If, like me, you have been trapped in a city during lockdown and the most nature and green space you’ve experienced for the last seven weeks is your local park, then the new novel in Julie Wassmer’s seaside-based mystery series, Murder on the Downs, will be the perfect escape. Set in the beautiful coastal town of Whitstable in Kent and following the adventures of Pearl Nolan, private detective and restaurant owner, the book combines picturesque English scenery, seafood and murder. It is a classic Agatha Christie-style mystery novel: enthralling, comforting and deliciously entertaining. Just the type of book we all need right now! Although it will have you itching to escape your living room, sit on Whitstable Beach, with the sea air on your skin and the pebbles beneath your toes, and eat fish and chips.
Discover the Whitstable Pearl mysteries: a combination of seafood, murder, and a multi-tasking heroine on the coast of Kent . . .
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.
A campaign springs into life, spearheaded by a friend of Pearl's family, Martha Laker. A committed environmentalist, Martha is no stranger to controversy herself. She has also managed to divide opinion across town, with the locals viewing her as their fearless champion while establishment figures seeing only an interfering agitator.
Tensions escalate between the developers and Whitstable residents, straining Pearl's close relationship with London-born police officer, DCI Mike McGuire, who harbours 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...
Praise for Julie Wassmer's Whitstable Pearl mysteries:
'A tried-and-tested crime recipe with Whitstable flavours that makes for a Michelin-starred read' Daily Mail
'My new favourite author in the genre' George Galloway
'Thoroughly enjoyable with a host of wonderful characters- I adore Dolly! - and evocative descriptions of Whitstable. Perfect for foodies too. Pearl is great and the ongoing will they/won't they love story with McGuire is compelling. Comforting, cosy and entertaining with excellent Agatha Christie-style reveals. I love these books!</font>' Jane Wenham-Jones, author of Mum in the Middle
'While Oxford had Morse, Whitstable, famous for its oysters, has Pearl' Daily Mail
'Come to Whitstable without actually coming to Whitstable. A good read!' Anthony Jemmett