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?
Julie Wassmer is a a professional televison drama writer, working on various series including ITV's London's Burning, C5's Family Affairs and BBC's Eastenders - which she worked on for 20 years. In 2010, her autobiography More Than Just Coincidence was published by Harper Collins/True.
Review: I loved this book! All the characters were well written, rounded and realistic too. Although the plot line deals with a gruesome murder and a lot of nastiness, it manages to have a humorous edge to it too. The mystery was detailed and difficult to solve - which makes the reveal all that more exciting! Highly recommended!