In the run-up to May Day, Pearl's detective agency finds itself taking on a curious case: someone has been stealing underwear from washing lines. The victims, all local women with nothing in common other than a taste for fine underwear, have clubbed together to enlist Pearl's services, since the local police seem unable to help.
Pearl seeks out Canterbury DCI Mike McGuire on the pretext of discussing surveillance equipment, but the true reason is that McGuire has been away in London for a long-running court case, and Pearl has missed him - though her pride prevents her from letting him know. McGuire knows. He's a detective, too - and feels exactly the same way about Pearl....
Meanwhile Pearl's best friend and gay neighbour, Nathan, has managed to persuade one of his favourite actresses, Faye Marlow, to open the May Day festivities at Whitstable Castle. Like Pearl, Faye is a Whitstable native, but, having left the town more than two decades ago to make a short but successful career, the actress has been living in the south of France since her agent's phone stopped ringing.
Faye is 50 going on 16 and arrives with an attractive young husband, a diligent French maid and a devoted personal assistant. Faye's arrival in town causes a stir, but Pearl's mother, Dolly, remains unimpressed, choosing to remember Faye Marlow when she was plain old Frankie Murray, the daughter of a local whelk merchant. Nathan soon realises he may have made a mistake in inviting Faye back to Whitstable, and his doubts are confirmed when she's nowhere to be found on the morning of May Day.
©2016 Julie Wassmer (P)2016 Audible, Ltd
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