The Pearl Thief : Code Name Verity

  • by Elizabeth Wein
  • Narrated by Maggie Service
  • Series: Code Name Verity
  • 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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What the Critics Say

"...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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.

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- Cynthia

Surprisingly, delightful and intriguing

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

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-04-2017
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd