McDermid to rework Jane Austen classic next spring

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An Alnmouth author has been chosen as one of six to rework a Jane Austen classic novel.

Bestselling crime writer Val McDermid has been chosen by publisher HarperCollins to rework Northanger Abbey as part of the Austen Project.

The Austen Project has paired six bestselling contemporary authors with Jane Austen’s six complete works: Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion and Mansfield Park.

Taking the story as the base the authors will be writing their own take on the novels.

McDermid’s Northanger Abbey opens with heroine Catherine at the Edinburgh Book Festival before the action moves to a gothic mansion in the Scottish borders.

The novel will be reimagined as a suspense-filled teen thriller .

Val said: “It was quite a challenge because some of the elements of the book just don’t work in a contemporary setting.

“Nobody goes to Bath for the season any more, for example.

“So I decided to move the setting to Edinburgh during the festival, which allowed me to make Northanger Abbey a Border Abbey.

“You could say I’m putting the north into Northanger!

HarperCollins crime and thriller publisher Julia Wisdom called it a ‘mouth-watering prospect’ to have Val McDermid on board for a reworking.

The project will also see Alexander McCall Smith reimagine Emma.