The Chronicles of St Mary's

20 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 18,839 ratings

The Very First Damned Thing Summary

Audible is delighted to bring you an exclusive, author-read production of The Very First Damned Thing. Hear it here first, months ahead of the EBook publication.

Jodi Taylor reads the long-awaited prequel in her Chronicles of St Mary’s series, as Dr Bairstow struggles to set up St Mary’s as we know it in a world still scarred by the ravages of civil war.

Ever wondered how it all began? It’s two years since the final victory at the Battersea Barricades. The fighting might be finished, but for Dr Bairstow, just now setting up St Mary's, the struggle is only beginning.

How will he assemble his team? From where will his funding come? How can he overcome the massed ranks of the Society for the Protection of Historical Buildings? How do stolen furniture, a practical demonstration at the Stirrup Charge at Waterloo, students’ alcohol-ridden urine, a widowed urban guerrilla, a young man wearing exciting knitwear and four naked security guards all combine to become the St Mary’s of the future?

©2015 Jodi Taylor (P)2015 Audible Ltd.
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  • Book 0.5

    • The Very First Damned Thing

    • An Author-Read Audio Exclusive
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Jodi Taylor
    • Length: 2 hrs and 31 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 1,278
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 1,188
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,185

    Jodi Taylor reads the long-awaited prequel in her Chronicles of St Mary’s series, as Dr Bairstow struggles to set up St Mary’s as we know it in a world still scarred by the ravages of civil war. Ever wondered how it all began? It’s two years since the final victory at the Battersea Barricades. The fighting might be finished, but for Dr Bairstow, just now setting up St Mary's, the struggle is only beginning. How will he assemble his team? From where will his funding come?

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • An intro....not much more

    • By Robyn on 29-11-16

    Regular price: £0.00

  • Book 1

    • Just One Damned Thing After Another

    • The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 1
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,918
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,717
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,714

    Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet. Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Fantastic and fasinating romp through time

    • By al on 02-12-14

    Regular price: £14.99

  • Book 2

    • A Symphony of Echoes

    • The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 2
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,818
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,689
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,683

    Book Two in the madcap time-travel series based at the St Mary's Institute of Historical Research that seems to be everyone's cup of tea. In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary's series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas A Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • More entertainment

    • By Robyn on 09-11-16

    Regular price: £14.99

  • Book 2.5

    • When a Child Is Born

    • A Chronicles of St. Mary's Short Story
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 32 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,077
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,008
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,000

    The time-travel series that everyone's talking about.... Jodi Taylor's The Chronicles of St. Mary's is back with a short story. It's Christmas Day 1066, and a team from St Mary's is going to witness the coronation of William the Conqueror. Or so they think.... However, history seems to have different plans for them, and when Max finds herself delivering a child in a peasant's hut, she can't help wondering what history is up to.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A Christmas Gift from St Mary 's to Democracy

    • By M. Price on 19-06-15

    Regular price: £0.00

  • Book 3

    • A Second Chance

    • The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 3
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,372
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 1,270
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,260

    St Mary’s is back and nothing is going right for Max. Once again, it’s just one damned thing after another. The action jumps from an encounter with a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton to the bloody battlefield at Agincourt. Discover how a simple fact-finding assignment to witness the ancient and murderous cheese-rolling ceremony in Gloucester can result in CBC - concussion by cheese.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Another chaotic, but fun outing

    • By Robyn on 07-08-17

    Regular price: £14.99

  • Book 3.5

    • Roman Holiday

    • The Chronicles of St. Mary's
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 1 hr and 12 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 966
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 897
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 893

    Another rollicking short story from the Chronicles of St Mary’s author Jodi Taylor. Question: What sort of idiot installs his mistress in his wife’s house? Especially when that mistress is Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, queen of Egypt and the most notorious woman of her time? Answer: Julius Caesar - poised to become king of Rome. Or as good as.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Another piece of the St Marys puzzle

    • By UsefulThings on 29-05-15

    Regular price: £0.00

  • Book 4

    • A Trail Through Time

    • The Chronicles of St. Mary's, Book 4
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,219
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 1,140
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,136

