I really enjoyed this. I wasn't sure what to expect really, because I wasn't all that keen on The Casual Vacancy, but you should all know by now how much I like a good crime/thriller/detective novel. They are difficult to review without giving much away though! The main character is Cormoran Strike (his dad is a rock star so we can forgive the name) and the story follows his exploits as he tries to discover whether a supermodel committed suicide, or was murdered. You've also got a female perspective in the form of Robin, his temporary secretary, who ends up loving detective work so much she's willing to take a pay cut to stay working for him. Whether there will end up being a bit of a romance there, I'm not sure. Robin is engaged, but her fiance seems like a bit of a douchebag, she's supposed to be pretty hot, and Cormoran is apparently butt ugly. Who knows? The storyline is interesting and keeps you guessing about whats going on, and I can't really say anymore without there being massive spoilers. So read it for yourselves! Overall, I was pretty impressed with J.K. Rowlings first attempt at crime fiction, and I'm pretty excited to see where she goes with the series.
Nicola's rating: 4/5
This is the last book in the Heather Wells series. These are crime/thrillers, but it's Meg Cabot so they're a bit more lighthearted and fun. Or as fun as a murder mystery can be anyway. I thought this was a really good ending to the series, Heather is in the final stages of planning her wedding to private investigator Cooper Cartwright, and starting a new year at the university. This year they have a prince staying at the dorm, so they have loads of extra security around, but someone still manages to murder a student, and attack another! Heather has to discover whats going on before more people get hurt. This book was really easy to read, but I did find my attention wandering in places. There wasn't an awful lot of tension and suspense, but I think that's just how Meg Cabot writes. Anyone who has read Meg Cabot before will really enjoy this series, and if you're new to crime fiction and wanting to give it a go, this is probably a good place to start!
Nicola's rating: 3/5
This was another free Kindle download! I watched a bit of the TV series, but not an awful lot, so I decided to give the book a try. It's all narrated by Mary Smith, who talks about her visits to Cranford and the people who live there. It's sort of like a collection of short stories, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Miss Matty is one of the main characters, and the stories are mainly based around her life and her fellow 'Cranford ladies'. The book is mainly quite happy and cheery, but when there is an accident or tragedy, it's always mixed with a bit of happiness in the way that the villagers rally around to help out. I've not read any Elizabeth Gaskell before so I'm not sure how this compares to her other books, but reading Cranford has definitely made me consider looking into her other works.
Nicola's rating: 3.5/5