jw murder on seaARC review for Little, Brown Book Group Ltd via Netgalley.

Christmas in Whitstable. Lights shine bright in old Harbour Street. A Christmas tree stands in place outside St Alfred’s Church. Carol singers surround it. The party season begins. Christmas cards drop through letterboxes . . .

Pearl is busy with the festive season, planning a great family occasion with Dolly and son Charlie – but she’s overstretched herself by agreeing to cater a charity fundraising event at St Alfred’s. As if she didn’t have enough on her plate already…Christmas cards begin arriving around town, filled with poisonous messages. Several people approach Pearl about the cards and though she has little time to take on a new case, Pearl’s curiosity is piqued when she receives one too – commenting on her relationship with DCI Mike McGuire . . .

At the local Christmas party, Pearl and McGuire soon find themselves standing below some mistletoe, when a guest suddenly keels over. At first it’s assumed that local accountant Sue Taylor has simply drunk too much of Pearl’s excellent mulled wine but McGuire and another guest at the event, local GP Paul Masters, soon confirm Sue’s death.

Suspicions soon begin to mount – could it be that Martha, a cat lover who led a solitary life outside her work as church warden, was also a murderer and the sender of all those poison pen Christmas cards?


This is the first of Whitstable Pearl series that I have read…but not the last!

A well plotted and written cozy mystery.  A good set of characters.  Kept me guessing until the end!

4 Stars****




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