    "St Mary's is back and is facing a battle to survive in this, the fourth installment of the Chronicles. Max and Leon are re-united and looking forward to a peaceful lifetime together. But, sadly, they don't even make it to lunchtime. The action races from 17th century London to Ancient Egypt and from Pompeii to 14th century Southwark as they're pursued up and down the timeline.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • It's still St Mary's

    • By Sheryl Mason on 12-11-14

    Regular price: £14.99

  • Book 4.5

    • Christmas Present

    • A Chronicles of St. Mary's Short Story
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 1 hr and 18 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 960
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 880
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 878

    It's Christmas Eve at St Mary's. And all through the house. Nothing is stirring.... Except for Max, Peterson, and Markham, sneaking out at midnight for an assignment that is very definitely off the books. It was ten years ago tonight that senior historians Bashford and Grey went missing in 12th century Jerusalem. So how did they end up in AD 60 Roman Colchester? Max has a theory. Peterson has a plan. Markham has bacon sandwiches. Colchester has Boudicca and her bloodthirsty Iceni hordes.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Greatest Story Ever Told?

    • By David on 01-07-15

    Regular price: £0.00

  • Book 5

    • No Time Like the Past

    • The Chronicles of St. Mary's, Book 5
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,097
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 1,025
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,023

    Jodi Taylor’s best-selling series The Chronicles of St. Mary is back with a bang…St. Mary’s has been rebuilt, and it’s business as usual for the history department. But first there’s the little matter of a 17th-century ghost that only Mr. Markham can see. Not to mention the minor inconvenience of being trapped in the Great Fire of London…and an unfortunately timed comfort break at Thermopylae, leaving the fate of the Western world hanging in the balance.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • If the Joneses had a child ...

    • By Garry on 21-04-15

    Regular price: £14.99

  • Book 6

    • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    • The Chronicles of St. Mary's, Book 6
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 1,016
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 957
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 949

    Max is back! New husband, new job, and a training regime that cannot fail - to go wrong! Take one interim chief training officer, add five recruits, mix with Joan of Arc, a baby mammoth, a duplicitous father of history, a bombed rat, Stone Age hunters, a couple of passing policemen who should have better things to do, and Dick the Turd. Stir well, bring to the boil – and wait for the bang! Join Max in the sixth instalment in the off-the-wall Chronicles of St Mary’s series."

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Another great story

    • By Christopher on 30-07-16

    Regular price: £18.99

  • Book 6.5

    • Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings

    • A Chronicles of St. Mary's Short Story
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 1 hr and 25 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 988
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 909
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 906

    It’s Christmas again at St Mary's and time for Max’s obligatory illegal jump. On this occasion, however, they’re right up against it. A loaded gun has been left behind in Ancient Egypt, and it’s up to them to retrieve it before anyone accidentally blows their own head off, thus affecting the timeline for centuries to come. And as if that’s not enough, someone (Max) has inadvertently poisoned Mr Markham. It’s hot, they’re running out of supplies, they can’t find the gun and it’s all going horribly wrong. Again.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Short and sweet

    • By Robyn on 08-08-16

    Regular price: £0.00

  • Book 7

    • Lies, Damned Lies and History

    • The Chronicles of St. Mary's, Book 7
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,044
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 968
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 965

    I've done some stupid things in my time. I've been reckless. I've broken a few rules. But never before have I ruined so many lives or left such a trail of destruction behind me. As Max would be the first to admit, she's never been one for rules. They tend to happen to other people. But this time she's gone too far, and everyone is paying the price. Grounded until the end of time, how can she ever put things right?

