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Thursday 25 August 2022

‘Murder at Mount Ephraim; by Julie Wassmer

Published by Constable,
25 August 2022.
ISBN: 978-1-4721-3446-2 (PB)

 It was with great delight that I received the ninth book in the series set Whitstable, featuring restaurant owner Pearl Nolan.

We catch up with Pearl, as she is off to attend the wedding of her old friend Amy Young, who as a journalist has not been in Whitstable for many years. The wedding is being held at the historic Kent Manor house of Mount Ephraim, which is set in an estate of 800 acres and surrounded by beautiful gardens. The guests have all been invited to stay for the weekend.    

Prior to the arrival of the other guests Pearl has time to catch up with Amy and hear all about her fiancé, the handsome and wealthy Guy Priddey.  

The guests are a select gathering, Amy’s stepmother, Babs and her live-in companion Simon Mullen, who is in essence her Carer. Amy’s agent Ingrid Davis. The bridegroom, sister, Sarah and husband Toby. Also, actress Tess Gulliver and her partner playwright James Jarrett. The most surprising guest to Pearl is Ian Soutar, Amy’s former boyfriend.

The whole setting is idyllic, and Pearl sees it as a chance for her to reflect on her own engagement to Canterbury CID detective, DCI Mike McGuire.  Pearl had initially hoped for a career in the police force, but the arrival of her son Charlie put paid to that idea, and so she opened her own restaurant, which has been successful and provided an oncome for her and her son. But Charlie is now at university and Pearl seeking a new challenge has set up Nolan’s Detective Agency. Unfortunately, the local police are not keen on private investigators, and she and Mike McGuire have crossed swords a few times, but their relationship has now developed into a strong and loving relationship, to the dismay of Pearl’s mother Dolly, the originally hippy, who is not keen on police in general, but maybe she is slowly coming to accept the inevitable-maybe?  

As Pearls roams around the grounds deep in thought, she inadvertently overhears conversations that suggest that there are tensions between some of the guests. So, will someone resort to murder?

An excellent read. I love this series, and again I was mystified to the end. Highly recommended.


Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett

Julie Wassmer  is a television drama writer who contributed for almost twenty years to the popular BBC series EastEnders. She published her autobiography More Than Just Coincidence in 2010, in which she describes finding her long-lost daughter after an astonishing twist of fate. It was voted Mumsnet book of the year. The Whitstable Pearl Mystery was the first in her series of crime novels, involving multi-tasking private detective-come-restauranteur, Pearl Nolan. There are now nine books in the series. Julie lives in Whitstable and is well known for her environmental campaigning.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this brilliant review! I am most grateful to you for it and am very pleased you enjoyed my latest book. The second season of the Acorn TV series based on my crime novels, Whitstable Pearl, has now been shot and should be released before the end of the year. Many thanks, Julie