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Friday, June 6, 2014

Death Runs Adrift: A Gray Whale Inn Mystery By Karen MacInerney

by Cynthia Chow

Some of the best decisions Natalie Barnes ever made were to quit her job in Parks and Recreation, leave Texas, and move to Maine to open the Gray Whale Inn as a bed and breakfast on Cranberry Island. Natalie is now engaged to handsome handyman and woodworker John, and is making plans for their wedding in Florida. Her future mother-in-law Catherine’s unexpected move into the carriage house worked out well, although Natalie is nervous about living together and moving into John's home. Now if only there weren't so many murders...

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A set of unidentified bones were discovered during the excavation of a swimming pool for Murray Selfridge, the local real estate mogul who’s intent on developing the island into a destination resort, closing the schools, and lowering his own tax burden. He is disliked by nearly everyone on the island; everyone except for Catherine, whom he is currently dating. Unfortunately, it's a set of more recent remains that disrupt Natalie's peace of mind. While picking blueberries, Natalie stumbles across a body in a boat. Early suspicion falls on the boyfriend of Natalie's artistic niece. Certain the hard-working lobsterman is innocent, Natalie questions the victim's family. She uncovers drug use on the island, competitive lobstermen, and a surprising connection between the island and prohibition. It's a balancing act between hosting guests, preparing meals and planning her upcoming nuptials. Wedding stress always lies in the back of Natalie's mind, especially when a disaster completely upsets plans for a small, intimate ceremony.

Image source: Midnight Ink

In this sixth Gray Whale Inn Mystery descriptions of absolutely delectable foods are seamlessly incorporated into the story, enhancing the novel without distracting from the plot. Recipes are included at the end, but the details of Natalie's preparations are enough to satisfy the most dedicated of foodies. Natalie's good humor, loyalty to her friends, and relentless pursuit of the truth continue to keep this a very strong series that remains fresh and allows for growth in the characters; all the while revealing the darkness that continues to intrude on their beautiful island.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

1 comment:

  1. I always look forward to a new Gray Whale Inn mystery.