Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney
What could be more symbolic of Maine then charming old inns, located on rocky cliffs, with wild rose bushes and blueberries in abundance. This first book in the Grey Whale Inn mystery series was a hook drawing the reader into following books. The setting on Cranberry Island reminded me very much of Monhegan Island, a well-known artist retreat off the Maine coast. The characters were well drawn and represented the charming and sometimes eccentric residents of Maine quite well.
Protagonist Natalie Barnes is a real woman who struggles with financial woes, family issues, lack of eligible men and her beloved inn not to mention being a newcomer on a Maine island which has issues all of its own. Add in business competition, environmental problems and some rather despicable characters and the scene is set for a murder with no shortage of possible suspects. Beset by a police investigation centered on herself, while ignoring other possibilities, Barnes takes matters in her own hands with some hazardous consequences.
This book was a quick and enjoyable read perfect for hot summer days. I can’t wait to read the next in the series.
Murder on the rocks was nominated for an Agatha Award for best first novel. There are three additional adventures for Natalie Barnes available and another in the works. MacInerney describes herself as an “eclectic” writer as she explores an number of genres including fantasy. Check out her blog at email@example.com for more information. Her books are available at most online vendors and at local libraries and independent bookstores. And… they include recipes which are awesome.