For fans of Code Name Verity, The Pearl Thief will feel like visiting with an old friend. The Pearl Thief takes us back to the summer of 1938, well before the events of Code Name Verity. That summer, Julia Beaufort-Stuart goes back her maternal grandparent's ancestral home Strathfearn for one last time to help her grandmother finish moving out of the house that had been sold and is being converted into a boarding school.
Julie arrives earlier than expected and is enjoying exploring her family's grounds and the village, seeing just how much is changing under construction and visiting her grandfather's collection of artifacts in the local library (but what happened to the pearls she remembers being part of the collection?). When she stops by the river and falls asleep, she doesn't expect to wake up several days later in the hospital with a concussion. She also didn't expect to have been rescued by a brother and sister from the Traveler family staying on her family lands or to return to Strathfearn to learn the same day she was injured that one of her family's employees, the one in charge of cataloging her grandfather's collection, has disappeared.
In the young woman who makes fierce friends with the young Travelers who found her and took her to the hospital and searches for answers to the mystery of the missing historian, there are clear signs of the young woman who is so captivating in Code Name Verity. And it is a welcome chance to see her, and a couple other familiar faces, again.
The Pearl Thief does not rely on having read Code Name Verity. The atmosphere of the time and place is captured so well and was a fascinating glimpse into Scotland just before World War II broke out. The friendship between Julie, her brother Jamie, and the Travelers that their summer adventures unfolded with warm familiarity.
*I was given an eARC of this book by the publisher through NetGalley, but all thoughts about the book are my own.