“Size 14 Is Not Fat Either” by Meg Cabot

Heather Wells is a former pop-star whose manager stole all her money and ran off – sounds bad, but to make it worse her manager is her mother! Her pop career over, she then finds her fiancé with another woman, a younger pop-star, so penniless she takes the offer of her ex-finance’s brother, Cooper, to live in his home, and takes a job as an assistant director of the college residence halls, in return for remission on her tuition fees to allow her to finally finish her education. As if life isn’t complicated enough, Heather is completely in love with Cooper, her father has been in jail for the last twenty years, and last year she solved the mysterious deaths of two girls in her residence hall, which is now dubbed “Death Dorm”.

At the start of this second Heather Wells mystery, Heather is trying to deal with a new boss, start her remedial math classes, and look after college kids turning twenty-one and legally getting so drunk they have to be accompanied to the emergency room. Her day is not exactly going well, when she’s called to the kitchens of the cafeteria to deal with a situation – a cheerleaders severed head has been left boiling in a pot on the stove, but with no sign of the rest of her body. Even though she has promised Cooper that she won’t get involved in this murder investigation, she then promises her friend Magda she will try to make sure the killer is caught. She soon finds herself caught up in the nastier side of college life … and in some very dangerous situations of her own.

I love Meg Cabot! Reading her books, whether kids books like The Princess Diaries series, teenage books like The Mediator series, or adult books such as these Heather Wells mysteries, feels like catching up with a good friend who has a far more interesting life than me. She is a great storyteller, and I find all her books real page turners, and really relaxing to read. Her writing always seems to talk to the audiences she’s writing for, without talking down to anyone. The heroines of her books feel like real people, and as such are never one dimensional, but always fully rounded characters, with emotions, feelings, faults and their own individual personalities.

This second Heather Wells mystery is another cracking read, and I finished it easily in a day. Considering it’s a murder mystery, there’s no gratuitous violence or graphic descriptions of the murder. Heather feels like someone I know, and I can completely put myself in her place, providing the perfect escapism I look for in books. The character development from the first book continues, and there are a few tantalising threads left at the end to be woven in to the next one, Big Boned, due to be published early next year. I can’t wait!!!

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