Time Warner Books, £5.99
Sarah Mason's third novel 'High Society' is a quirky tale of romance, crossed wires, and mystery, with plenty of fast-paced action thrown into the mix.
Set between England and France, the story is told from the perspective of our leading lady Clemmie Colshannon, a strong-willed but slightly needy character, whose emotion-filled asides make her instantly likeable.
Clemmie comes from a family who proudly advertise 'drama' as their collective middle-name. With her stage queen mother, investigative journalist sister and quietly troublesome brother, adventure seems set to follow Clemmie wherever she goes. But it is when her sister Holly goes in search of a new scoop for her paper that all hell breaks loose.
Holly's work colleague Emma has disappeared off the face of the earth only days before she was due to get married, and with no explanation and some suspicious excuses, Holly decides that a little research is called for. But instead of fighting to out the truth by herself, she enlists the help of her bored sister Clemmie, with disastrous consequences.
What the girls don't seem to have considered is that maybe Emma doesn't want to be found, and maybe not everyone's version of events will add up to give the full picture. But after some very fruitful detective work the pair are about to unearth a few secrets, as well as a crazed psychopath! Worked into the tale, as tidy subplots, are Clemmie's disastrous love life, her mother's desperate attempts to stage a production of 'Calamity Jane' in their village, and plenty of love triangles.
Mason has a wonderful ability to completely consume the reader with the ridiculousness of her stories, both with her charming characters and slightly over the top plotlines. There is an easy flow to her writing that makes her work pleasant to read. Pure escapism, 'High Society' will captivate you as it unfolds at its frantic pace.