A PEARL necklace from Peebles was the inspiration behind the latest bestseller from Julia Stuart.

And she will be in the Royal Burgh next week to sign copies.

Julia, whose parents used to live in the town, is a New York Times bestselling author - her previous book, Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo - and was picked as one of Barack Obama’s summer reads in 2010.

But the award-winning journalist's latest book, the Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland, turns her attentions to the Borders.

Helen Flood, publicist at Penguin Random House, told us: "Julia was inspired to write The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland after her friend, a Peebles resident, showed her a pearl necklace made of freshwater pearls from Scottish pearl mussels.

"Julia carried out a huge amount of research into pearls and pearl fishing in Scotland which informed her book."

The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland tells the story of one man’s quest to find a pearl and save his marriage.

Brodie McBride is having a tough time.

The rivers are running out of mussels, his wife Elspeth is running out of patience with him, and his daughter Maggie is running around their village with her pet rabbit leaving a trail of mischief and pickled onion crisps behind her.

But all that’s going to change. Because Brodie is going to track down one last magnificent pearl – the pearl that will rescue his marriage, save him from having to work as a weevil-picker at the local jam factory, and show Maggie that her dad’s still a hero.

What Brodie hasn’t counted on, however, is Maggie taking matters into her own hands ... and before you can say ‘Margaritifera margaritifera’ (that’s ‘freshwater pearl mussel’ to you and me), the McBrides are at the centre of a commotion that will change their lives forever.

Julia will be in Peebles next Saturday (September 10) to sign copies of her latest book between 11am and 1pm at Whitie’s Books and Crafts on the High Street.