The ninth book in the bestselling British madcap time-travelling series, served with a dash of wit that seems to be everyone's cup of tea. 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. From Tudor England to the burning city of Persepolis, from a medieval St. Mary's under siege to Victorian Rushford and a very nasty case of gaol fever, Max is struggling to keep her private life intact. There's an ambitious programme hindered by giant teapots, plus Mrs. Midgely's objection to dead hamsters in her airing cupboard, and Mr. Markham's stubborn refusal to reveal his exact marital status. And as if that's not enough--the unfortunately not leprosy-laden Malcolm Halcombe is back. Admittedly, none of this is the most secure platform from which to launch an initiative to bring down the renegade Clive Ronan, but hey--what's the worst that could happen?