Pearl Nolan (Whitstable Pearl)

Created by Julie Wassmer

Now that her beloved son Charlie has trundled off to university (all of fifteen or so minutes away!), restauranteur and single mother PEARL NOLAN finds herself wanting to do more than just work at the family pub/restaurant in the small touristy town of Whitstable on the north coast of Kent in south-east England.

But a woman can only shuck so many oysters, and so she decides to realize a long delayed dream, and opens her own part-time detective agency (once upon a time, she was a cop, but gave it up when she fell pregnant with Charlie). Thing is, she runs the agency out of the pub–under the ever-watchful eye of her salty, sassy party-girl mother Dolly.

But it’s not just dear old Mum who’s wary of Pearl’s detective ambitions–she soon finds herself in perpetual conflict with the newest cop in town (a transplant from London), Canterbury city police detective, Chief Inspector Mike McGuire, in a series of foodie cozies by British author Julie Wassmer. Naturally, she’s also attracted to him.

In 2021, Acorn TV and Buccaneer Media decided to adapt the books for television, starring Kerry Godliman as Pearl, and Howard Charles as Mike McGuire, who’s decidedly trimmer (and decidedly Blacker) than he is in the books.


  • Before she started writing books, Julie Wassmer wrote the popular BBC series, EastEnders, for nearly 20 years. Her 2010 memoir, More Than Just Coincidence, relating her reunion with the daughter she had given up for adoption when she was a teenager, was Sunday Times bestseller, while her popular Whitstable Pearl mysteries hasbeeen adapted for television. Julie actually lives in Whitstable where she shares a home with her husband and three cats.


  • Dolly: Do you even remember what a penis looks like? You know what happens to a wooden boat when it’s been out of the water too long?
    Pearl: Which part of me are you comparing to a wooden boat?


  • “Thoroughly enjoyable with a host of wonderful characters – I adore Dolly! – and evocative descriptions of Whitstable. Perfect for foodies too. Pearl is great and the ongoing will they/won’t they love story with McGuire is compelling. Comforting, cosy and entertaining with excellent Agatha Christie-style reveals. I love these books!”
    — Jane Wenham-Jones



    (2021, Acorn TV/Buccaneer Media)
    TV series
    6 episodes
    Based on characters created by Julie Wassmer
    Writers: Julie Wassmer, Mike Walden, Øystein Karlsen, Alastair Galbraith, Rachel Flowerday
    Directors: David Caffrey, Jon Jones
    Starring Kerry Godliman as PEARL NOLAN
    With Howard Charles as Mike McGuire
    Rohan Nedd Rohan Nedd as Charlie
    Sophia Del Pizzo as DS Nikki Martel
    and Frances Barber as Dolly Nolan

    • “The Free Waters” (May 24, 2021)
    • “Random Acts” (May 24, 2021)
    • “Civil War” ( May 31 2021)
    • “Disappearance at Oare” (June 7, 2021)
    • “A Cup O’ Kindness” ( June 14, 2021)
    • “The Man on the Blue Plaque (June 21, 2021)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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