From Connie Willis, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, comes a comedic romp through an unpredictable world of mystery, love, and time travel...
Ned Henry is badly in need of a rest. He's been shuttling between the 21st century and the 1940s searching for a Victorian atrocity called the bishop's bird stump. It's part of a project to restore the famed Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in a Nazi air raid over a hundred years earlier.
But then Verity Kindle, a fellow time traveler, inadvertently brings back something from the past. Now Ned must jump back to the Victorian era to help Verity put things right--not only to save the project but to prevent altering history itself.
I looooved this book! Part time-traveling sci-fi, part mystery, part romance, part Victorian comedy - what's not to like?? Also, To Say Nothing of the Dog has bookish references galore! Not only do the main characters mention the obvious allusion to Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome, they also discuss a variety of Agatha Christie novels, Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and Dorothy Sayers books. I absolutely want to read the Lord Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy Sayers ASAP thanks to Verity's descriptions of the dashing Lord Wimsey.
While some of the mystery elements and outcomes of the romantic entanglements were quite obvious to me, this did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel. All of the characters were extremely endearing and many of them were quite silly (and thereby hilarious). The (mainly) Victorian setting was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the book - it really added to the absurdity of the many unfortunate predicaments Ned and Verity find themselves in. Connie Willis is now one of my new favorite authors and I'll definitely be reading from her backlist! I recommend this to everyone - especially those who enjoy Victorian settings, elements of time-travel and books bursting with humor!
This fulfills my Science Fiction entry for the Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge!