Archive for the ‘Whitstable Pearl’ Category

May Day Murder

Author: Julie Wassmer
Published: 7 April 2016
Reviewed: 30 April 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy supplied by Little, Brown Book Group in return for an honest review

  4 out of 5 Stars



You can buy a copy of May Day Murder (Whitstable Pearl Mysteries) here.

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Author : Julie Wassmer
Published: 01 October 2015
Reviewed: 17 November 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Little, Brown Book Group UK in return for an honest review.

4 out of 5 stars



It’s not the season of good will to all men…
The festive month is kicking off in style and Pearl is rushed off her feet with her restaurant, The Whitstable Pearl. She’s also busy planning her own family Christmas and providing mulled wine for a charity church fundraiser when Christmas cards begin arriving all over town – filled with spiteful messages from an anonymous writer. 

Pearl’s curiosity is piqued but having pledged not to take on a case at her detective agency before Christmas, she reluctantly agrees that Canterbury’s DCI Mike McGuire should take over; poisoned pen cards are after all a matter for the police. And with only the church fundraiser now between Pearl and Christmas, she invites McGuire along as her guest. The event appears to be a great success; St Alfred’s church hall is packed and Pearl happily finds herself standing close to McGuire beneath some mistletoe . . . but then a guest suddenly collapses. Too much of Pearl’s delicious mulled wine – or could it be something more sinister?

The last thing Pearl expects for Christmas is murder but soon the bodies are piling up. Can Pearl possibly solve the mystery in time to make 25th December an unforgettable day – or will the murderer contrive to ensure her goose is well and truly cooked before then.  

Whitstable at Christmas sees everyone gearing up for the Festivities, Christmas trees dressed, lights hung, cards sent and received but for some inhabitants of this town some of these cards are more welcome than others.  Someone has been sending poison pen cards to members of the town and they all turn to local restaurateur turned detective Pearl to get to the bottom of it.  With so much to do with preparing for Christmas, Pearl advises the card recipients that she cannot look into it just now, but could look into it in the New Year, but if they are concerned that they should pass this on to Canterbury Police’s DCI McGuire to investigate. 

As Pearl and Mike McGuire rekindle their friendship with an invitation to the parish fundraiser, things all start to go wrong for this little town.  A guest collapses after a blazing row with other guests at the event, was it too much mulled wine?  What is something sinister?  Pearl and McGuire are determined to get to the bottom of it, and despite McGuire being a witness so not being allowed to investigate, he calls in every available favour owed to him to find out just what happened that night.  With his police connections and Pearl’s local knowledge  they are unstoppable. 

There are twists and turns a plenty in this novel, and there are so many things I would like to say about the plot but that would give away too much to the reader, and I really don’t want to spoil this novel for others.  I will say that you will be trying to work out the connections in places, wondering “why did they do that?” or “how is that relevant?” but once it all links up you feel a satisfaction as it really does all tie up with a bow like a Christmas present.

This was the first book I’d read by Wassmer, not realising there was a story before this, The Whitstable Pearl, but I can honestly say that I didn’t feel that I’d missed any important information by not having read these in the “correct” order.  I found Wassmer’s writing enjoyable, the novel was well paced, the physical descriptions of characters and place settings were fantastic, I could almost imagine the beach at Whitstable, the Christmassy settings and the way certain characters looked and acted – especially Dolly!! 

The only downside for me about this book was a times Pearl annoyed me.  I know that in order to keep suspense going and keep the reader on their toes is to not give away all the details, but surely it was a bit strange that Pearl would be sitting in a hotel for drinks, order, look over at the other side of the room and then “light bulb” moment and off she went without so much as an explanation to her companions in the book or a wee hint to the reader?  But that’s just me nitpicking. 

Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable read, good suspense and build up to the main events, interesting plot twists and developments and on the most part something I could easily go back and reread in a few months time. 

I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Mystery, Thrillers and Crime Fiction genres.

I would like to thank Little, Brown Book Group UK for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 1st October 2015, a copy can be purchased here Murder-on-Sea (UK Kindle Version)

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