Murder on the Pilgrims Way

The fourth novel in the Pearl Nolan series

Pearl receives a surprise present from her mother, Dolly – an early summer break at a riverside manor house that has been recently transformed into an exclusive hotel – the newly named Villa Pellegrini.

Pellegrini – the Italian word for pilgrims – reflects the fact that the building lies on the old Pilgrims Way into Canterbury, and Pearl is looking forward to the break, not least because DCI Mike McGuire has been neglecting her due to his work. But when she discovers that she’s actually booked in for a cookery course from the Italian celebrity chef, Nico Caruso, she begins to think again . . .

Pearl doesn’t welcome instruction on cookery at the best of times, and certainly not from an arrogant chef like Caruso. She goes along, intent on challenging Caruso’s egotism – and a long tradition of men dominating gastronomy – but soon finds herself distracted, not only by her enchanting surroundings but by the disparate selection of guests.

She even begins to enjoy Caruso’s attentions – and his cookery – until one of the guests goes missing and it becomes clear that murder is on the menu.

ISBN: 9781472124920

Publication date: 06 April 2017

Page count: 304

Imprint: Constable

Reviews

Murder on the Pilgrims Way

What with running an up-market fish restaurant and a detective agency, Pearl Nolan has been overdoing it of late.

This is the opinion of her mother who, in a misguided fit of maternal generosity, arranges for the two of them to spend a sybaritic fortnight in a country hotel.

But there is a catch. The holiday turns out to be an extended cookery course run by an egotistical Italian chef who is anathema to Pearl. And if that is not bad enough, a murder is slotted into the programme.

Julie Wassmer holds to the classic crime tradition of focusing on a closed community of suspects. But within the formula she rings the changes with snippets of culinary expertise and insider knowledge of rural pursuits, making the sudden descent to violence all the more shocking. A tried-and-tested crime recipe with Whitstable flavours that makes for a Michelin-starred read.

 

Barry Turner

The Daily Mail

Murder on the Pilgrims Way

If you are like me and enjoy the format of traditional cosy crime – an atmospheric setting, a great cast of possible suspects, a second body that arrives just at the right moment – then I can warmly recommend the new crime series by Julie Wassmer,
What I really love about these books is that Julie Wassmer knows the right ingredients for an evocative, rich and wholly accessible read. The descriptions of the riverside manor house and the food the assembled guests cook are just gorgeous. She’s excellent at quickly establishing her characters and dropping enough hints about the tangled relations hidden between them. And there’s always a good, steady flow of events throughout the novel, keeping you completely engaged. Once you’ve bought into the ongoing story that concerns Pearl, it’s irresistible to find out what happens next. If I have to quibble, then in this particular outing, I’d say that Pearl’s final denouement did leave me wondering a bit how she knew the things she did. And while Pearl dazzles, Mike McGuire doesn’t always pull his weight in the detecting arena; against her, he can seem flat. But these really are minor quibbles in a series that’s been consistently vivid and inventive in its storytelling. If you like food and you like crime, I do suggest you try the Whitstable Pearl.

 

Shiny New Books

Murder on the Pilgrims Way

With a couple of chefs at the heart of the mystery, it is only to be be expected that there is a wealth of culinary delights to whet the appetite of the reader, especially as the story is set in the Garden of England – wonderful terroir cooking! Italian dishes galore. Wines to imbibe… Even the wonderful Sportsman at Seasalter (a top tip by the way!) gets a look-in.

One thing… call me pedantic… I was just itching to put an apostrophe in the title of the book…

This is a delightful murder-cum-gastro mystery set in a beautiful part of England. Enjoy.

 

Trip Fiction

Murder on the Pilgrims Way

It with great pleasure that I get to open the blog tour for Murder On The Pilgrims Way, book four in the “Whitstable Pearl” series – following The Whitstable Pearl MysteryMurder On Sea and May Day Murder. The series fits under the “cozy” umbrella, which while attracting some readers, can put off other, more serious-minded, mystery readers. Which is a real shame, as like some other series that have that label thrust upon them – Chef Maurice, for example – this is well worth your time.

Pearl and her retinue – mostly represented here by Dolly and MacGuire – are fine constructions, all of which have well-thought out backstories. Pearl is a single mother who, now that her son is at university, has returned to her original dream of crime investigation, and both her and McGuire are dealing with the fact that the road to romance – or wherever they are heading – has obstacles along the way, one of those being Nico himself. You can add in Whitstable itself as a character, I suppose, as certainly I’m becoming much more inclined to visit it since reading this series.

We are very much in the traditional set-up here, with a smallish group of suspects, all of whom have motive and opportunity. We gather the suspects for the finale and the solution is not a straightforward one, despite there being enough hints for the alert reader to put bits and pieces together.

It’s an easy, entertaining read, as are all of the other books in the series

Classic Mystery

Murder on the Pilgrims Way

I really enjoy the Whitstable Pearl mystery series, with each new book I look forward to first of all visiting the beautiful Kent countryside and the town of Whitstable which I visited many years ago and loved.  Secondly I also love being thrown in to the lives of Pearl, her family, friends and her food!
Murder on the Pilgrims Way is, I think, my favourite so far in the series, set in the idyllic countryside at a beautiful country retreat.  Pearl and her mother Dolly have left Whitstable behind, Dolly is treating her daughter to cookery course at Villa Pellegrini and the course is taught by charming celebrity chef Nico Caruso.
The house is beautiful but in true murder mystery style Pearl and Dolly’s fellow guests are hiding secrets.  What starts of as an idyllic break with fine food, delicious wine and charming company ends with the grisly discovery of a body, instinctively private detective Pearl starts delving in to the lives of her companions.  Who is the murderer in their midst?
Full of English country charm, delightful characters and a hint of romance this is a great read which I would recommend to lovers of cosy mysteries and Agatha Christie.

 

Red Heather Duff

Random Redhead Ramblings

Murder on the Pilgrims Way

It’s impossible not to get completely enthralled by the amazing Whitstable cosy mystery series. The setting of the books is almost a character of its own it’s so well described, making it very easy to visualise what’s being read. As for the mystery…it’s impossible to work out who the culprit is because of the exciting twists and turns along the way. Mystery, intrigue, and even a little bit of romance…highly recommended, the entire series is incredible!

 

Samie Sands