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

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  2,155 ratings  ·  300 reviews
Trading in Texas heat for Maine's tangy salt air, Natalie Barnes risked it all to buy the Gray Whale Inn, a quaint bed and breakfast on Cranberry Island. She adores whipping up buttery muffins and other rich breakfast treats for her guests until Bernard Katz checks in. The overbearing land developer plans to build a resort next door where an endangered colony of black-chin ...more
Kindle Edition, 282 pages
Published May 2006 by Midnight Ink
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Tessa O'Donnell
As the plot progressed, I kept thinking, “What else can happen to poor Natalie?” I cringed with each set back and reveled in her spirited responses to each. I have to take one star off for a few “I can’t believe she did that” instances. She contaminated a crime scene and placed herself in dangerous situations time after time without anyone with her. But she is surrounded by so many loveable characters, I enjoyed every minute at the Gray Whale Inn. I can see why people on social media are so inve ...more
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.
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
Claudia Cheyne
An entertaining fluffy read about a B&B owner trying to survive when wealthy investors have a big resort planned which includes her property. Lots of things that happen are pretty unbelievable - for instance the inn is broken into, the intruder knocks Natalie unconscious so she goes to bed without bothering to call the local police. She reads her guests' mail and requests information in their names to be sent to the B&B. This is the first in a series. I may try reading another one to see ...more
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
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
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
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
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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 about Karen MacInerney...

Other Books in the Series

A Gray Whale Inn Mystery (6 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)
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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