Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #5)” as Want to Read:
No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

No Time Like the Past

(The Chronicles of St Mary's #5)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  8,583 ratings  ·  525 reviews
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 seventeenth-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 comfor
Paperback, 374 pages
Published October 22nd 2015 by Accent Press (first published April 21st 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about No Time Like the Past, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jodi Taylor Yes, she is! The next one - given good luck and a following wind - should be out in September. Look out for 'What Could Possibly Go Wrong?'…moreYes, she is! The next one - given good luck and a following wind - should be out in September. Look out for 'What Could Possibly Go Wrong?'(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,583 ratings  ·  525 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #5)
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's easy for me to say that I've become a fanboy of this series. Few other books can straddle the fence so well between sympathy for all the dead and sheer enjoyment of all the frivolities. :)

That being said, this one is much less of an emotional roller coaster than all the rest, with one exception. Something good happens. As in, gather ye rosebuds as ye may, good. I won't say much more than that, especially since we're put through a ghost story, the burning of St. Mary's, the burning of London
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: time-travel
*** 4.35 ***

I really enjoyed this one! I like the tone of the St. Mary's 2.0 much better, mostly because there are no ridiculous manufactured drama between Max and Leon. The drama of their travel through time is enough to keep you interested and since the author has proven that she is not afraid to kill main characters off, I find myself terrified all the time that one of my favorites, Peterson or Markham, might get the cleaver... I have grown very attached to the staff at St. Mary's and I think
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Another St Mary’s adventure, and this time we have everything from a ghost, the 1666 burning of St Paul’s with devastating results, an epic boat race and the battle of Thermopylae. As usual, it’s a mad dash rollercoaster of an adventure, bouncing from one time period to another and the pace never lets up once. But I’ve come to expect nothing less from the St Mary’s gang.

I did find myself a little more detached than normal with thi
Richard Derus
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4* of five

I needed catharsis in the Aristotelian sense...κάθαρσις...after the reading and thinking I've been doing. So down tools, laborer, and prepare the cup that cheers.

It cheers again. The formula holds its charms. Fun and funny and gut-wrenching and painful, exactly and precisely the formula needed for a cleansing cry, a heartening guffaw, and a wistful sigh.
One would think this routine would get monotonous and old after 4-5 instalments.
One couldn't possibly be more wrong...
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Much like the previous book, this was more light-hearted.

We start off with a ghost story that turns into quite an interesting chase and a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy thing and then head straight into trouble. Wonderful sights are visited again, such as London during the inferno of 1666, Renaissance Florence and Thermopylae!

And yes, what would the time-jumping tale be without our favourite villains, Clive Ronan and Isabella Bitchface Barclay?!

Interestingly enough though the author manage
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Would someone with a brain PLEASE scoop this up for the small screen? I love Love LOVE this series! Dang it, I wish I worked at St. Mary's. Don’t they need a musician? I’ve taught Music History, can I qualify? Please??? Thank you, Ms. Taylor, for once again working your magic. This is a hoot and a holler and a fabulous ride! ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Love this series! Another great instalment.
Robin (Bridge Four)
Wow this is the second book in a row in which the Drama Llama hasn’t made an appearance. I’m not lying when I say good riddance. He/She/It was almost ruined the series for me and I almost didn’t continue after book III. But Steven was so kind as to nudge me to continue and I am so happy he did.

The best part of this series for me has been traipsing through time. I’m not a huge history buff but if there is a fun way to teach history this is it. I’m not saying it is accurate (how would I know) but
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't read this book. LISTEN to it. There are very few perfect matches between material and narrator, but this is one. Hard to imagine without Zara Ramm.

Good story, very funny. Highly recommend. Won't change your life, but will keep you happy while your listening.
Maria Dimitrova
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another week, another St. Mary's book under the belt. I'm quite happy with this new and improved St. Mary's, mostly because we seem to have put the artificial relationship drama behind. I mean, with a bunch of disaster prone historians and assorted support staff, who needs extra drama???

For most of the characters the differences between this version of them and the previous versions are subtle except for Leon. Leon 1.0 was a brash and insensitive man, while Leon 2.0 is almost too good to be tru
Please see previous four reviews.
Another fantastic installment of St Mary's. It just keeps getting better and better. ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the 5th book in the Chronicles of St Mary's and this one I really enjoyed following. The story continues to grip me and I was very happy that this story returned to the good old setting of St Mary's itself rather than being a trip through too many places like the 4th one was.

This once again follows Max, our main character who is filled with life and vibrance. She's a lady I'd love to meet in real life becuase she's just fabulous and the adventures she gets herself into really make me sm
What can I say? How do you keep finding superlatives to describe the next book in one of your absolute favourite series' ever without repeating yourself?! I loved this!! SO SO MUCH!!!

My very favourite part about the writing in this series is its humour, which is off-centre and inappropriately dark, to say the very least. I adore that!! Laughing at things we know we should absolutely NOT laugh at, is not only a slightly forbidden pleasure [even if it is at fictional events] somehow just always fe
Max and her team of time travelling historians return for another romp along the timeline. In this episode they visit St Paul's Cathedral to salvage whatever they can as it's crashing down around them. Then it's on to 13th century Florence where the bonfire of the vanities is in full swing and a bunch of works by Botticelli have an appointment with the flames. Finally it's to Thermopylae where they find themselves accidentally risking the timeline and possibly altering history. The Spartans can' ...more
Mike Finn
“No Time Like The Past” was something of a curate’s egg: good in parts.

