Glitz, Glamour and Murder // REVIEW: Party Girls Die In Pearls by Plum Sykes

Title: Party Girl Die In Pearls: An Oxford Girl Mystery
Author: Plum Sykes
Publication Date: June 1st 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book One of the Oxford Girl Mystery Series
I Got A Copy Through: Bloomsbury India (THANK YOU!)
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Blurb Description: The New York Times bestselling author of Bergdorf Blondes takes us back to the decadent 1980s in this comic murder mystery.
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.
I don’t usually dive into the mystery genre – I do like reading it but I prefer anything rom-com or fantasy to it. When I flipped to the back of Party Girls Die In Pearls, however, I was instantly intrigued. This was a murder set in the 1980’s in Oxford (who had only started accepting female students) and it was also compared to Sex and The City, Clueless and Agatha Christie and I just HAD TO DIVE IN.

What’s the verdict? Party Girls Die In Pearls was a hilarious, over the top British murder mystery that had me laughing at the drama and still sitting at the edge of my seat, waiting to find out whodunit.


This is my first book by the Sunday Times bestselling author, Plum Sykes, and I adored the writing. Everything about it screamed posh British society – from the manner of speaking, to the parties and cucumber sandwiches. She really brought to life the drama in an undergrad’s life while always keeping the murder plot running and interesting. I ADORED the way this book was written.


Like I said above, the plot was PERFECT. I was so invested in the personal lives of all the characters – Ursula, Nancy, Wenty, Otto, Claire, India, Dr Dave, Isobel and every other character who pretended they were friends, conspired and cheated and still managed to look perfect while throwing an extremely lavish party. At the same time, it kept me invested in the murder solving of a character and it was SUCH A FUN book to spend time in. It totally managed to transport me out on Indian in 2017 and into Oxford in the 1980’s.


While the plot was perfect and the writing style made everything come to life, the complex natures of the characters, and their true motivations and schemes were THE BEST THING IN THIS BOOK. As the book went on, the lives of these Oxford Aristocrats, these Ladies and Earls unravelled showing us their secrets and their rivalries and it was such an amazing thing to witness.


Even though Murder-Mystery isn’t my favourite genre, I thoroughly COMPLETELY enjoyed this book. Party Girls Die In Pearls will keep you on your toes, at the edge of your seat, laughing at the antics of these Oxford goers while waiting to see which one of them is a murderer. 

Plum Sykes
 Plum Sykes was born in London and educated at Oxford. She has written two internationally bestselling novels, Bergdorf Blondes and The Debutante Divorcée. Plum is a Contributing Editor at American Voguewhere she writes about fashion, celebrity and society. She lives on a Cotswold farm with her husband and two children.
Have you read any of Plum Skye's Books yet? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?
Which Sex and the City lady are you most like?
Who are some of your favourite murder-mystery writers? I can't wait to hear from all of you. 

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