Pearl Nolan always wanted to be a detective but life, and a teenage pregnancy, got in the way of a police career and instead she built up a successful seafood restaurant in her coastal home town of Whitstable - famous for its native oysters. Now, at 39, and with son Charlie away at university, Pearl finds herself suffering from empty nest syndrome ...until she discovers the drowned body of local oyster fisherman Vinnie Rowe, weighted down with an anchor chain, on the eve of Whitstable's annual oyster festival. Is it a tragic accident, suicide - or murder? Pearl seizes the opportunity to prove her detection skills and discover the truth but she soon finds herself in conflict with Canterbury city police detective, Chief Inspector Mike McGuire. Then another body is discovered - and Pearl finds herself trawling the past for clues, triggering memories of another emotional summer more than twenty years ago ...