Like its predecessors, it evokes the rambunctious spirit of St. Mary’s and contains some remarkable descriptions of time’s past, most notably, in this case, the battle of Thermopylae. The future of St Mary’s is under threat. There are fights and murders and even a wedding and yet I never really managed to make an emotional connection with “No Time Like The Past”.

This seemed to me to be a store-bought version of the St. Mary’s
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: time-travel
The thing that draws me to this series is the lighting speed of the plot. Each book is not just one adventure but five. Once again, I just adore Zara Ramm's narration, it makes the story cone to life. ...more
Patty Shimer
Story was great but,editing is bad.

Misspellings and a lot of wordsrunning together. I love her stories and wait for her books to come out but, the editing really hurt the story.
Mar 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed the story but I found the editing/kerning errors distracting.
Josie Jaffrey
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Watch The Gin Book Club's video review here:

This is the first time in the St Mary's series that will find you at a disadvantage if you haven't read the short stories that precede it. I'd recommend reading all of them anyway, because they're great fun, but I would particularly recommend reading The Christmas Present before you start this book, because some elements of the story are continued.

This fifth book in the St Mary's series felt more episodic than
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good fun for the most part, except when everything goes wrong!
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Much like the other books, fast paced and full of history. I love reading and following the relationships between the characters.
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read all my reviews on

I went into this having certain expectations. I was not disappointed.

Returning to St Mary's was great (even though I only left for half a day). Your favorite time-traveling historians return in order to cause more mayhem. No Time Like The Past focuses slightly more on St Mary's related problems, as they travel back in time to investigate the mysterious ghost that Markham keeps seeing, try to secure some more treasures to be found on th
Jul 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Being a time traveling historian is hard and dangerous work, and enfant terrible Max has become an elder statesman through the loss of many colleagues. Luckily most of the core group of freaks that she works with, like accident prone Markham or vicious nurse Helen, are still around to keep life interesting. Max goes on several excursions into the past (The Grand Exhibition! Thermopylae!) and even survives Visitor's Day at St.Mary's. It's all very charming and funny. I'm torn between wanting more ...more
As always, awesome to be back at St Mary's.

Not one of my favorites, another 4.5, but still really really enjoyable and really can't quite put my finger on what wasn't as enjoyable for me. Just some duller parts for me this time around. Still really enjoyable!
Gina Boyd
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This might be my favorite of the series, because it might be the funniest. I laughed aloud a few times, but I also kept realizing that I was just grinning like an idiot as I read. I'm grinning now. ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Rollicking time travel adventure. Makes no sense, yet, I find I enjoy them.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another thoroughly entertaining outing for Max, Leon, Peterson etc from St Mary's. As usual, it's mostly fun and light but there is darkness here. Brilliant narration again from Zara Ramm. On to Book 6! ...more
Anita Reads
[3.5 stars]
The St. Mary’s is a secret place where historians travels back in time to record what actually went on, only to return to present time and sharing the knowledge with the world. Only someone has decided to go back themselves to try and change things for their own benefits, so instead people at St. Mary’s travels back to prevent this from happening.

In this one St. Mary’s has changed a little bit after events that happened in the previous book. We actually saw a lot more of this book fro
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fantasy Buddy Reads: No Time Like the Past [August 2018] 22 33 Aug 26, 2018 07:33PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Bachelor Establishment
  • The Dark Archive (The Invisible Library, #7)
  • Tales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection (Rivers of London #1.5, 1.6, 4.6, 5.65, 6.5)
  • The Quantum Curators and the Enemy Within
  • The Quantum Curators and the Fabergé Egg
  • False Value (Rivers of London, #8)
  • The Secret Chapter (The Invisible Library, #6)
  • The Copper Heart (Crow Investigations #5)
  • The Fox's Curse (Crow Investigations, #3)
  • The Masked City (The Invisible Library, #2)
  • The Pearl King (Crow Investigations, #4)
  • The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library, #5)
  • The Burning Page (The Invisible Library, #3)
  • The Lost Plot (The Invisible Library, #4)
  • The Silver Mark (Crow Investigations, #2)
  • Grave Importance (Dr. Greta Helsing #3)
  • The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, #1)
  • Slough House (Slough House, #7)
See similar books…
Jodi Taylor is, and always has been, a complete history nut. It takes vast amounts of chocolate to get her out of bed for anything after 1485. And if it's raining, there's no chance.

Habitually tongue-tied when asked to talk about herself, she gets round this by describing herself as tall, incredibly beautiful, witty and technically proficient.

The Chronicles of St Mary's -

Just One Damned Thing Aft

Other books in the series

The Chronicles of St Mary's (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #1)
  • A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #2)
  • A Second Chance (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #3)
  • A Trail Through Time (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #4)
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #6)
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and History (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #7)
  • And the Rest is History (The Chronicles of St Mary’s, #8)
  • An Argumentation of Historians (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #9)
  • Hope for the Best (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #10)
  • Plan for the Worst (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #11)

Related Articles

You might know comedian Colin Jost from his work as the co-anchor of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, or perhaps you know him as Scarlett...
127 likes · 47 comments
“There’s something very satisfying about outwitting religious fanaticism.” 9 likes
“Believe it or not, there were rules. Everyone needs rules. After all, how can you break what doesn’t exist? Rules give anarchy something to aim at.” 7 likes
More quotes…