Regular price: $22.38

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

From the internationally acclaimed best-selling author of Code Name Verity comes a stunning new story of pearls, love and murder.

Sixteen-year-old Julie Beaufort-Stuart is returning to her family's ancestral home in Perthshire for one last summer. It is not an idyllic return to childhood. Her grandfather's death has forced the sale of the house and estate, and this will be a summer of good-byes. Not least to the McEwen family - Highland travellers who have been part of the landscape for as long as anyone can remember, loved by the family, loathed by the authorities. Tensions are already high when a respected London archivist goes missing, presumed murdered. Suspicion quickly falls on the McEwens, but Julie knows not one of them would do such a thing and is determined to prove everyone wrong. And then she notices the family's treasure trove of pearls is missing.

This beautiful and evocative novel is the story of the irrepressible and unforgettable Julie, set in the year before the Second World War and the events of Code Name Verity. It is also a powerful portrayal of a community under pressure and one girl's determination for justice.

©2017 Elizabeth Gatland (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"...for all the story's mystery and history - some of it quite ancient - two other elements take hold: the intriguing characters, brimming with life and the evocative language seeded with Scottish words and phrasings...." (Booklist)
"Narrator Maggie Service's Scottish accents reflect this novel's strong sense of place.... Nearing the audiobook's end, Service heightens the tension as the twists and turns multiply, never losing the story's emotions and elegant language." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    233
  • 4 Stars
    213
  • 3 Stars
    105
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    12

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    340
  • 4 Stars
    146
  • 3 Stars
    45
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    211
  • 4 Stars
    185
  • 3 Stars
    110
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    10
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Cynthia
  • Monrovia, California, United States
  • 08-14-17

Freshwater Pearls and Scottish Plaid

I steeled myself to listen to Elizabeth Wein’s “The Pearl Thief” (2017), a prequel to “Code Name Verity” (2012) and “Rose Under Fire” (2013). Verity was a stunning book and a chilling listen, five stars all around. Rose wasn’t quite the book that Verity was and I really did not care for the narration. “The Pearl Thief” is a redemptive Audible performance, and a satisfying back story.

Lady Julia Lindsay MacKenzie Wallace Beaufort-Stewart is Julie in “The Pearl Thief” and Verity in “Code Name Verity.” “The Pearl Thief” is set in Scotland, after cars and cigarettes, but before World War II tore the world apart, taking Verity, Maddie, and Rose into the dark heart of Europe. Julie at 15 is daring and worldly, the beloved granddaughter of an Earl, and a descendent of Mary Stewart. The descriptions of the castle keep and the rivers are detailed. I could see the estate’s library in my mind.

There’s a lively, old fashioned mystery that starts almost immediately. Some of Wein’s books take a while to get going, but “The Pearl Thief” doesn’t make that mistake. There are wrong assumptions, romances, arrests and red herrings. It makes for a satisfying listen and an intriguing ‘who done it’.

The listen reminds me of the summer I was 14, when I devoured as much as I could of Eleanor Alice Buford Hibbert’s historical fiction. Hibbert? Well, her pen names included Victoria Holt, Philippa Carr, and my personal favorite, Jean Plaidy. Hibbert used Plaidy as a nom de plume for fictionalized novels of royalty, castles, intrigue and mystery. Wein’s books are more finally crafted.

Wein’s writing for young adults, a genre that Judy Blume seems to have started with “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret?” (1970). I’m old enough to remember that some of my friend’s mothers confiscated the paperback copies. The story and the ending of “The Pearl Thief” are not as intense and shocking as Verity and Rose – and, quite frankly, I was relieved. I’ve never quite gotten over Verity’s finale. This is for older folks like me wondering about age appropriateness: “The Pearl Thief” is going to be an acceptable read/listen for younger readers in a way that Blume’s Margaret was not for more naive ears 40 years ago.

I liked Maggie Service as a narrator – and as always with Wein’s books, I enjoyed learning some UK English.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

228 of 237 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Enjoyable, easy listen.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Pearl Thief to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the characters! They were well-defined. I could picture them vividly.

Have you listened to any of Maggie Service’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes. They have all been very good.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I don't think I have ever listened to a book in ONE sitting. I did finish it quickly enough. It held my interest.

Any additional comments?

I listened because it was supposed to be a prequel for Code Name Verity -- a great book. This book was supposed to be the protagonist of the latter book as a younger girl. I quickly forgot of any connection to Verity because the book stood on its own. While a "young adult" book, I, an old adult, enjoyed it. It was a welcome break from violence and crude language. A lovely period piece.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fantastic!

Julie is a wonderful character. I read this after Code Name Verity and both books are engaging stories filled with strong female characters and vivid locations. The Pearl Thief is a bit of coming of age and a bit of mystery. The narration is incredibly well done and brings the listener right into the plot.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Oh Julie, gotta love you!

Absolutely adored this book! Lovers of Code Name Verity should pick this up, you'll grin with giddiness with Julie on her adventure, and fall in love all over again.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Entertaining!

I liked it! Some history, some light intrigue, some delightful characters all set in Scotland! The narrator was like candy to my ear! If this is your thing go for it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Too young for my middle aged taste

I enjoyed the story, but it did turn out to be too much a young person's sorry for my taste. I did correctly guess the villain long before the end. One element of the story that I particularly enjoyed was the Scottish tinker family.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Silly Book

The characters are just too immature and shallow in this book to bother with the plot. Any book is. Better choice!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Surprisingly, delightful and intriguing

I LOVED Code Name Variety but I was still surprised how much I enjoyed this book.

25 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Nice historical mystery bringing Scotland to you

Nice historical mystery bringing Scotland to you.

The writing style and narration (I listened to the book on audible) are very old fashioned and therefore geared more toward the mature reader.

Our Hero is a 16 year old aristocrat Lady whose family has fallen on hard times and having to sell the family home. The book has many interesting facts weaved in and teaches about appreciating cultural differences and appreciating the beauty of nature as well the value of preserving it. Many diverse characters, such as a deaf librarian, a group of Gypsies and of course the disguised villain.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Magnificent Performance of a Solid Book

If you’ve listened to the amazing readings of the Harry Potter series, then you’ll LOVE the performance of this book. The readers dulcet tones and lovely lilt of voice were just wonderful. I would be late for work so I could sit in m car and listen to her and the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful