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Murder on the Rocks (A Gray Whale Inn Mystery #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  2,504 Ratings  ·  335 Reviews
Natalie Barnes buys the Gray Whale Inn, a bed and breakfast in Maine, and publicly opposes Bernard Katz's proposed resort development, which threatens a colony of black-chinned terns, and when Katz is found dead, Natalie must find the true killer in order to clear her own name.
Paperback, 281 pages
Published 2008 by Midnight Ink (first published May 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 23, 2012 Scot rated it liked it
This is the first book in a cozy mystery series built around the life of the heroine, Natalie, running an idyllic bed n' breakfast, The Gray Whale Inn, on fictional Cranberry Island off the coast of Maine. I am definitely not the target audience for this book, but once I started reading it the setting soothed me and I became interested in seeing what sort of fantasy escapism it offered mature women, whom I am guessing are the target demographic. It made me think of that old commercial catch phra ...more
Kavita Ramesh
Apr 09, 2016 Kavita Ramesh rated it liked it
I've read all but one short story in this series. Not superb, but not bad, either.
If you like cozy mysteries, which I do, it's a fairly fun read.
Sep 08, 2016 Dagny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Exceptionally good for a first novel in a series. Likeable characters.
Jun 05, 2011 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
I did enjoy this book. First in the series and I read the subsequent books before this one. It seemed a bit familiar at first, like I read it a long time ago. I'm not sure, though that I ever read this, as much as it is similar to another series located in Maine that I started.

As much as I enjoy these cozy mysteries, I do really get tired of plot devices at times. Some are starting to become almost cliches - like developers/large development on small islands or communities. I don't mean to make
Diane ~Firefly~
Cranberry Island sounds like a nice place to visit and based on the food descriptions, I certainly wouldn't mind staying at the Gray Whale Inn. I like Natalie for the most part, but I think she got beat up even more than Harry Dresden does in one of his books and she just kept on going.

What I enjoyed:
* The food sounded heavenly and I was happy there were some recipes included.
* The islanders seem interesting.
* The mystery was decent. I didn't guess all the motive.

What could have been better:
* S
Jan 20, 2011 Tiffeny rated it really liked it
This was a fun read. It was a Culinary Mystery (though it isn't really advertised as such). A lady from Texas buys an Inn in Maine and is trying to keep it afloat. Unfortunate events keep occurring though, which are threatening her livelihood. A luxury resort threatening to build next door, dead bodies, vandalism to the Inn. There's also a mix of romance and recipes.

I've read culinary mysteries before, like the ones with Goldie of Goldilocks Catering (by Dianne Mott Davidson), and I thought the
Jul 30, 2015 Jan rated it really liked it
Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney

This is an amazing first whodunit novel where you truly do not know whodunit until Ms. MacInerney lets you in on it. The story takes place on the peaceful Cranberry Island, though as the author states, “Those familiar with the Cranberry Isles will…fail to recognize many of the nautical features surrounding the Cranberry Island; that is because they are figments of the author’s imagination.”
Ms. MacInerney’s vivid descriptions of the Gray Whale Inn and all t
Jun 06, 2010 Sharonm rated it liked it
First (and only at this point) Fray Whale Inn Mystery. Set on an island in Maine. It was a quick diversion. Neither particularly well nor particularly poorly written. It did have a good sense of location, but the characters were more caricatures. I’d read another, mainly to see if the author gets better at characterization. The mystery itself was pretty formulaic.
Dennis Fischman
Feb 16, 2015 Dennis Fischman rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
What I liked about this book: the setting, the observations about running a bed and breakfast, the main character, Natalie (who moved from working in the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife to being her own boss on the rocky coast of Maine) and her niece Gwen. Yes, they both make bad decisions, but they show promise.

What I tolerated: the pedestrian whodunit and the irregular pace of the quest to figure it out.

