I received an Advanced Review Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. This does not in any way affect my opinion!
Sixteen-year-old Julie Beaufort-Stuart is returning to her family’s ancestral home in Perthshire for one last summer. It is not an idyllic return to childhood. Her grandfather’s death has forced the sale of the house and estate and this will be a summer of goodbyes. Not least to the McEwen family – Highland travellers who have been part of the landscape for as long as anyone can remember – loved by the family, loathed by the authorities. Tensions are already high when a respected London archivist goes missing, presumed murdered. Suspicion quickly falls on the McEwens but Julie knows not one of them would do such a thing and is determined to prove everyone wrong. And then she notices the family’s treasure trove of pearls is missing.
Release Date: May 4th, 2017
This was my first book to pick up by author Elizabeth Wein. I had heard of her previous book Code Name Verity, but have yet to read it, and I can safely say after reading this book, I think I’ll be picking it up next time I come across it.
The Pearl Thief was a very different read for me. It’s not that often that I pick up murder mystery books, but I am glad I read this one. Normally I find murder mysteries very slow paced, and while their was a slow enough pace to this, it still moved at enough of a speed that it kept me interested and coming back for more. I found myself longing to go back to this book when I wasn’t reading it, and that doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I know its a good book!
I will admit, Julie wasn’t my favourite character while reading this book, but the other characters she interacted with certainly made up for it; Julie’s brother Jamie and Euan McEwen being my favourites. I loved the relationship that built throughout the book between Julie and Ellen, going from mutual friends, to best of friends–and a little more, which I found very surprising.
The murder mystery itself was brilliant. At first I found it very bland and very played off. They found a body and there didn’t seem to be too much of a reaction from everyone. I guess maybe I am too used to TV murder mysteries where everyone goes into shock and are so surprised to find out who-done-it when its clearly very obvious, whereas in The Pearl Thief, we truly didn’t know who-done-it as we were experiencing everything through Julie’s eyes. There was also another twist in the story in relation to the identity of the body, and I will say I gasped aloud when that was revealed along with the murderer as I truly wasn’t expecting it!
While reading The Pearl Thief, I loved that it was set in Scotland, and couldn’t help but read all the characters with Scottish accents in my head the whole way through. I don’t know what it is about the Scottish accent, but I absolutely love it.
Overall this was a really good read. I will admit it wasn’t the most captivating, but it must have had something good to it, because I read the first 200 pages in one sitting. I definitely can see how fans of Agatha Christie and Downton Abbey would enjoy this book!