AcornTV Streaming: Whitstable Pearl

Jan 7, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze, TV

by Kathleen Costa

AcornTV continues to provide outstanding programming to entertain to no end this Anglophile with quality audio and video, easy access online or through their app, and the freedom to stream anywhere, anytime, and on a variety of devices. For a reasonable membership fee ($6.99 monthly; annual $69.99 special), I have enjoyed classics that never made it across the pond as well as engaging detective shows, intense dramas, sidesplittingly comedies, and informative documentaries. Some of my favorite AcornTV series are actually based on books: Midsomer Murder by Caroline Graham, VERA and Shetland by Ann Cleeves, Death in Paradise by Robert Thorogood, Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth by M.C. Beaton, Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew, Whitstable Pearl by Julie Wassmer, and so many more. Check out the Official AcornTV Facebook page for more insights.

Whitstable Pearl At the end of season one (reviewed HERE), the emotional connection between Pearl Nolan (Kerry Godliman) and DCI Mike McGuire (Howard Charles) could be more accurately described as two ships passing in the night … with the klaxon blaring collision ahead! Season two, though, brings a few surprises: Pearl has Tom, a quirky substitute teacher, and Mike has Kat, a member of his grief therapy group. But, the bond is obviously still strong between Pearl and Mike, and the two significant others can’t help but notice. Pearl is still dividing her time between the restaurant and her private investigation cases, passing out business cards to attract more business, meeting clients in the basement of the restaurant, and trying to be okay with her son Charlie soon heading off to university. Mike is working hard as the area’s ranking detective, yet still reserved, even moody, but he and his girlfriend seem well suited in their recovery, living together and searching for a house.

“Whitstable Pearl” Season 2, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Jed Knight/AcornTV

Of course, keeping emotions at bay is on the surface problematic, being friends and in some way colleagues has its pros and cons. Pearl and Mike continue to run into each other as many of Pearl’s client cases intersect with Mike’s inquiries. It works on one level since there is always an arrest, but it is awkward on another since they have a hard time living just in friend mode. Pearl is more than a competent investigator with the added benefit of knowing the area and the people, but her side cases don’t really challenge her skills: tailing suspected cheating husband, investigating threatening notes, exploring a domestic’s worry for her employer’s safety, setting up cameras in her mum’s house, and a groom wanting answers. But, her innocent PI work too often overlaps Mike’s open cases, and he struggles to work with Pearl, if not following her lead. There’s a kidnapping with custody issues, a murdered spouse (with a brilliant Rear Window twist), a dead developer, an aging film star attacked, a robbery of a struggling curio shop, and the murder of the bride at a destination wedding … a carnival. Nothing is easy in Whitstable!

Behind the Scenes (30:56) It is always insightful and entertaining to have the cast and crew discussing the themes, characters, and behind the scenes antics and friendships. The cast shares their characters’ emotional journeys, interactions, and offering explanations on how challenges from season one made for changes in season two. They also talk about the camaraderie, one cast member’s pranking, and finally, now that they are filming outside of major Covid protocols, being able to interact and bond.

“Keep the crazy in…” is one of Pearl’s common phrases used to calm her clients, but it seems an appropriate caption for the troubles in Whitstable. Pearl, herself, is showing more of her detective training with clever insights and ability to talk to witness, suspects, and murderers, but Mike continues to find difficulty breaking through his emotional obstacles. The setting is a fascinating character itself, felonies are well developed and intriguing, suspects and witnesses challenging and well disguised, and final solutions surprising with arrests often risky. This season was excellent, and although some issues were resolved, one question — will they? — remains unanswered. Earns 5+/5 Oyster Shots…Deliciously Entertaining!

It All Started With a Book! Whitstable Pearl Mystery series by Julie Wassmer is now nine novels. I am always pleasantly surprised by the original books on which many of my favorite television series are based, and this series is just as exciting. It includes variations on the characters in the television version with some new characters, background stories, and additional drama supporting the idea that the book is always better. The Whitstable Pearl (5/5 Starfish) begins the series with the same main mystery, however, there’s more historical background and description of the setting, depth into the characters’ pasts and motivations, and drama that limited time available for the television episode caused to be unused. I also found reading Wassmer’s descriptions and dialogue is much more rewarding than having some details on the small screen overlooked or delegated to the periphery. I am hooked on Wassmer’s series including the nine audible books on Audible narrated by Jenna Russell (books 1-3), Willow Nash (books 4-5), Karen Cass (books 6-7), and Jennifer Kirby (books 8-9). All four are talented and entertaining as they successfully portray the emotions, various personalities, and several different accents.

Other Gems with Your Membership!

Midsomer Murder 25 Years of Mayhem (46:12) is a delightful celebration of the iconic detective show that put the residents of the fictional county in the Cotswolds on the Most Wanted List. From John Nettles to Neil Dudgeon, Jane Wymark to Fiona Dolman, one supporting sergeant to another, several forensic experts, and those who played the victim or the killer, we get an insightful and entertaining behind the scenes look.

Midsomer Murder season 23 is now available with John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and DS Jamie Winter (Nick Hendrix) determined to solve some quirky, clever, and totally engaging murders throughout Midsomer County. The six episodes run almost 90-minutes and some recognizable guest stars can be spotted. The entire series is also available.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode goes up soon.

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

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