What I disliked: the stereotyping. MacInerney has to make the murder victim and his
Apr 14, 2016 Debbie rated it it was amazing
This series is off to a good start for me. I think I would like to visit Cranberry Island...without the murder of course. I'm now on the search for the next in the series.
Jan 25, 2014 KarenF rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, cozy, e-pub
This one was just OK for me. The protagonist and setting were likable enough, which is important to me in a cozy, but it all felt remarkably inconsistent. For example, in the beginning Natalie is set up as a fairly mature, professional character who's willing to work hard to make her B&B a success. But then you find out she doesn't have a website, maybe it's just me but that seems like the first thing you'd set up if your business is dependent on people from out of the area, even if it was j ...more
A third of the way through the book I'm telling our heroine to call the police. "Call the police you stupid get!"
A little later I'm wondering why in the world she's not telling her niece, supposedly there for the summer to help her run the inn, to stop flouncing about looking gorgeous and eating everything in sight and straighten the guest rooms.
What is this trend for cozy heroines to be so prone to injury, so determined to solve it before the police, and stupid enough to walk into dark places a
Connie N.
What a very nice book. The mystery didn't exactly captivate me, but I enjoyed watching the pleasant main character struggle ahead to try to save her inn on the rugged Maine coast, not to mention help to save the habitat for the local terns. Natalie, a newcomer to Cranberry Island, is the owner of just the sort of bed-and-breakfast I'd love to stay in, situated in what sounds like a gorgeous spot on the water. The breakfasts she serves sound delicious (and recipes are included at the back of the ...more
The Bookwyrm's Hoard
Aug 09, 2012 The Bookwyrm's Hoard rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Adapted from a review originally published at The Bookwyrm's Hoard.

Murder on the Rocks, the first in Karen MacInerney's "Gray Whale Inn Mystery" series, should have a lot going for it. MacInerney's writing is competent, if not inspired, and all the necessary elements are in place for a typical cozy mystery, including several delicious-sounding recipes in the back of the book. Sadly, it ultimately proves a disappointment.

The heroine/amateur sleuth, Natalie Barnes, is the new owner of a bed-and-br
I haven't really read that many cozy mysteries, and I found Murder on the Rocks to be rather enjoyable. Set in a small town in Maine, Cranberry Island.

Natalie Barnes is one of the newer residents of Cranberry Island is the owner and innkeeper of the Gray Whale Inn, a bed and breakfast. Even thought she's made friends with many of the the folk who live on the island, there are some who are quick to snub and judge when a murder takes place. So on top of running her inn, baking her many goodies fo
Feb 08, 2015 Casceil rated it it was ok
This book looked promising, and I really wanted to like the main character, but she seemed so willfully stupid about doing things that would (a) look incriminating and (b) put herself in grave danger, that I just wanted to shake her. Through an enormous amount of luck, she survives to the end of the book, and this is the first book in a series. I liked the characters enough that I may read another book in the series. I'll have to check the descriptions and try to determine whether the other book ...more
Dec 18, 2015 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inn keeper finds herself accused of murder when one of her patrons is murdered.
BJ Rose
Mar 16, 2014 BJ Rose rated it liked it
Good book for the first in a series, and especially good if you like home-made goodies, as the recipes are included at the back of the book. I like a heroine who's willing to strike out on her own, but when that character trait gets into the too-stupid-to live category, it takes away from the story for me. (view spoiler) ...more
Tredyffrin Township Libraries
Review by Angie Andre

Natalie Barnes, divorced and seeking a new beginning, leaves her home and job in Texas for the salty air of Maine and her newly purchased Bed & Breakfast called the Gray Whale Inn and finds herself in a compromising situation. If getting her new business off the ground isn’t tough enough, Natalie is on the front lines of an environmental debate over an endangered species of sea birds called terns. Bernard Katz, a balding and bullying land developer, wants to turn the hab
Natalie stands to lose her livelihood when local government okays a huge development right next door to her island inn. Katz, the man with the big resort plans is staying at her Gray Goose Inn when he is discovered dead and people start suspecting her of foul play for business reasons.

Plenty of adjectives especially when describing the meal prepared for her.

