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.
'While Oxford had Morse, Whitstable, famous for its oysters, has Pearl' Daily Mail
Murder on the Downs is the seventh book in Julie Wassmer's popular crime series - now a major Acorn TV drama, Whitstable Pearl, starring Kerry Godliman as private detective and restaurateur, Pearl Nolan.
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...
'While Oxford had Morse, Whitstable, famous for its oysters, has Pearl . . . True to the tradition of classic crime, [Julie Wassmer] weaves a strong story into a setting that has more to offer than murder and mayhem' Daily Mail
'As light as a Mary Berry Victoria sponge, this Middle-England romp is packed with vivid characters' Myles McWeeney, Irish Independent
'All of the thrills without any of the gore' The Sun
'This is a quality title...a very entertaining read' The Puzzle Doctor
'My new favourite author in the genre' George Galloway
'A wonderful way to explore Whitstable . . . if you love cosy mysteries, then get acquainted with Pearl (and her mum and her cats!) and enjoy a trip to Whitstable through the eyes of this very convincing author' Trip Fiction
'Proves she's mistress of her craft' John McGhie, author of White Highlands
'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!' Jane Wenham-Jones, author of Mum in the Middle
'If you enjoy cosy crime fiction and you still haven't picked this series, then you are missing out' Alba in Bookland
'Julie Wassmer really knows how to tell a story' Victoria Best, Shiny New Books
'Good, solid whodunits, without gruesome details or gratuitous violence, Murder on Sea may be just your cup of tea' Bec Stafford
'Come to Whitstable without actually coming to Whitstable. A good read!' Anthony Jemmett
Praise for the TV series
'Scandi noir meets the English seaside in Whitstable Pearl, a murder mystery series based on Julie Wassmer's novels...' Drama Quarterly
'...explores all the murder and debauchery in the seemingly perfect English seaside town of Whitstable...' Washington Post
'...you never know what might turn up, either on the menu or alongside an oyster boat.' Wall Street Journal
'Single mum turned amateur detective in a gripping new family drama...' We Love TV
'Quirky and enjoyable...' TV Satellite