It's not the season of good will to all men...
The festive month is kicking off in style and Pearl is rushed off her feet with her restaurant, The Whitstable Pearl. She's also busy planning her own family Christmas and providing mulled wine for a charity church fundraiser when Christmas cards begin arriving all over town - filled with spiteful messages from an anonymous writer.
Pearl's curiosity is piqued but having pledged not to take on a case at her detective agency before Christmas, she reluctantly agrees that Canterbury's DCI Mike McGuire should take over; poisoned pen cards are after all a matter for the police. And with only the church fundraiser now between Pearl and Christmas, she invites McGuire along as her guest. The event appears to be a great success; St Alfred's church hall is packed and Pearl happily finds herself standing close to McGuire beneath some mistletoe . . . but then a guest suddenly collapses. Too much of Pearl's delicious mulled wine - or could it be something more sinister?
The last thing Pearl expects for Christmas is murder but soon the bodies are piling up. Can Pearl possibly solve the mystery in time to make 25th December an unforgettable day - or will the murderer contrive to ensure her goose is well and truly cooked before then?
Julie Wassmer is a a professional televison drama writer, working on various series including ITV's London's Burning, C5's Family Affairs and BBC's Eastenders - which she worked on for 20 years. In 2010, her autobiography More Than Just Coincidence was published by Harper Collins/True.