I guessed part of the "who done it" very early on and was anticipating whether or not I had been correct.
Jan 25, 2015 Miriam rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one! Don't bother with this one.
Shelves: did-not-finish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 13, 2015 Camille rated it it was amazing
What a superb mystery novel by Ms. MacInerney!! This is the first time I have read any of her work and she makes you feel as if you are in the story with her attention to detail as she describes the setting, characters and flow of the story. The reader immediately likes her main character
Natalie and you can get a sense of her feelings for John, the talented woodworker and island deputy. Love the recipes that are introduced in the story as Natalie runs her bed and breakfast and included at the e
Mar 23, 2014 Rhonda rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading Murder on the Rocks too. It is the first book of the Gray Whale Inn Mysteries. The characters were engaging. The suspense was good. I did know how some of the characters were still around from reading Death Runs Adrift first.
I would love to read the other 4 books in the series sometime.

Natalie has been on Cranberry Island for three months. She has bought the Gray Whale Inn and hoping to make ago of it. But a big resort wants to build right next to her property. They want to mak
Jenn Estepp
this seems like an okay start to a cozy series centered on a maine b'n'b. but, there were times when i seriously wanted to thump our heroine over the head for stupidity and some of the leaps in logic displayed by many of the characters were eye-rolling. but, i do like the evocation of coastal maine and i'll probably give other books in the series a try.
Apr 17, 2012 Betsy rated it liked it
Shelves: z-2012-apr
Murder on the Rocks is the first book I have read written by Karen MacInerney. It was a cute little book that I enjoyed. I was totally in the mood to read something light. I really liked the characters and the locale. Maine seems like a perfect place for a bed and breakfast. I will read more of the series.
Oct 09, 2015 Kay rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
This book started out well and it ended well. The middle I thought was wandering and not well written. I also thought the characterization was not strong. The motivations of Nat, the main character, suddenly buying this bed and breakfast are not well explained. Her physical attraction to neighbor John is discussed but we don't really get to know John either. In fact short of the physical attraction we have no idea what they see in each other... Also in the end John saves Nat, of course, how clas ...more
I like courageous, feisty heroines, but not stupid ones. Every time Natalie had a chance to make a wise decision or put herself in danger, she made the wrong choice. It's a wonder she lived long enough to solve the mystery.
Oct 15, 2010 Tricia rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
The last third was better written than the beginning. I got really tired of reading how worried she was that the inn was going to fail (seemed like it was every other page, but probably wasn't!).
Jul 05, 2008 Kelaine rated it it was ok
Shelves: adults, mystery
Cozy mystery, B&B owner on small island stumbles across murder while trying to protect her inn and some endangered birds from being plowed under by a rich resort developer.
Dec 24, 2014 M rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
I was looking for an entertaining and campy mystery book for light reading and that's exactly what this was. I live on the Maine coast so I was intrigued about yet another murder mystery in Maine. Our fictional crime rate is rather high. ;)

The main character was likeable, but like too many female leads in these types of novels she did some incredibly stupid things that I found frustrating. I'll probably read more in the series and hope that isn't a continuing theme.

The scenes were set
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I'm the author of the Agatha-nominated Gray Whale Inn mystery series, Tales of an Urban Werewolf. the Margie Peterson mysteries and the Dewberry Farm mysteries (plus a new fantasy in the works). My reading is like my writing: eclectic!

I grew up in the Northeast, but I currently live in Austin with my husband, two kids, and a houserabbit named Bunny. Feel free to visit me online at www.karenmacine
More about Karen MacInerney...

Other Books in the Series

A Gray Whale Inn Mystery (7 books)
  • Dead and Berried (Gray Whale Inn Mystery, #2)
  • Murder Most Maine (Gray Whale Inn Mystery, #3)
  • Berried to the Hilt (Gray Whale Inn Mystery, #4)
  • Brush with Death (The Gray Whale Inn Mysteries, #5)
  • Death Runs Adrift (A Gray Whale Inn Mystery #6)
  • Pumpkin Pied: A Gray Whale Inn Short Story

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