So I've been on kind of kick lately, for no apparently reason, reading books set in England. One of my friends recommended one of them to me saying it was kind of a pain to read because the author uses so many English slang words, "Why can't she just write in English?", which is pretty hilarious. But if you want to feel like you're away, it is sort of like speaking another language and yet it isn't!
The one I just finished is called "Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith. Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling who is a bit more famous for another series she wrote, also set in England, called Harry Potter. Cuckoo's Calling could not be further from Harry Potter but I really liked it. The main character is a private detective named Cormoran Strike. He is an Afghan war veteran and is currently breaking up with his long time girlfriend. He comes from a complicated family (rock star dad, groupie mom, many assorted half brothers and sisters) and has had many difficulties but is on the verge of losing his business when a big case comes in. A lawyer is distraught over the loss of his sister and asks Cormoran to investigate. All of the characters are well thought out and well described and I especially liked Strike's secretary. Very fun book to read.
Another one that I read that was recommended by a different friend was called "The House at Riverton" by Kate Norton. My friend said it had a bit of a slow start but she got to the point where she couldn't put it down and that's exactly how I felt too. It starts off in modern day with an elderly lady thinking back to a pivotal event in her life. There are a lot of characters at first but as it goes on, the characters begin to sort themselves out. If you like Downton Abbey, it has that kind of feel to it. There is a big mystery that doesn't really sort itself out until the very last few pages. It was great.
Those two were both grown up kinds of books. There was also one that my niece recommended called "Best Friends and other Enemies" by Catherine Wilkins. It's about a girl, Jessica, who is struggling with a new girl in her school. Her best friend Natalie, has gotten very chummy with Amelia and Amelia is flat out mean to Jessica. I didn't really get why Natalie would continue to be friends with someone who was so very unkind but my niece (who's 11) really enjoyed it. I thought the characters were interesting and I think girls would really like this story and maybe identify more with the characters than I did.