'Whitstable Pearl' Season 1 - TV Review

"Whitstable Pearl" is a British mystery TV series based on a series of books by Julie Wassmer. The main character is Pearl Nolan (Kerry Godliman) who runs a restaurant in Whitstable with her mother and her son. She also has a detective agency on the side. When a oyster supplier friend of hers dies, she suspects murder - which puts her at odds with the new police DCI in town. His name is Mike McGuire (Howard Charles) and he's to have a major role in the whole series.

Each episode is 50 minutes, and there are six in the first series.

While the extras on the DVD set said they were going for a "Scandi" flavour, I'm happy to say they didn't entirely succeed or I wouldn't have liked it as much. It's not as grim and dark as the Scandinavian stuff. Sure: middle-aged woman in small town Britain solving murders is incredibly unoriginal, but Pearl and Mike are very likeable characters and for the most part I found it better written and less obvious than most other detective series. Ironically, this didn't extend to the final episode. At the end of the fifth episode I predicted the exact interpersonal story arc of the sixth episode (although I hadn't the slightest idea how the mystery involved would play out, so that was good).

To my considerable surprise, I learned from the extras after I watched the series that Whitstable is not only a real place, but that they actually filmed most of the series there. This is because Wassmer is herself a "DFL" (Down-From-London) who moved there and fell in love.