The first is Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney and is the first in a series about the Gray Whale Inn on Cranberry Island off the coast of Maine.
Now, with a title like Murder on the Rocks, I already knew someone was going to die. I just had to find out how!
This is the book description.
Trading in Texas heat for Maine's tangy salt air, Natalie Barnes risked it all to buy the Gray Whale Inn,a quaint bed and breakfast on Cranberry Island. She adores whipping up buttery muffins and other rich breakfast treats for her guests until Bernard Katz checks in. The overbearing land developer plans to build a resort next door where an endangered colony of black-chinned terns is nesting. Worried about the birds, the inevitable transformation of the sleepy fishing community, and her livelihood, natalie takes a public stand against the project. But the town board sides with Katz. Just when it seems like things can't get any worse, Natalie finds Katz dead. Now the police and much of the town think she's guilty. Can Natalie track down the true killer before she's hauled off to jail...or becomes the next victim?
This book really pulled me in and I couldn't read it fast enough. Now I have to tell you, when the writer describes the things Natalie was baking, I found myself foraging for anything in the fridge that was remotely as good as what she was cooking.
I loved this book and the bonus is that she gives you the recipes for everything she bakes at the end of the book.
Next up was Dead and Berried.
The following is the book description:
In this delicious follow-up to Murder on the Rocks, developers have returned to Cranberry Island. This time, they're planning to wipe out a natural cranberry bog, along with the island's namesake berries, to build a luxury subdivision. Natalie Barnes isn't sweet on the idea of commercial interests souring their cozy oasis, but the single innkeeper has other problems on her plate: a withering relationship with her best friend Charlene, the sudden appearance of her ex-fiance' with a tempting proposal, and eerie bumps in the night suggesting the Gray Whale Inn is haunted. Worst of all, there's a killer on the loose, picking off people like ripe fruit.
When Charlene's lover-the handsome chaplain with a stake in the developement is stabbed to death, Natalie promises to find the murderer for her griefstricken friend, who's also the number-one suspect.
Again, I really enjoyed this book and couldn't wait to finish it, knowing I had two more to go. The characters are, of course, more developed in this book and I really enjoyed getting to know more about the residents of the island.
The 3rd book in the series is Murder most Maine.
This is the book description:
It's springtime on Cranberry Island and love is in the air. It seems like every woman has the hots for buff trainer Dirk De Leon. He and his equally-gorgeous business partner, Vanessa Black, are leading a weight-loss retreat at the Gray Whale Inn — forcing innkeeper Natalie Barnes to lighten up her butter-laden breakfast menu.
The mood on the island darkens when two grisly discoveries are made. The first is a skeleton walled up at the island's lighthouse. The second is a corpse of the fresh variety — the handsome Dirk! Could the spirit that once embodied the skeletal remains — perhaps the lighthouse keeper who disappeared a century ago — be responsible for Dirk's death?
The police pin the blame on Natalie's boyfriend who — to her dismay — had a long-ago fling with Vanessa. To find the true killer and ease her own aching heart, Natalie must untangle the knot of jealous girlfriends and spurned admirers that once surrounded the hunky trainer.
The most recent book in the series is called Berried to the Hilt.
This is the description of her latest in this series:
When a lobsterman discovers a sunken ship, Cranberry Island is abuzz with excitement. Is the wreck the remains of the Myra Barton, the missing ship of island sea captain Jonah Selfridge? Or the elusive Black Marguerite, which belonged to one of the most notorious pirates of the 17th century and vanished without a trace—except for the ghost ship that old-timers say roams the water on fog-shrouded nights?
Soon the island is swarming with marine archaeologists and treasure hunters. It’s good news for Natalie—and for the Gray Whale Inn—until a body turns up floating near the wreck. Natalie finds herself immersed in the world of pirates and sunken treasure, both past and present. Will she solve the mystery and find the killer in time? Or will Natalie be the next to join the lost ship’s crew, down in Davy Jones’ locker?
Now, I have to be honest, I haven't quite finished this book but again, I'm drawn to the story of this tiny island. And I'm also loving the recipes she gives you with these books.
I hope I've given you some books that you might be interested in. I know I'm just loving them and was glad to hear she will have a new one out next year plus another book I think I'll enjoy.