Murder on the Rocks: Gray Whale Mysteries # 1
by Karen MacInerney
Midnight Ink, ISBN 978-0738709086
May 8, 2006, 282 pages.
Why do I do it to myself? Read book reviews that is. I have enough books to last me for the foreseeable future and yet I am always on the lookout for something that sound good. I blame Tina from Tutu's Two Cents! An island off the coast of Maine, lobster buoys bobbing all around, fog and nor'easters and wild roses...and the body of a greedy developer tossed onto the rocks. Really, how could I pass that one up?
Well, I did not and am glad I didn't!
In this, the first of the Gray Whale Mysteries (yes, two will be on the way then 3 and 4), we meet the charming new owner of the Gray Whale Inn, transplanted Texan Natalie Barnes. She is fulfilling a dream, buying the inn on the Cranberry Island, just off the coast of Mt.Desert Island, Maine but even a dream doesn't come without a few problems.
Meeting costs as she tries to build a business is worry enough, but now a developer, Bernard Katz, is trying to convince the locals to allow him to build a huge luxury resort on land right next to the inn. It will endanger the nesting terns, threatening the sleepy nature of the island and very well putting Nat out of business when she has barely gotten started. But big money talks to some looking to make a fast killing. Surprising, he get town officials to easily go along with his plans, angering many in the community, including Nat.
And when she finds his body, head bashed in and thrown off a rocky cliff, things go from bad to worse. The resort is still in the works but now the mainland cop sent to investigate seems to think that Nat is the number one suspect.
Well, I guess she will just have to do some investigating of her own to try and clear her name!
I will admit that I was totally won over by the setting. You could write a very bad book set on an island off the coast of Maine and I might like it. But on top of it this is quite a nice book too! Yes, that great locale, some good characters, many of whom we will see more of in future installments no doubt and a nice cozy little mystery. I must agree with Tina that on a few occasions you must suspend your disbelief...and inn on an island with all those storms and you don't have a back-up generator? Really? And the author committed one of my major pet peeves, naming characters with similar names, in this case Charlene and Claudette. Really, you could not have named one Betty..or Joan..or anything else. But the book is charming enough to make me pretty much just pass right over things like that. Yes, maybe Natalie should not be poking her nose into things with a murderer running around...but folks, this is a cozy, so that is sort of the point.
If you are looking for a fun, cozy mysteries series, great for a summer read, look no further!