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

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  1,509 ratings  ·  258 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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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
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...more
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...more
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.
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
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...more
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...more
BJ Rose
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
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.
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...more
Jennifer 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.
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.
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.
Mercedes Cordero
Well, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. Although well paced, the author goes into unnecessary details, sort of like "I grabbed the milk from the refrigerator and closed the door with my left foot", all the time. It's not the milk part, but the left foot part that bothered me, as if she was writing a detailed movie script rather than a novel. The characters were ok but Natalie's love interest was meh. I guess he will be developed more as the series progresses, but he was so uninteresting that y...more
I have been reading Ms.MacInerney since she published the speculative fiction trilogy [[ASIN:0345496256 Howling at the Moon (Tales of an Urban Werewolf, Book 1)]][[ASIN:0345496264 On the Prowl (Tales of an Urban Werewolf, Book 2)]][[ASIN:0345496272 Leader of the Pack (Tales of an Urban Werewolf, Book 3)]] and I knew then that she was an author to watch since I loved those books and recommended them to friends.

Now Ms MacInerney tries her hand at true mystery and she shows how strong her writing...more
Naimisha Pasupuleti
This easy mystery set on the Maine coast had all the right ingredients - a struggling heroine (who, for a change, was your everyday lady next door and not a blue eyed, blonde haired, breathtaking beauty), an ambitious and well off villain and the neighbourly love interest. While this book does not belong to the Agatha Christie genre, it has its own merits in the way the setting is built up, from the descriptions of the inn itself and the landscape, and not to forget, the weather.

The villain is b...more
Natalie Barnes finally gets to have her dream of owning a B&B in the form of The Gray Whale Inn on Cranberry Island. She spends her time caring for her guests baking up lots of high calorie treats and trying to stop a property developer from building a resort on the island therefore destroying a terns nesting area and making her precious inn into a car park. No surprise then when the property developer is murdered Natalie becomes the grumpy lead detectives prime suspect.

This was a mildly div...more
This is the first entry in the Grey Whale Inn Mysteries series and it’s off to a good start. Natalie Barnes from Texas has just started a new chapter in her life. She bought a bed and breakfast on Cranberry Island off of the coast of Maine.

Things are going well enough; she has some guests and cheap help in the form of her niece Gwen who is staying the summer. Her biggest concern is that one of her guests, Bernard Katz is determined to buy up the land near her inn and open a resort. This would no...more
Murder on the Rocks was a competent mystery. I'm not a huge fan of this type of mystery - I believe it's called a "cozy" - in general, but you can't beat free (it was a Friday freebie on the Nook a while back).

I can say in favor of this book that I had difficulty putting it down; the action is generally well-paced, and chapters often ended such that I wanted to keep turning pages. However, there were a few negatives. One was the inappropriate attention to detail. In between the action scenes are...more
V.k. Scott
In this cozy mystery, Natalie Barnes establishes the Gray Whale Inn, a bed and breakfast off the coast of Maine, when an unscrupulous land developer tries to move in and destroy the natural beauty of the island and the inn along with it. Of course, the developer meets an untimely demise, and Natalie is off to prove her innocence.

One of the big draws for me was the setting. I live in Arizona, and as the years go on I've been fantasizing about moving somewhere with water. (My wife and I went on a...more
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
Traci Andrighetti
Thirty-eighty-year-old Texan Natalie Barnstone has cashed in her life savings to buy the Gray Whale Inn on Maine’s Cranberry Island. While Natalie plans to build a cozy new life for herself baking delicious goodies for her guests at the inn, land developer Bernard Katz has other building plans: to raze the inn to make a parking lot for his resort. Unfortunately for Natalie, the town sides with Katz, even though his resort will endanger the black-chinned terns nesting on the island. Not one to gi...more
his fun cozy is set in one of my all time favorite places - Maine. The Cranberry Islands to be specific. So we have ferries to the mainland, lobster-men and boats, storms, the gossip at the one general store where everyone congregates, summer folks and islanders and a cozy old Inn. All the wonderful things that I love about Maine. And, we have a mystery! Who killed resort developer Bernie Katz? Could have been anyone, he was a sleazeball who was determined to build a large resort on Cranberry Is...more
May 05, 2008 Sfdreams rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: cozy mystery fans, maine coast enthusiasts, bed-and-breakfast lovers
Recommended to Sfdreams by: Dennis
Shelves: reviewed
This is the first book of an excellent series by Karen MacInerney. I am especially impressed, because the liner notes indicate that this is her first novel.

Natalie Barnes fulfills her life's dream and opens a bed-and-breakfast on Cranberry Island, off Maine's coast. With her niece, Gwen, helping out at the inn, and her friend Charlene down at the general store, this book evokes the charm of small-town island living, with the bonus of recipes at the end!

My friend, Dennis, was the one who recommen...more
Murder on the Rocks is book 1 of the Gray Whale Inn mystery series by Karen MacInerney, set in present-day Maine. Natalie Barnes is the proprietor of the Gray Whale Inn, a bed-and-breakfast inn on Cranberry Island. She's struggling as it is to make ends meet, due to sparse guest bookings, but her inn faces certain doom if developer Bernard Katz gets his way. He plans to build a luxury resort on Cranberry Island, razing her inn for a parking lot, and he has spent a lot of money to convince the Bo...more
The Bookwyrm's Hoard
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...more
I have a distinct fondness for cozy/amateur sleuth mysteries set along the East Coast. It might be my love of my guilty pleasure TV show "Murder She Wrote" or whatever, but it is a favorite setting.

Nat has an inn to run and that is threatened by the promise of a development deal of a hewgah resort right next door. The owner of the development company winds up dead and fingers are pointing at Nat. There are other likely suspects, but she's the likeliest.

The mystery is handled wonderfully and I...more
This was a new author for me, who I found through some free books on Kindle. I'm glad I did! (And now this series isn't free any more, so good for the author! :)

This cozy mystery is set in a B&B/inn in Maine, and new owner Natalie tackles the daily chores of running her own business with the assistance of her niece. The plot-line of the whodunit was unexpected to me, so that kept my interest. I was a little confused by some of the names of the characters (trying to keep new - to me - charac...more
Natalie has fulfilled her dream and owns an inn on an island in Maine. She is a great cook and has made her Grey Whale Inn a comfy place to stay.

Bernard Katz is a guest at the inn, and someone who wants to wipe it off the map and open a resort - cement, golf courses and big buildings.

When Katz is murdered, Natalie is the prime suspect. So, in self defense she must find the killer and make everyone realize she is an innocent woman.

I liked the book a great deal. Natalie, her niece Gwen, her best f...more
Mark Baker
Natalie is fulfilling a life long dream by opening her bed and breakfast on Maine's Cranberry Island. However, she's hardly settled in when developers appear on the island looking to take over. Then a murder happens. It took me a bit to get into the book, but once I got a feel for the island, I was hooked.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
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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 upcoming 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.ka...more
More about Karen MacInerney...
Howling at the Moon (Tales of an Urban Werewolf, #1) On the Prowl (Tales of an Urban Werewolf, #2) Leader of the Pack (Tales of an Urban Werewolf, #3) Dead and Berried (Gray Whale Inn Mystery, #2) Murder Most Maine (Gray Whale Inn Mystery, #3)

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