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Murder on the Rocks

(Gray Whale Inn Mystery #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  4,082 ratings  ·  495 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. ...more
Paperback, 281 pages
Published 2008 by Midnight Ink (first published May 2006)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,082 ratings  ·  495 reviews

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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Feb 06, 2018 marked it as wishlist-mystery
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. ...more
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: 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 just ...more
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 neig
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.
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exceptionally good for a first novel in a series. Likeable characters.
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
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
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
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 prime s ...more
Lady Delacour
Murder at the B&B
on Cranberry Island.
Fast paced, full of action
and mouth watering
descriptions of good food.
Listened with TTS.
Clean with just a few
mild bad words.
Pat K
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It’s a murder mystery, but before the murder occurs, the characters are well established. The main character Natalie, is a strong, likeable, independent woman trying to run a guesthouse and be involved with bird conservation. No swearing, sex or gratuitous violence.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very fun to read.
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, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 footing
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
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.
Dec 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inn keeper finds herself accused of murder when one of her patrons is murdered.
Karen Hollins-Stallman
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first in the Gray Whale Inn series by Karen MacInerney , I have read books of Karen's before but not this series. It was chosen for our book discussion and I'm so glad as I loved it!

The protagonist Natalie is a strong, intelligent, and likeable. The characters are well developed with some quirkiness thrown in. The setting of Cranberry Island was perfect and the descriptions made you feel like you were there. Not to mention the breakfast food described in the book was mouth watering,
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
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This book has pretty much everything I like in a cozy mystery, and yet I struggled to finish it. The setting (a B&B on an island off the coast of Maine) was good, the characters were generally likable, the plot was fine. But there was something about it that failed to draw me back in when I put it down. I think partly it was the 1st person narration - the protagonist seems to go out of her way to make less than wise decisions - like going into a room in the B&B that has been declared a crime sce ...more
Christine Mulligan
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Simple mystery novel that is set on cranberry island
Eileen Lynx
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good story. Makes me want to visit Maine
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
I liked this mostly for the setting, an inn in Maine, and the delicious recipes.
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!
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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

Gray Whale Inn Mystery (1 - 10 of 12 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)
  • Whale of a Crime (Gray Whale Inn Mystery, #7)
  • Claws for Alarm (Gray Whale Inn Mystery, #8)
  • Scone Cold Dead (Gray Whale Inn Mystery, #9)
  • Lupine Lies (Gray Whale Inn, #9.5)
  • Anchored Inn (Gray Whale Inn Mystery #10)

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