Today I’m delighted to host the blog tour for Murder On the Downs by Julie Wassmer.
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…
I do adore a gentle murder mystery. Yes I know that is a strange choice of words but I’m sure you know what I mean. I’ve been a massive Agatha Christie fan for quite some time and also the Death In Paradise mysteries by Robert Thorogood. So when I read the synopsis for Murder On The Downs, I knew that I was in for a treat.
This is the seventh in the Whistaple Pearl Mysteries but my first reading. I felt immediately at home and came to enjoy following Pearl throughout the story. Pearl is a Whitstaple girl born and bred and not only runs the local restaurant, The Whitstable Pearl, but also a local detective agency. Trouble comes along in the form of a controversial property development that creates tension and conflict throughout the town. It’s not long before matters become deadly and a body is found on the downs. Fearing for her safety the local police insist that Pearl doesn’t get involved but she does unfortunately have a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong (or perhaps the right) time. Things become deadlier for Pearl as the body count rises and the more she digs around the more she places her self in danger.
This was a delightful read. Not too gruesome and just the right amount of suspicious characters to keep you guessing who the culprit is right until the very end. The thing I liked most what the wonderful location. I have never actually been to Whitsable in person but Julie writes it beautifully and I felt I was right there with Pearl as she wondered over the downs. I could almost smell the sea air! I very much enjoyed my time in Whitsable and look forward to returning again soon.
Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to the lovely peopel at Constable for sending me a review copy. I very much enjoyed this Whistable Pearl story and look forward to reading some her earlier mysteries.
About the author
Julie Wassmer was born in the East End of London, studied at Kingston University and had a variety of different jobs before she finally settled down to become a professional television drama writer.
She worked on several TV series, including ITV’s London’s Burning, C5’s Family Affairs and the popular BBC soap, EastEnders, which she wrote for almost 20 years.
In 2010, her autobiography More Than Just Coincidence was published by Harper Collins/True. The book entered the Sunday Times Best Selling Non Fiction Top Twenty and went on to become Mumsnet Book of the Year.
In 2015, Julie’s debut crime novel, The Whitstable Pearl Mystery, was published by award-winning publisher, Little, Brown Book Group. Six other books have since followed in the series with more on the way, and the television rights to the series have been optioned by the TV production company, Buccaneer, the makers of Marcella, starring Anna Friel.
Julie moved to Whitstable twenty years ago where she shares a home with her husband, Kas, and three cats, Charlie, Lily and Maisie. She also spends a great deal of time campaigning on environmental issues.
Murder on the Downs is the seventh book in the Whitstable Pearl Mystery series.