sorry!’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘I’ve had people accusing me of being able to see the future but I swear I can’t. I made it all up. I suspect politicians are now lining up to spit on me in the streets.’

 

 

Jodi Taylor says…

‘This is the one set in Raglan Castle which I visited with my brother. The purpose of our visit was to discover where the steam-pump was installed. There was a certain amount – actually, a huge amount – of arguing. We waved our arms and shouted. I had to remind him of all the times he’d been wrong throughout his life and it took a long time. People moved away from us. I googled it when I got home and discovered we’d both been wrong. Quite embarrassing actually.’

 

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘I actually wanted to write this one years ago. It’s why I kept mentioning the Mars Project every now and then. And I wanted to do something completely different.’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘So I rang the offspring and said, “What do you know about sex clubs?” and was pleased/horrified/surprised/disturbed to find out he knew quite a lot. Hmm…’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘This is the one that kept me up all night, writing. It was quite a job devising a solution in which no one died and nothing caught fire – St Mary’s usual method of conflict resolution.’

 

Psst! If you like your short stories all in one place, then these two collections are perfect for you:

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘A collection of the earlier short stories. Initially we put it together in response to those who didn’t have kindles and therefore couldn’t access them.’

 

Jodi Taylor says…

 ‘The usual thing. The telephone rings.

“We’re putting together another collection of short stories, Taylor and your readers would appreciate you writing a new one.”

A short pause.

“Have you finished it yet?”

And it includes Little Donkey from one of my other series – Frogmorton Farm. How not to bathe a donkey.’