ELLE Books Editor's Pick

Alex Heminsley on this week's hot new novel

The Austen Project is a series of six novels pairing contemporary authors with Austen titles to rewrite in a modern context. It began predictably enough with Joanna Trollope taking on Sense & Sensibility, now this pairs Austen's slightly less popular Northanger Abbey with Scottish crime stalwart and Question Time dynamite Val McDermid. Instead of Bath's Pump Rooms as a social minefield to be negotiated, we have a few weeks at the Edinburgh Festival, and instead of our heroine reading racy gothic novels, she's knee deep in Twilight. The modern twists are fun, and appropriate, and it's a treat to see McDermid – creator of the comprehensively bleak Wire in the Blood series – take on something a little lighter. It seems that the Austen industry is never going to slow down (last year's Longbourn by Jo Baker is another recent hit) but this author/subject combination is significantly less wearying than some of the limper efforts over the years, and we still have Curtis Sittenfeld's Pride & Prejudice to look forward to.

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Read Alex Heminsley's review of The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah

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