Disappearance At Oare by Julie Wassmer

Pearl Nolan’s summer has been rather uneventful, with no new cases for her detective agency, her restaurant is running smoothly and her boyfriend, DCI McGuire, has been tied up in court in London. But at least one of these things is about to change.

Seven years ago, Steven Scott, loving husband to Christina and an expectant father drove to the Oare Marshes and disappeared, with a note left in the car. Now, with Steven’s death about to be legally declared, Christina approaches Pearl to find the father that her son has never met. Swayed by Christina’s pleas, Pearl takes the case…

Needless to say, things are not simple, trying to resolve events from seven years ago. But it seems that Pearl is asking questions that at least one person does not want answered…

Book five in the Whitstable-based Pearl Nolan series, a series that I picked up on at book three and then read completely out of order, but I’m on track now. And best of all, the nice people at Little Brown sent me a copy to take a look at. Much appreciated.

As with the previous tales, it’s a charming coastal town mystery, with a charming lead – human but not dogged by trauma, thankfully – and a strong support. There’s a clear set of characters involved in whatever’s going on, all of whom might be up to something, and a clever plot running underneath the whole thing.

I think the best way to show how much I liked this book is this: I like my murders like I like my Amazon deliveries. Early, and preferably more than one. I don’t think this is a spoiler that eventually a body does turn up – it is pretty late in the day – and I didn’t remotely care. I almost didn’t notice that the majority of the book leaves it as a mystery as to what crime, if any, Pearl is investigating, I was just having fun trying to second-guess the author. Which I didn’t, by the way…

So, another strong entry into this charming series. It’s out tomorrow (June 7th) and it’s Highly Recommended.

Other titles:



  1. Oh, how wonderful! I so respect your views, Puzzle Doctor, as you are a real aficionado of the Classic Crime genre. My new book, Disappearance at Oare, is quite a departure from the others – much darker in tone – so I held my breath and waited for your review – and I’m so pleased! I can now exhale….with great relief….Thank you so much! Jx ❤ PS I’m working on a new book at the moment, Murder Fest, utterly Classic Crime – a return to murder in the midst of a small community – out next May. J x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for writing these novels, Julie. ☺️ Classic crime sounds great – will ‘Murder Fest’ be part of this series, or is it going to be a stand-alone work?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi JFW, I’m so very sorry for the last response! I missed your comments on her until now… Murder Fest will indeed be part of the Whitstable Pearl Mystery series, and the details – and cover – are now up on Amazon. It will be published on May 9th. However, your question is prophetic – as I have been mulling over the plot of a stand-alone novel – a psychological thriller…. whether I get time to write it before the next Whitstable Pearl is due…we’ll have to see. The TV option on the series has just been renewed as things seem to be moving….but I know how slippery these things can be, so I’m keeping everything crossed. Jxx


  2. Thanks for the review, and like you I’ve read the novels in the wrong order: from recollection, I started with May Day Murder, and proceeded to ‘Pilgrim’s Way’. Good to hear that it doesn’t quite matter, but with an evolving relationship between the key characters, I feel like I ought to go back to ‘Whitstable’ before going any further!

    Now that you’ve read five of the novels, all of which I believe you gave the same rating – do you think any one or two of the titles might be stronger than the others?

    Liked by 1 person

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