This is the second Austen project book I’ve read, and I have to say I’m enjoying them. Its interesting to show how timeless the plots are, that they can so effortlessly be transposed into the 21st century.
I think Val McDermid has managed to retain the essence of the characters despite bringing them into the 21st century. Cat is still naive, with an overactive imagination, while Isabelle Thorpe is still as bitchy and manipulative as ever. The story too remains largely unchanged, though its now set in Edinburgh rather than Bath, mobiles and Facebook feature prominently, and the characters have to actually have jobs (according to Joanne Trollope who did Sense and Sensibility finding jobs for the characters was the hardest part).
Whether you will enjoy this re imagined Northanger Abbey, or the other Austen Project books, will very much come down to your own feelings about modern writers rewriting the work of one of the great novelists. If you are a purest, who has issues with even the relatively faithful tv adaptions, steer clear of these books. If however like me don’t mind a bit of artistic license (provided its done well and with respect for the original), and you can separate the original from the adaption in your mind, and judge the adaption on its own merits then you will probably enjoy them.