Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Review: Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney

In this cozy mystery, Natalie Barnes establishes the Gray Whale Inn, a bed and breakfast off the coast of Maine, when an unscrupulous land developer tries to move in and destroy the natural beauty of the island and the inn along with it. Of course, the developer meets an untimely demise, and Natalie is off to prove her innocence.

One of the big draws for me was the setting. I live in Arizona, and as the years go on I've been fantasizing about moving somewhere with water. (My wife and I went on a vacation to Seattle this summer and I just fell in love with the place.) This book (and series) is set on Cranberry Island. MacInerney does a wonderful job of establishing place in the novel, from the patter of the coastal rain to the smell of the sea. I was looking for an escape from the summer Phoenician heat, and Murder on the Rocks really delivered.

The characters here are likeable, and I admired Natalie Barnes' entrepreneurial spirit. All of us, I think, want to uproot and start anew in some romantic locale, and so I could relate to her in that sense. There are also recipes in the back, for those of you who like some function with your fiction.

There were a few times when Natalie did things that seemed a bit unbelievable (like withholding evidence from authorities for no good reason) and the cliched "villain-reveals-everything" scene at the end did bother me a bit.

Though not without flaws, I found Murder on the Rocks to be an enjoyable cozy mystery, and one worth picking up if you're a fan of the genre. On a technical note, I have to say that the formatting of the Kindle version was very professional. Some e-versions of books have numerous OCR errors, but this book seemed to have been converted with care and attention.

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