REVIEW - May Day Murder by Julie Wassmer

Title: May Day Murder

Author: Julie Wassmer

Publisher: Constable

Release Date: 7th April 2016

Source: Publisher ARC

It's springtime and Whitstable is emerging from hibernation.

While neither the restaurant nor detective agency is too busy, Pearl resolves to spend some time at the family allotment. But her best friend, Nathan, has persuaded one of his favourite actresses to open the May Day festivities at Whitstable Castle and involves Pearl in his plans.

Like Pearl, Faye Marlowe is a Whitstable native, but having left the town more than two decades ago, the star has been living in the South of France since her agent's phone stopped ringing. Charming but 'sensitive', she arrives with a small entourage and though her presence in the town causes a stir Pearl's mother Dolly remains unimpressed, choosing to remember Faye Marlow when she was plain old Frankie Murray, the daughter of a local whelk merchant.

Nathan soon realises he has made a mistake with this invitation and his doubts are confirmed when Faye is nowhere to be found on the morning of May Day. And as 'Jack in the Green' puts on his impressive costume to lead the parade, the actress's dead body is discovered - tethered to the maypole on the Castle grounds . . . and so it's left to Pearl and DCI Mike McGuire to unravel the mystery of the May Day murder.

I love this series, three books in and meeting the characters again is like welcoming old friends.

 Pearl Nolan and her eccentric mother Dolly are back at the Pearl in Whitstable, spring has sprung and they are enjoying the lull before the hectic summer months when the townies come to visit from London.

Pearl's detective agency is quiet but things are about to change with the arrival in town of faded movie star Faye Marlow.  Originally from the town, Faye has come a long way since the days she was just plain old Frankie, she has staff, fortune and fame but she also has a past and that past is going to catch up with her.

Faye is in town for a series of events having been persuaded by Pearl's friend Nathan, the main one being May Day but when May Day dawns the town is horrified to learn that Faye has been found dead, murdered and tied to the maypole.  

Pearl wastes no time in trying to figure out the mystery, as with all good crime stories there are several possible suspects, Faye may have been a star but she had left a trail of unhappy people behind her and the murderer could be any one of them.  

Of course Pearl can't solve the case by herself, DCI McGuire comes in as in the previous books and together their shared detective skills and of course the bucket loads of chemistry they have, help solve the case.  The question is can you guess whodunnit?

May Day Murder is another great cosy crime novel by Julie Wassmer, the characters are all a delight to read about and the attention to detail is plain wonderful.  From the food to the grounds of which plays a major role in the book, well they are described to the effect that you can feel them jumping off the page at you.

The other thing I love about this is the fact I have been to Whitstable, it was a long time ago but it does help in picturing Pearl as she works to solve them murder.

Another great story and a welcome addition to my cosy crime shelf, and hopefully yours!

Thanks to Constable for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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  1. I always enjoy a mystery set in the English countryside, not sure why but the old country house thing is appealing. :) And better yet if the whole setting is brought to life well. Looks like fun.

  2. Thanks for sharing; I hadn't heard of this series. I do really want to read more cozy mysteries. They are often quite good, and I don't often guess the culprit. haha



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