Party Girls Die in Pearls by Plum Sykes
(Bloomsbury, 2017)

Party Girls Die in Pearls

by Plum Sykes

Brideshead, bon-bons, cucumber sandwiches - and now a murder.

Pimm’s, punting and ball gowns are de rigeur. Ursula Flowerbutton, a studious country girl, arrives for her first term anticipating nothing more sinister than days spent poring over history books - and, perhaps, an invitation to a ball. But when she discovers a ghastly crime, she is catapulted into a murder investigation.

Determined to unravel the case - and bag her first scoop for the famous student newspaper Cherwell - Ursula enlists the help of her fellow Fresher, the glamorous American Nancy Feingold. While navigating a whirl of black-tie parties and secret dining societies, the girls discover a surfeit of suspects. From broken-hearted boyfriends to snobby Sloanes, lovelorn librarians to dishy dons, none can be presumed innocent.

Clueless meets Agatha Christie in this wickedly funny tale of high society, low morals and a middle-class girl, the first book in Plum Sykes’s irresistible new series.


The wild and hysterical adventures of crime solving Nancy and Ursula turned loose on Oxford University. Plum Sykes knows her world, skewers it, and serves it up as murder. Delicious”
- Delia Ephron, author of Siracusa
This knowing, clever and perfectly rendered novel is part mystery, part retro blowout... Witty and utterly addictive.”
- NetGalley's Books of the Month for June 2017
Agatha Christie for the Instagram generation … Predicted to be one of the big beach reads of the summer … a total hoot and easily the best thing she has written”
- Giles Hattersley, The Sunday Times Magazine
Delightful, daft-as-a-brush caper as effervescent as the champagne everyone in the novel keeps necking”
- Metro
A murder mystery that doesn't take itself too seriously”
- Good Housekeeping
I devoured it in two days”
- Laia Garcia, Lenny Letter
Wittily social and escapist this whodunit is just as aware as whoworeit with style notes proving more than mille fleur … thoroughly fabulous”
- American Vogue
A masterpiece … wickedly dark, on point and outright funny”
- Alain de Botton
Terrific fun and really clever”
- Katie Fforde
American Vogue’s chicest scribe … chick lit meets thriller”
- Vanity Fair