Now a TV series on Acorn TV.
What is the Whitstable Pearl Mystery series about?
Written by British writer Julie Wassmer, the Whitstable Pearl Mystery Series Books is a cozy crime fiction series following Pearl Nolan, the owner of a successful restaurant and a private detective.
Pearl Nolan lives in her coastal hometown of Whitstable. She wanted to be a police officer, but a teenage pregnancy changed her plans. Instead, she opens a seafood restaurant.
And now, his son Charlie is all grown up, and local murders inspire Pearl Nolan to reconnect with her first passion by opening her own private detective agency and working with DCI Mike McGuire.
How to read the Whitstable Pearl Mysteries in Order?
Each book in the Whitstable Pearl Mystery Series is offering a standalone storyline, but the lives of the characters are evolving from one novel to the other.
- The Whitstable Pearl Mystery (2015)
- Murder-On-Sea (2015)
- May Day Murder (2016)
- Murder on the Pilgrims Way (2017)
- Disappearance at Oare (2018)
- Murder Fest (2019)
- Murder on the Downs (2020)
- Strictly Murder (2021)
- Murder at Mount Ephraim (2022)
What is the plot of the Whitstable Pearl Mysteries?
For more information about the books in the Whitstable Pearl Mystery series by Julie Wassmer, you’ll find below the official synopsis for all the books:
The Whitstable Pearl Mystery – Pearl Nolan always wanted to be a detective but life, and a teenage pregnancy, got in the way of a police career and instead, she built up a successful seafood restaurant in her coastal hometown of Whitstable – famous for its native oysters. Now, at 39, and with son Charlie away at university, Pearl finds herself suffering from empty nest syndrome . . . until she discovers the drowned body of local oyster fisherman Vinnie Rowe, weighted down with an anchor chain, on the eve of Whitstable’s annual oyster festival.
Murder-on-Sea – The festive month is kicking off in style and Pearl is rushed off her feet with her restaurant, The Whitstable Pearl. And 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?
May Day Murder – It’s springtime and Whitstable is emerging from hibernation. While neither the restaurant nor the detective agency is too busy, Pearl resolves to spend some time at the family allotment. But her best friend, Nathan, has persuaded one of his favorite actresses, Faye Marlowe, to open the May Day festivities at Whitstable Castle and involves Pearl in his plans. Soon, the actress’s dead body is discovered – tethered to the maypole on the Castle grounds and so it’s left to Pearl and DCI Mike McGuire to unravel the mystery of the May Day murder.
Murder on the Pilgrims Way – Pearl receives a surprise present from her mother, Dolly – an early summer break at a riverside manor house that has been recently transformed into an exclusive hotel – the newly named Villa Pellegrini. But when she discovers that she’s actually booked in for a cookery course from the Italian celebrity chef, Nico Caruso, she begins to think again. Pearl doesn’t welcome instruction on cookery at the best of times, and certainly not from an arrogant chef like Caruso. Soon, she finds herself distracted, not only by her enchanting surroundings but by the disparate selection of guests. She even begins to enjoy Caruso’s attentions – and his cookery – until one of the guests goes missing and it becomes clear that murder is on the menu.
Disappearance at Oare – The Whitstable Pearl restaurant has been busy all summer while Pearl’s detective agency has brought a few interesting cases – until a prospective client calls… Christina Scott confides that seven years ago she had the perfect life — until her husband Steven vanished, taking nothing with him but his car. Now, with the legal presumption of Steven’s death about to be made, Christina shows a photograph to Pearl. It’s not of him, but of her young son, Martin, who has grown up without his father but Christina is adamant he now deserves to know the truth. And will Pearl help her solve the riddle of Steven’s disappearance?
Murder Fest – Pearl’s detective agency takes a back seat as she prepares to offer a warm welcome to a group of special visitors. A local Arts Festival is being held to honor a cultural exchange visit from representatives of Borken – Whitstable’s Twin Town in Germany. Yet very soon, personality clashes surface among the participants; local politicians try to use the festival for their own ends while others jostle for improved billing on the festival program. Tempers flare, old feuds re-surface, and on the eve of the first event, a cryptic message – Murder Fest – is received by the local police. Before DCI Mike McGuire has a chance to investigate, the festival commences with an unscheduled event when a celebrated author is found brutally murdered . . .
Murder on the Downs – A controversial new property development is planned in Whitstable which will encroach upon the green open space of the downs, to the dismay of Whitstable residents who view this as the thin end of the wedge with regard to local wildlife conservation. Tensions escalate between the developers and Whitstable residents, straining Pearl’s close relationship with London-born police officer, DCI Mike McGuire, who harbors concerns that the local campaign will spiral out of control. Pearl’s loyalties are torn, but the protest duly goes ahead — and newspaper headlines claim a moral victory for the residents in this David and Goliath battle. But the victory is short-lived when Pearl discovers a dead body on the downs…
Strictly Murder – A new dance school opens in Whitstable run by celebrity tango champions – Tony and Tanya Ballard. Pearl Nolan knows herself to be an ace cook and a sharp private eye but has always left the dancing to her mother, Dolly, a former member of the town’s infamous Fish Slappers dance troupe. But Pearl becomes intrigued by the Ballards when they visit The Whitstable Pearl restaurant, and she realizes that dance classes could provide the perfect cover for her clandestine relationship with DCI Mike McGuire… McGuire is the only man Pearl has ever considered partnering with — and not just for tango — but the pair soon find themselves with more than steps to master when death joins them on the dance floor and a brutal killer stalks the school.
Murder at Mount Ephraim – Pearl Nolan receives a wedding invitation from an old school friend. Journalist Amy has chosen somewhere very special for the wedding ceremony – the historic Kent manor house of Mount Ephraim – and the invite includes a pre-nuptial stay for Pearl and other guests at this venue. Nestled in an 800-acre estate, and surrounded by beautiful gardens and a lake, Pearl sees this break as a chance to leave crime behind, along with her own detective agency and her restaurant, The Whitstable Pearl. Accepting the invitation, Pearl looks forward to meeting the happy couple’s friends and family, as well as Amy’s fiancé, Guy, a handsome and successful adventurer who appears to be Mr. Perfect. She also has time to reflect on her own engagement to Canterbury CID detective, DCI Mike McGuire…