Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney

murder on the rocksMurder on the Rocks: A Gray Whale Inn Mystery by Karen MacInerney, book 1 (Midnight Ink, 2006), 282 pages

Nat just moved (from Texas) to a secluded island in Maine and is still in her first year of owning and operating a small bed and breakfast, the Gray Whale Inn. She instigated the group Save Our Terns, in opposition to a developer who wants to buy up a huge chunk of the island and build a high-end resort, including a golf course. When that same developer is found dead, the night after the city council’s vote for the development, it doesn’t help that he’s staying at her inn.

Nat, baker extraordinaire, morphs into an amateur sleuth. She’s investigating because she’s the prime suspect.

I guess I’d call this a cozy mystery, albeit a better book than other cozies I’ve read in the past.

My main problem with the book: We have no background on Nat (or anyone else really, for that matter), no idea of her motivations. She acts very stupid sometimes, and I’d at least like to know why. This was quite annoying, nearly enough to make me stop reading. It felt like I started in the middle of a series, but this was book 1.

Except for that, it was an enjoyable read, and I’d like to read the rest of the short series. A huge part of the draw for me was the setting: I’ve been longing to visit Maine for years now.

A plus: Several of Nat’s recipes are in the back of the book.

The rest of the books in the series:
Book 2: Dead and Berried
Book 3: Murder Most Maine
Book 4: Berried to the Hilt

I learned of this book and picked it up because of a blogger, On My Bookshelf …, who reviewed it a year ago.

Murder on the Rocks was nominated for best first novel for the 2006 Agatha Awards. Karen MacInerney lives in Austin, Texas. In addition to the Gray Whale Inn series, she’s also penned Tales of an Urban Werewolf series (she counts Charlaine Harris as among her favorite authors).

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4 responses to “Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney

  1. Hmm, I’m not sure if that’s the book for me or not.

  2. I don’t mind a light cozy. Since it’s the first in a series, though, we’d expect a bit more background information.

  3. I like cozy mysteries, especially ones with recipes in them. But, I see what you mean about background information. The reader is entitled to have the characters fleshed out a bit more than that.

  4. It drives me nuts when a character does something stupid, without giving a glance at the motivation for the action. Unless it happens after I’ve gotten pretty deep into the book, I find it hard to keep reading. I like the fact that this one has recipes in it, though!

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