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

(A Gray Whale Inn Mystery #1)

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  3,244 Ratings  ·  412 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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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Feb 06, 2018 marked it as wishlist-eventually
The bird standing on the dead guy's foot cracks me up. It's like a morbid art piece I can't look away from. Cozy mysteries has some of the funniest, most morbid cover art.
Apr 26, 2012 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
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy, e-pub, mystery
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
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I remembered reading this before but somehow I missed reviewing it or even marking it as read. The story was familiar as I read it this time. Luckily I'd forgotten who the killer was!

Natalie Barnes bought an old bed and breakfast on Cranberry Island but soon found out that a developer named Bernard Katz was planning a huge resort for the area. This would be competition for her B&B, so it was no surprise that when Nat found Katz dead on the rocks, she was the primary suspect. Her friend and
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exceptionally good for a first novel in a series. Likeable characters.
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
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very fun to read.
Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard
Aug 09, 2012 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
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
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, usa-maine
Since I am a big fan of Karen MacInerney's Dewberry Farm series I had to give her older Gray Whale Inn series a try....and boy am I glad that I did! Even though the characters are not quite as vivid and I didn't get sucked in quite as much as in her new series I thoroughly enjoyed Murder on the Rocks. Natalie Barnes the owner of the inn and murder suspect number one makes a few unwise decisions in investigating and trying to clear her name but who makes always the smartest decisions if they find ...more
Jun 04, 2011 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
Nov 08, 2010 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
Dennis Fischman
Feb 04, 2015 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
Caitlin Copp
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: october-2016
Let me start by saying I love all books Maine and this was no exception. Natalie has relocated from Texas to Maine and is now running The Gray Whale Inn, a small B&B on the small Cranberry Island. She has only been going for a couple months when a big developer named Bernard Katz shows up on the island wanting to build a massive resort which will put the Gray Whale out of business. Natalie is heading up the committee to stop Katz so when he is found dead on the island Natalie becomes the pri ...more
Sharon Mensing
Jun 06, 2010 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.
The alarm rang at 6 am, jolting me out from under my down comforter and into a pair of slippers.

Natalie Barnes has moved from Texas to Cranberry Island, Maine to run a bed and breakfast. Just before her third month in business a real estate tycoon is trying to buy the land near the B&B to put in a high end resort. The land happens to be the breeding ground of a protected sea tern and some of the village is up in arms about the possibility of destroying the bird nests. Natalie misses her foot
Jennifer Brown
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: with-shawn
I think listening to this book helped me get through it easier. It was so slow at parts that I would've definitely given up. Some scenes were dragged out and I would look at my husband and ask him if he thought the scene would ever progress!! There was one thing about the son that was a little obvious so I wasn't shocked when it came out. The reason for the murder was a little surprising though. I felt like this was a typical first in a series and am curious to see if the others get better. If I ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 is falsely accused of murder. Now she must find the true killer in order to clear her own name before its too late.
A real winner. Keeps you guessing, just like mysteries should. 5 stars.
James Elliott
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Fairly good mystery with one of my favorite settings -- a New England island community!
Engaging, well-written, good character development, but the usual complaints with Cozies: sometimes the main characters are a bit -- stupid, but redeem themselves in the end; and it could have used a bit more back story (i.e., how did she end up moving to the island; why is her niece staying with her, etc).
I'm looking forward to reading more in this series, so maybe those questions will be answered as it goe
Christine Mulligan
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Simple mystery novel that is set on cranberry island
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun and easy to read book. The main character bothered me at some points with her decision making skills... but it didn’t detract from the story!
It's competently written, the plot is good, and the setting lovely. It's just that the protagonist is so stupid, she caused me actual physical pain. There is no physical evidence she doesn't deliberately touch, no lie she doesn't tell. And then I'm supposed to feel sorry for her because a cop is targeting her? No. Just no. For example, at one point, she sees what she thinks is the murder weapon, so what does she do? She grabs it, looks at it, then puts it down again. ACTUAL PHYSICAL PAIN.
Jul 30, 2015 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
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
Jun 10, 2014 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
BJ Rose
Jan 03, 2014 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
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.
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.
Mar 28, 2012 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.
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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

Other books in the series

A Gray Whale Inn Mystery (10 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 (Gray Whale Inn Mystery, #5)
  • Death Runs Adrift (Gray Whale Inn Mystery #6)
  • Pumpkin Pied: A Gray Whale Inn Short Story
  • Whale of a Crime (Gray Whale Inn Mystery, #7)
  • The Gray Whale Inn Kitchen: A Collection of Recipes from the Bestselling Gray Whale Inn Mysteries (The Gray Whale Inn Mysteries)
  • Claws for Alarm (Gray Whale Inn Mysteries, #8)