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Lovely but running on empty

    • By Asbjørn on 15-06-16

    Regular price: £18.99

  • Book 7.5

    • The Great St. Mary's Day Out

    • A Chronicles of St. Mary's Short Story
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 1 hr and 36 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 402
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 383
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 379

    Everyone deserves to get away for a bit. Even the miscreants at St Mary's. Astonishingly, Dr. Bairstow has declared a holiday. Even more astonishingly - he's paying for it. Needless to say, there are strings attached. They have to record the 1601 performance of Hamlet, with Shakespeare himself in the role of the Ghost. It doesn't go well, of course.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A classic St Marys featuring Bill the flaming Bard

    • By English Country Life on 01-08-16

    Regular price: £7.99

  • Book 8

    • And the Rest Is History

    • The Chronicles of St. Mary's, Book 8
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 826
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 782
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 775

    Behind the seemingly innocuous facade of St. Mary's Institute of Historical Research, a different kind of academic work is taking place. Just don't call it time travel - these historians investigate major historical events in contemporary time. And they aren't your harmless eccentrics either; a more accurate description, as they ricochet around history, might be unintentional disaster magnets.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Jodi Never Disappoints!

    • By Gryfynn on 16-04-17

    Regular price: £18.99

  • Book 8.5

    • My Name is Markham

    • The Chronicles of St Mary's
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Piers Wehner
    • Length: 1 hr and 32 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 595
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 549
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 542

    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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Christmas isn't Christmas without St Mary's

    • By Nicole P on 22-12-16

    Regular price: £7.99

  • Book 8.6

    • Christmas Past

    • A Chronicles of St Mary's Short Story
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 1 hr and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 248
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 232
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 231

    Max, Leon and Matthew - together at last for Christmas at St Mary's, a time of conspicuous consumption, riotous misbehaviour and the traditional illegal Christmas jump. And this time it's intergenerational. Donning her unfamiliar mother hat, Max takes Matthew back to 19th-century London, where they plan to deliver a parcel of Christmas cheer to his former friends but find themselves confronting the terrifying Old Ma Scrope in the process.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Really enjoyed the story

    • By Allan on 23-12-17
    • A Chronicles of St Mary's Short Story
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 1 hr and 39 mins
    • Release date: 21-12-17
    • 5 out of 5 stars 248 ratings

    Regular price: £7.99

  • Book 9

    • An Argumentation of Historians

    • The Chronicles of St. Mary's, Book 9
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 509
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 472
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 474

    They say you shouldn't push your luck. Max gives her own luck a massive shove every day - and it's only a matter of time until luck pushes back.... January, 1536 - the day of Henry VIII's infamous jousting accident. Historians from St Mary's are there in force, recording and documenting. And arguing - obviously. A chance meeting between Max and the Time Police leads to a plan of action. And it's one that will have very serious consequences - especially for Max.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Lost for words

    • By Binka on 11-04-18

    Regular price: £18.99

  • Book 9.5

    • The Battersea Barricades

    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 1 hr and 49 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 148
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 135
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 135

    It's not easy being a rebel. So many new skills to assimilate. Never mind strategic planning, weapons expertise and the like - there's bicycle stealing, oil-stain removal and boat steering to be mastered first. And quickly. It's the time of the Civil Uprisings, and two young women set out to make a difference. Their only problem? They don't know where they are. Or where they're going. Or what to do when they get there. Other than that....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Very moving

    • By Lindzl00 on 23-04-18

    Regular price: £5.99

  • Book 9.6

    • The Steam-Pump Jump

    • A Chronicles of St Mary’s Short Story
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 1 hr and 51 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 114
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 106
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 106

    Not one to let being banged up in Sick Bay stop her, Max has had a brilliant idea. But she needs Markham to execute it on her behalf. The subject of this cunning plan is Peterson, struggling with another bereavement and not doing very well. What’s needed to get him through it is sympathy, sensitivity, tact and understanding. Step forward Mr Markham, for whom sympathy, sensitivity, etc., are things that happen to other people. 

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Fabulous series

    • By sophiesticate on 13-07-18

    Regular price: £5.99

    • The Long and the Short of It

    • The Chronicles of St. Mary's
    • By: Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
    • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 244
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 233
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 233

    Follow the disaster magnets of St Mary's as they hurtle around history! The ninth book in The Chronicles of St Mary's Series collects the best-selling short stories in audio for the first time.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • All new introductions to the re-issued books

    • By Mrs S on 16-06-17

    Regular price: £18.99