Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

The basics

Title: Just One Damned Thing After Another


Series: The Chronicles of St Mary's #1

1. Just One Damned Thing After Another (2013)
2. A Symphony of Echoes (2013)
3. A Second Chance (2014)
4. A Trail Through Time (2014)
5. No Time Like the Past (2015)
6. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (2016)
& more

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

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. Their aim is to observe and document - to try and find the answers to many of History's unanswered questions...and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back - to the death. And, as they soon discover - it's not just History they're fighting.
Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake....

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel. If you need help remembering what happened in Just One Damned Thing After Another then you’re in the right place.

What happened in Just One Damned Thing After Another?

  • Max’s old headteacher, Mrs De Winter, invites Max to a job interview for a position at St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research. 
  • Max arrives at the institute and is given a tour by Mrs De Winter. Max meets a bunch of staff members and is then interviewed by the director, Dr Bairstow.
  • Dr Bairstow asks a weird amount of questions about time travel, which is something Max is on board with so she is hired.
  • Chief Farrell gives Max another tour of the building and talks her through the time travel pods and explains the need for the sick bay.
  • Max begins training, along with six other potential candidates. A bunch of candidates drop out or fail the rigorous testing to become historians. Max, Sussman, and Grant pass their final test, which requires them to either follow procedure and alert the team that the pod has malfunctioned, or to stay calm in a crisis and live out of the pod for a couple of weeks. Mary is top of the class because she’s able to spend two weeks by herself, thinking that no one is coming for her.
  • A couple of experienced historians are killed, and so Grant is chosen to accompany Peterson on a trip through time to Liverpool during some riots. Grant is unfortunately killed because he tried to intervene with history, and History doesn’t like that.
  • Max heads back in time to 1040 with Peterson to watch the foundations of Westminster Abbey being built. There’s almost an accident when Max tries to intervene with something, and Peterson pees on Max.
  • Max, Sussman, and Kalinda are required to go to a field hospital in Somme in 1917. They’re trying to investigate why or how it burnt down. Max is nearly blown up, but she survives and manages to save some people too. She and Kalinda head back to the pod, to find Sussman already there. Sussman questions why Max is still alive. Kalinda and Sussman have a massive argument and the two never travel together again.
  • Dr Bairstow gives Max and Sussman an important job. They’re required to travel back 67 million years to research the Cretaceous Period. It’ll be a three month mission and requires a lot of prep.
  • Kalinda and Foster take Max out for dinner. Peterson, Dieter, and Farrell show up too. It’s a set up because Max’s friends ship her with Farrell.
  • Farrell reveals that he’s from future France and he lost his family during a horrible flu outbreak. 
  • Farrell gives Max a model Trojan Horse.
  • Max and Sussman head out for their mission. It’s going really well, until Sussman assaults Max and she pepper sprays him and locks him out of the pod.
  • The two need to do some research outside of the pod, and Sussman hits Max over the head and knocks her out. Max gets stuck under a fallen tree truck. She eventually gets herself out, and finds Sussman’s severed foot in his boot. He has been eaten. Terrible shame.
  • Max finishes the mission by herself and then returns to the institute. The others find recordings of what Sussman did, and Max gets a debrief and is offered counselling. The footage is deleted.
  • Farrell goes back to the same period to investigate what happened. He finds that Sussman was working with Clive Ronan. Ronan slit Sussman’s artery and left him to be eaten.
  • Farrell takes Max back 5000 years to an island in the Mediterranean. He explains that Ronan was friends with Dr Bairstow and also a woman called Annie Bessant, and then he turned evil.
  • Max decides she would like to have a holo made of the creatures in the Cretaceous Period, so they can sell it and also educate people. After the sales pitch to Thirsk, Max and Farrell are driving back when he crashes into a tree. For some reason Max and Farrell decide to have sex on the bonnet while they wait for Dieter to pick them up.
  • Max and Dieter head back to the Cretaceous Period because they see something suspicious on the tapes. They find Ronan has been taking tourists back in time to let them hunt dinosaurs in order to make money.
  • They have to be extracted, and their pod is destroyed. Dieter is also injured.
  • The historians all head back in time to stop Ronan. Barclay lets all the dinosaurs out of the cages and causes chaos. Farrell, Peterson, Guthrie and Markham are lost, while the others are extracted.
  • Barclay replaces Bairstow as director because Bairstow is badly injured.
  • Barclay fires Max, citing her reckless behaviour as a reason. Max has to leave the institute almost immediately and live elsewhere. She heads to a clinic and finds that she has had a miscarriage.
  • Mrs De Winter shows up just in time. She reveals that Mrs Partridge is her sister. She gives Max a photo of her and Farrell, and the Trojan Horse which Farrell made. In the Trojan Horse is a remote for Farrell’s secret pod.
  • Max heads back in time to rescue Farrell and co. She brings them back to De Winter’s B&B and they’re fed and then they head back to St Mary’s. 
  • Max confronts Barclay, and Bairstow takes back the reins.
  • Barclay tells Farrell about Max’s miscarriage and Farrell is awful to her. Max and Peterson quite after Max is assaulted by Whissel, who is gross.
  • Farrell apologises and cries.
  • Max finds a pinecone from the Cretaceous Period in her pocket. This proves that you can bring things forward from the past if they’re about to be destroyed.
  • Max plans to save some scrolls from the Library of Alexandria before it burns down.
  • The mission goes well at first, but then Max gets distracted and tries to take more scrolls than initially planned, greatly slowing her down.
  • Ronan’s crew shows up and shoots at the team.
  • The St Mary’s lot jump to the desert. They’re happy that they’ve saved thousands of scrolls, but then Ronan shows up again.
  • The scrolls are locked in the pods. Ronan threatens everyone from St Mary’s to open up the pods. He soots Cameron and Markham. Farrell opens the pod before Ronan can shoot Max.
  • Rapson and Dowson shoot at Ronan’s crew with a flamethrower. Ronan and Izzie get away.
  • Max speaks to Mrs Partridge and learns that she is a daughter of Zeus called Kleio (wtf). Partridge tells Max that “the anomaly is under the fourth step”. Max goes in search of this step, and finds sonnets and a Shakespeare play under the stairs at St Mary’s. The play is about Mary and Elizabeth, and in it Mary survives and becomes the Queen of England and Scotland, and Elizabeth is imprisoned.

That’s what happened in Just One Damned Thing After Another! Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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